Known simply as Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe played 26 seasons in the National Hockey League from 1946 until 1971. Twenty-five of those seasons were with one team, the Detroit Red Wings, for whom he wore the number nine on his red and white jersey.
Howe was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame just one year after leaving Detroit, but in 1973 the ambidextrous winger was back on the ice, this time in the fledging World Hockey Association for the Houston Aeros. Howe played four seasons with the Aeros, leading them to championships in two, and he capped his incredible career with three years in a Whalers uniform.
In his last season with the Whalers, 1979-1980, the Hartford-based team was made a part of the NHL. Howe played in all 80 of the team’s regular-season games, and he left the sport at age 52, the oldest player ever to suit up for the NHL.
Most of Howe’s scoring records were broken by Wayne Gretzky, who chose 99 as his Edmonton Oilers number as an homage to Howe. But Howe still holds numerous records relating to his amazing longevity.
Another milestone unlikely to be equaled is his place in history as the only player to be on the same team with two of his sons. Before Howe joined the Aeros in 1973, the team had already drafted his sons Mark (a top prospect) and Marty. Howe played with them in both Houston and Hartford.
Howe’s final appearance on the ice came in the 1997-1998 season as a member of the International Hockey League’s Detroit Vipers. He played one game at age 69, becoming the only player to skate professionally in six separate decades, which in Howe’s case meant the 1940s through the 1990s.
Because Howe got such an early start and lasted so long in the sport, there is a great deal of vintage hockey memorabilia associated with his years as a player. About the only thing you won’t find is a Howe rookie card because no one was printing hockey cards in the mid-to-late 1940s...
A Canadian company called Parkhurst produced the first Howe hockey card—it dates from the 1951-1952 season. Parkhurst was the only game in town until 1954, when Topps got into the hockey act.
Interestingly, a vintage Topps Howe hockey card from 1954, even one in mediocre condition, is more collectible than a higher-grade Parkhurst Howe hockey card from the same year. Also prized is the 1969 O-Pee-Chee card of Howe, which features the smiling veteran next to his nickname.
Other types of vintage Howe hockey collectibles include signed pucks, sticks, and jerseys—some collectors want one jersey from each of the teams Howe played for, but Red Wings jerseys are the most popular.
Paper collectibles, from tickets to programs, are also fan favorites. A pair of tickets from the night Howe broke Maurice “Rocket” Richards’ scoring record is in the Hockey Hall of Fame. As for programs, teams all over the league routinely put Howe’s photo on the covers of game-day programs, since Howe was often the main draw.
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I Wouldn't Hold My Breath on the Amazing Jaromir Jagr Playing At 50In Lou We Trust, September 21st
The problem is that the only one who ever did it was Gordie Howe, arguably the most durable man to have ever played the game. He was the man who played into his 40s in the NHL, jumped to the WHA in his 40s, and then finished his career when his squad ...Read more
Covering Preds is dream beat for hockey writer Eric StromgrenThe Tennessean, September 20th
I had a bunch of good-luck gear (lucky raggedly Wings shirt, pink beanbag, Gordie Howe-signed puck) that I'd drag with me to the TV as a young girl, screaming for every goal. I interned for the Wings in college and was in the locker room when they won...Read more
Gordie Howe va mieuxJournal de Montréal, September 20th
TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan - Après avoir vécu un été rempli d'incertitudes où il a craint le pire, Gordie Howe se porte mieux. L'ancien hockeyeur de 86 ans souffre de démence. Sa condition s'est aggravée au mois d'août et il a dû avoir recours à une ...Read more
Gordie Howe rebounds after 'very bad summer'USA TODAY, September 20th
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – After a summer where it looked like the end was painfully near, Gordie Howe has rebounded in health and humor. Son Mark Howe spent part of Saturday afternoon searching for someone to fix his iPad, specifically, to get FaceTime ...Read more
New Gordie Howe book recounts Detroit Red Wings' decline after 1950sDetroit Free Press, September 10th
In “Mr. Hockey: My Story” — scheduled for release in October — Gordie Howe described how a decade considered the Wings' golden age — when they won seven straight regular-season titles and four Stanley Cups — should have produced far more...Read more
Memories of Gordie Howe Bowl ... and that grass fieldStarPhoenix, September 6th
Saskatoon Minor Football Field — formerly known as Gordie Howe Bowl — is the midst of a huge overhaul, with the first piece a new artificial-turf field. The Saskatoon Hilltops will break in that new surface Saturday at 1 p.m., with a Prairie Football...Read more
Fanspeak: Gordie Howe voted greatest Red Wing in franchise historyNBCSports.com, August 27th
This summer, NBC Sports' social media team is conducting the #NHLGreatest initiative, designed for fans to choose the best player in each franchise's history. Balloting was conducted through three platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — with ...Read more
Workers make progress in revamp of Gordie Howe ParkNews Talk 980 CJME, August 21st
The turf is down, the scoreboard is up and the lights are ready at the Saskatoon Minor Football Field in Gordie Howe Park. Previously known as the Gordon Howe Bowl, the newly upgraded field is steadily coming together for its grand opening on Sept. 6...Read more