WINNIPEG – He was regarded as the greatest player to ever strap on a pair of skates. And on Friday morning the hockey world was saddened to find out Gordie Howe had died at the age of 88 at his home in Ohio.
The “unassuming” superstar from Floral, Saskatchewan was known to his hundreds of thousands of fans as “Mr. Hockey”. He won four Stanley Cups with the Red Wings over his storied 25 year career with Detroit.
Howe won six Hart Trophies as the league’s most valuable player, and another half dozen Art Ross trophies as the leading scorer during his time in the Motor City between 1946 and 1971.
His career totals of 801 goals and 1049 assists for 1850 points made him the leading scorer of all time until Wayne Gretzky surpassed them on Oct 15/89 (1851st assist) and Mar 23/94 (802nd goal).
(Photos: Hockey Hall of Fame Archives)
After “retiring” from the Detroit Red Wings following the 1970-71 season, Gordie did not play for the next two years. But he joined the World Hockey Association Houston Aeros, where at the age of 45, he was able to play with his then teenage sons Mark and Marty.
Howe scored an amazing 174 goals and added 334 assists for 508 career points in only 419 games played during his 7 WHA seasons with Houston and New England (Hartford).
Winnipegger Jordy Douglas was a rookie when he joined the Whalers for the 1978-79 season and told 680 CJOB about his initial meeting with the hockey legend when he and his parents were flown to Hartford to sign his first professional contract.