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.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Beehive Hockey Photo Museum

Beehive Hockey Photo Museum

This easy-to-navigate site contains a complete inventory of the 1,026 Bee Hive Hockey Photos (organized by team and… [read review or visit site]

Scott Petterson’s personal collection of vintage ice hockey memorabilia focuses on the history of the Portland Bu… [read review or visit site]

Most watched eBay auctions    

1965 - 66 Topps # 108 Gordie Howe Psa 61965-66 Topps, #108, Gordie Howe, Nm-mt Condition. 2013-14 Panini Silver Chalice Gordie Howe Patch 4/5 Hockey Trading Card 1959 60 Topps Hockey 48 Gordie Howe Action W/ Evans Hof Psa 8 Nm-mt 1/23 Lowpop1959 60 Topps Hockey 63 Gordie Howe Hof Psa 8 Nm-mt Detroit Red Wings Mr Hockey2016 Leaf Itg Used 1/1 Gold Howe Gretzky Orr Beliveau Vintage 4 Memorabilia !!!Gordie Howe Signed Northland Pro Full Size Hockey Stick Jsa Authenticated 1966 67 Topps Hockey 109 Gordie Howe Hof Psa 6 Ex-mt Detroit Red Wings Sweet2016 Leaf Itg Enshrined Gordie Howe Bobby Hull, Richard, Lafleur Quad Relic 2/101966-67 Topps Gordie Howe - Signed. Card Is In Excellent Shape - OriginalItg Superlative The First Six Howe / Delvecchio / Hull Triple Jersey GoldGretzky Howe Hasek Orr Ovechkin 2016 Leaf In The Game Used 6x Jersey 1/5 ! 1/11969 O-pee-chee Opc Hockey Gordie Howe Mr. Hockey No Number Psa 8 Nm-mt15-16 Itg Used , Quad Jersey , Gordie Howe ,delvecchio ,lindsay ,federov , 7/35 1954 Topps #8 Gordie Howe Psa 7Gordie Howe " Mr Hockey " Signed Red Wings Jersey Autograph Xl Psa/dna Coa Hof1966/67 Topps Hockey Card #109 Gordie Howe VgexLithograph 500 Goal Signed Auto Maurice Richard Hull Howe 16 Of 19Itg Used Leaf Quad Game Used Memorabilia Howe Delvecchio Lindsay Federov 9/10Gordie Howe Detroit Red Wings 65th Birthday Puck Rare Vintage 1979-80 O-pee-chee Set Break #175 Gordie Howe Nr-mint V050812016 Itg Used Fantasy Team 8's Gretzky Lemieux Orr Howe Richard Roy Plante 1/5 14-15 Anthology Hockey Gordie Howe Tetrad Materials Quad Relic 094/100 Gordie Howe 1970-71 Topps Hockey Card # 29 Nrmt +1954-55 Parkhurst Gordie Howe # 41 Superb2016 In The Game Used Gordie Howe/gretzky/hasek/orr/ovechkin/stevens Jersey #/25Vintage Gordie Howe Skate Sharpener W/orig. Package Nhl Hockey Usa *free Ship*2016 In The Game Used Gordie Howe Olympia Stadium Relic Card 1/5 Red Wings11-12 Ud Series 1 Clear Cut Honored Members Gordie Howe /1002003-04 Upd "stanley Cup Statues" Auto'd - Gordie Howe Custom W/ CoaGordie Howe 1969/70 Topps Card #61 "excellent" Nrmt. Condition No Creases!! $$$$11-12 Itg Cvtw Intern. Showdown Silver #isr-02 Hull/howe/yakushev/mikhailov1971-72 Topps Hockey --- Gordy Howe #702012 Fall Expo Howe Lafleur Hull Sittler Esposito #sc42 Superlative Combos Silve1969/70 Topps Set Break #61 Gordie Howe Ex/mint 2639cGordie Howe Mr. Hockey Autographed Hand Signed Detroit Redwings Puck AwesomeLot 18 1979/80 O-pee-chee Hockey Cards Nm Sharp!! Marty Howe Rick Martin OpcVintage Hockey Card Lot - Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr & Gordie HoweGoldie Howe Signed Autographed Red Wings Hockey Puck With CoaVtg 1963-1964 Detroit Red Wings Hockey Matchbook Schedule Olympia Stadium HoweMr. Hockey-gordie Howe Signed Business Card Nhl Free ShippingOfficial 1973-74 Wha Media Guide Gordie Howe Bobby Hull11-12 Parkhurst Champions Gordie Howe Ted Lindsay Abel 1/1 Printing Plate 20112016 Leaf Itg Enshrined Printing Plate Black 1/1 Howe/orr/gretzky/richard/harvey1971 Topps Gordie Howe #70 1951 Gordie Howe Rookie Card Parkhurst 51/52 Parkie Rc Detroit Red Wings Det Rp2015 Itg In The Game Stickwork Gordie Howe Red Kelly Norm Ullman Gu Stick 24/40Beckett Hockey Price Guide August 2016, #288 Used, Gordie Howe On CoverGordie Howe Custom Made Aceo 55 Bowman 1/1 2005-06 Upper Deck Nhl Finalist 90 Card Set Gretzky Howe Lemieux Crosby Rc Rare 1963-64 Parkhurst Hockey #55 Gordie Howe Psa 4.5 Vg-ex+Gordie Howe Detroit Red Wings Signed Jersey Coa: Gai/coa Gv7268781974-75 O-pee-chee Opc Wha Hockey Card Lot 47 Sater Set Gordie HoweBobby Orr And Gordie Howe Photo1972 Scotia Bank French 1972 Booklet All About Hockey Howe & Beliveau Nhl2016-17 Detroit Red Wings Farewell Season At The Joe Game Puck Howe Yzerman Rare1968-69 Topps Collection Of165 Former Cards,gordie Howe,andy Bathgate,leo Boivin2016 Leaf In The Game Used Wayne Gretzky Mario Lemieux Gordie Howe Jersey #24/302016 Leaf In The Game Used Gordie Howe Legends Of Olympia Stadium Ser #5/20Autographed 132 Of 500 95-96 Parkhurst Gordie Howe Mr Hockey Red Wings 1995.