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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New Jersey's Jagr Passes Gordie Howe on NHL's All-Time Assist ListBleacher Report, April 14th
With a pair of helpers in Sunday's season finale, Jaromir Jagr of the New Jersey Devils passed hockey legend Gordie Howe to move into eighth place on the NHL's all-time leader list for assists, per NHL.com. Jagr's two third-period assists in Sunday's 3...Read more
NHL concussion lawsuit: Try to look beyond 'Sydney Crosby', Gordie Howe errorsSportingNews.com, April 10th
Cullin O'Brien knows that the class-action lawsuit he's leading against the NHL isn't the first, and he's fine with that. "I know that our complaint speaks for itself," O'Brien, lead plaintiffs attorney for Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, told Sporting...Read more
Gordie Howe is dead? Former Devils, Rangers are plaintiffs in error-filled NHL ...The Star-Ledger, April 10th
For one, it said Gordie Howe died when it was actually his wife who passed away in 2009. There's also the misspelling of Sidney Crosby's name -- the Penguins star is "Sydney" in the document. And SI.com's Allan Muir noted there are references to movies ...Read more
Gordie Howe to tell his 'Mr. Hockey' story in new bookMontreal Gazette (blog), April 7th
If you're a Gordie Howe fan – and who isn't – you'll be happy to learn that an autobiograpy titled Mr. Hockey will come out on Oct. 14, 2014, published by Penguin Canada. “I have been lucky,” Howe, who turned 86 on March 31, said in a news release. “I...Read more
Gordie Howe to write memoirColumbus Dispatch, April 2nd
Hockey great Gordie Howe has a book deal. His memoir, Mr. Hockey, will come out on. Oct. 14, publisher Putnam announced. The book is billed as “the definitive account” of Howe's life and five-decade career. Howe, 85, was a six-time winner of the Hart ...Read more
Gordie Howe, 86, isn't one to sit aroundUSA TODAY, March 31st
Gordie Howe never was one to sit around, and that hasn't changed even as dementia roils his health. He turned 86 on Monday, an event that will appropriately be celebrated in Detroit, because no city ever has celebrated Howe more. He reigned here as a ...Read more
Flames' Westgarth gaining momentum after nearly recording Gordie Howe hat-trickCalgary Herald, March 24th
Not only did the Amerherstburg, Ont. product step foot on the same ice where he was knocked unconscious back on March 1, he came one assist shy of the coveted Gordie Howe hat-trick. “That's every player's dream,” said Westgarth, with a huge grin...Read more
When Gordie Howe Signed, Hockey Became Relevant In HartfordHartford Courant, March 17th
For a city starving for a sports identity, the arrival of the greatest player in the history of hockey was met with a collective gasp. Gordie Howe was 49 years old when he brought his two sons to town in 1977. The New England Whalers were a struggling...Read more