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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Recent News: Gordie Howe Memorabilia
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Gretzky: 'McDavid the best in last 30 years'Sportsnet.ca, April 21st
Matheson of the Edmonton Journal in a story about the next franchise-altering Oiler. Gretzky told the newspaper he is rooting for 18-year-old phenom Connor McDavid — Edmonton's lottery prize — much in the way Gordie Howe cheered on a young...Read more
When You Meet the Star You HateThe New Yorker, April 18th
team somehow squeezed into the Stanley Cup playoffs, then continued gyrating so far over their heads that that they found themselves facing the mighty Detroit Red Wings, led by the immortal Production Line of Ted Lindsay, Sid Abel, and Gordie Howe...Read more
Experts probe use of stem cells to treat hockey legend Gordie HoweCTV News, April 18th
It's a question that has captivated sports fans and scientists. Did a radical stem cell treatment help Gordie Howe recover from a stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side and almost ended his life last year? A W5 documentary crew teamed up with...Read more
Bob Duff: Pavel Datsyuk shatters Gordie Howe's playoff recordWindsor Star (blog), April 17th
Gordie Howe held the previous standard, scoring on Toronto's Harry Lumley nine seconds after the opening faceoff period on April 1, 1954 in Detroit's 4-3 overtime win. Curiously, like Datsyuk did in Thursday's win, Howe scored twice in that game...Read more
Gordie Howe C.A.R.E.S. Pro-Am Hockey Tournament Kicks Off in CalgaryDigital Journal, April 16th
CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - April 16, 2015) - The 2015 Gordie Howe C.A.R.E.S. Pro-Am Hockey Tournament (formally known as the Calgary Pro-Am Alzheimer's Hockey Tournament) is set to kick-off in Calgary this weekend. The world-class event ...Read more
Gordie Howe's comeback from stroke caps challenging yearsPort Huron Times Herald, April 15th
LUBBOCK, Texas – Ravaged by a stroke that left him unable to walk and barely able to speak, Gordie Howe had decided it was time to quit. His sons didn't want to hear it. Not from Mr. Hockey, whose 25-year career in the NHL was defined by his...Read more
Gordie Howe back on feet after 'life-changing' turnaroundDetroit Free Press, April 14th
LUBBOCK, Texas – Ravaged by a stroke that left him unable to walk and barely able to speak, Red Wings legend Gordie Howe decided it was time to quit. His sons didn't want to hear it. Not from Mr. Hockey, whose 25-year career in the NHL was defined by ...Read more
50 Years Ago in Hockey - Wings Whip HawksThe Hockey Writers, April 5th
that Chicago goalkeeper Denis DeJordy never saw. The Red Wings came out stronger in the middle frame, scoring twice and appeared to be taking control of the game. Norm Ullman and Gordie Howe, with his first of two on the night, were the marksmen...Read more