Gordie Howe

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Gordie Howe

NameGordon Howe
Nick NameMr. Hockey
DOB31 March 1928
(Age 88 Yr. )
Died10 June 2016

Personal Life

Religion Christianity
Profession professional ice hockey player
Birth Place Floral, Saskatchewan, Canada,

Physical Appearance

Height 6.0 (in feet)
Weight approx 93 (In Kg)
Eye Color Dark Brown
Hair Color Dark Brown

Family Status

Parents

Father- Albert Howe

Mother- Katherine Schultz

Marital Status Married
Spouse Colleen Howe
Childern/Kids

Son(s)- Marty Howe, Mark Howe, Murray Howe

Daughters- Cathy Howe, Valencia Daniel Coleman

Siblings

Brother- Vic Howe

Sister- Helen Cummine

Gordon Howe OC (March 31, 1928 – June 10, 2016) was a Canadian professional ice hockey player. From 1946 to 1980, he played 26 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) and six seasons in the World Hockey Association (WHA); his first 25 seasons were spent with the Detroit Red Wings. Nicknamed "Mr. Hockey", Howe is often considered the most complete player to ever play the game and one of the greatest of all time. At his retirement, his 801 goals, 1,049 assists, and 1,850 total points were all NHL records that stood until they were broken by Wayne Gretzky, who himself has been a major champion of Howe's legacy. A 23-time NHL All-Star, he still holds the NHL record for seasons played, and his all-time NHL games played record of 1,767 was only surpassed in 2021 by Patrick Marleau. In 2017, Howe was named one of the "100 Greatest NHL Players".

Howe made his NHL debut with the Red Wings in 1946. He won the Art Ross Trophy for leading the league in points each year from 1950–51 to 1953–54, then again in 1956–57 and 1962–63, for a total of six times, which is the second most in NHL history. He led the NHL in goal scoring four times. He ranked among the top ten in NHL scoring for 21 consecutive years and set an NHL record for points in a season (95) in 1953, a record which was broken six years later. He won the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings four times and won six Hart Trophies as the NHL's most valuable player. He also led the NHL in playoff points six times.

Howe retired for the first time in 1971 and was immediately inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame that same year. He was then inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame the next year, but came back two years later to join his sons Mark and Marty on the Houston Aeros of the WHA. Although in his mid-40s, he scored over 100 points twice in six years, won two straight Avco World Trophies (1974 and 1975) and was named most valuable player in 1974. He made a brief return to the NHL in 1979–80, playing one season with the Hartford Whalers, then retired at age 52. His involvement with the WHA was central to their brief pre-NHL merger success, forcing the NHL to recruit European talent and expand to new markets.

Howe was most famous for his scoring prowess, physical strength and career longevity, and redefined the ideal qualities of a forward. He is the only player to have competed in the NHL in five different decades (1940s through 1980s); he also played a shift in a 1997 game for the Detroit Vipers of the IHL, playing professional hockey for a sixth decade. He became the namesake of the "Gordie Howe hat trick": a goal, an assist, and a fight in the same game, though he only recorded two such games in his career. He was the inaugural recipient of the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

Early life

Howe was born in a farmhouse in Floral, Saskatchewan, the son of Katherine (Schultz) and Albert Howe. He was one of nine siblings. When Gordie was nine days old, the Howes moved to Saskatoon, where his father worked as a labourer during the Depression. In the summers, Howe would work construction with his father. Howe was mildly dyslexic growing up, but was physically beyond his years at an early age. Already six feet tall in his mid-teens, doctors feared a calcium deficiency and encouraged him to strengthen his spine with chin-ups. He began playing organized hockey at age eight. Howe quit school during the Depression to work in construction, then left Saskatoon at 16 to pursue his hockey career.

Playing careers

Howe was an ambidextrous player, one of just a few skaters able to use the straight sticks of his era to shoot either left- or right-handed.[7] As a young teen, he played bantam hockey with the King George Athletic Club in Saskatoon, winning his first championship with them in the 1942 Saskatchewan Provincial Bantam Hockey Finals. He received his first taste of professional hockey at age 15 in 1943 when he was invited by the New York Rangers to their training camp held at "The Amphitheatre" in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He played well enough there that the Rangers wanted Howe to sign a "C" form which would have given that club his National Hockey League rights and to play that year at Notre Dame, a Catholic school in Wilcox, Saskatchewan, that was known for producing good hockey players. However, Howe did not feel that was a good fit for him and wanted to go back home to play hockey with his friends; he declined the Rangers' offer and returned to Saskatoon.

Retirement

Howe was named to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1975. In 1998, The Hockey News released their List of Top 100 NHL Players of All Time and listed Howe third overall, behind Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr. Of the list, Gretzky and Orr were quoted as regarding Howe as the greatest player. In 2000, Howe was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.

On April 10, 2007, Howe was honoured with the unveiling of a new bronze statue in Joe Louis Arena, where the West Entrance is named the "Gordie Howe Entrance" in his honour. The statue is 12 feet (3.7 m) tall and weighs about 4,500 pounds (2,000 kg). The statue contains all of Howe's stats and history. Another statue of Howe was erected in downtown Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on the corner of 20th Street and 1st Ave. He is depicted wearing a Detroit Red Wings sweater. The statue has since been relocated to the SaskTel Centre.

In February 2011, various groups proposed naming the New International Trade Crossing bridge, a proposed bridge that will connect Detroit and Windsor by linking Highway 401 in Ontario with Interstate 75 and Interstate 94 in Michigan, in honour of Howe. On May 14, 2015, during an event attended by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, it was officially announced that the bridge would be known as the Gordie Howe International Bridge.

Canadian actor Michael Shanks portrayed Howe in the television film Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story. The film aired April 28, 2013 on CBC Television in Canada, and on the Hallmark Channel in the US on May 5.

After the death of his wife Colleen Howe in 2009, Howe turned his charitable activity towards degenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's, and founded the Gordie and Colleen Howe Fund for Alzheimer's, in partnership with the University of Toronto's aging and brain health facility at Baycrest Health Sciences.

Personal life and death

Howe met his wife, Colleen, at a bowling alley when she was 17 years old, and they were married four years later on April 15, 1953. A middle school in Abbotsford, British Columbia, is named after Gordie and Colleen Howe, and a traffic bridge, campground, and football stadium are named after Gordie Howe in his hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. A hockey arena in Traverse City, Michigan is named after the onetime resident. Two of their sons, Marty and Mark, were his teammates on the WHA Houston Aeros and the New England (WHA)/Hartford (NHL) Whalers. Mark had a long NHL career, playing 16 seasons for the Hartford Whalers, the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Red Wings, and was one of the dominant two-way defencemen of the 1980s. He followed his father by being elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011. Their third son, Murray, is a radiologist in Toledo, Ohio, and only daughter, Cathy, lives in Lubbock, Texas.

Colleen Howe was one of the founders of the Detroit Junior Red Wings and represented both Gordie and Mark financially during their careers. She died in 2009 at age 76 after a long battle with Pick's disease.

Howe's younger brother, Vic Howe, also played in the NHL appearing in 33 games with the New York Rangers between 1950 and 1955. He died at age 85 in Moncton, New Brunswick on January 31, 2015.

Legacy

Howe's name and nickname, "Mr. Hockey", as well as his late wife's nickname as "Mrs. Hockey", are registered trademarks. Howe was also referred to during his career as Power, Mr. Everything, Mr. All-Star, The Most, The Great Gordie, The King of Hockey, The Legend, The Man, No. 9, and "Mr. Elbows" (for his tough physical play). Howe is widely considered the most complete player in all of hockey history. Once Howe began dominating the NHL, NHL scouts were given new directives to discover players that played the way he did. Howe's strength, scoring ability, and speed exemplified the perfect example of the modern-day role of a power forward and someone who can play the 200-foot game. Howe's brawn and physical play inspired the coining of the "Gordie Howe hat-trick"—a goal, an assist and a fight—which is now a standard part of hockey's vocabulary. Ironically, Howe himself only achieved his namesake hat-trick twice in his long career, both in the early 1950s, because few players dared to fight him after Howe soundly defeated New York Rangers enforcer Lou Fontinato at Madison Square Garden in 1959. (For comparison, the current leader in Gordie Howe hat-tricks, Rick Tocchet, achieved the feat 18 times in his career.)

Honours

  • Howe was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada on June 25, 1971. This gave him the post-nominal letters "OC" for life.
  • He was awarded the Canadian version of the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977.
  • He was the recipient of the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement in 1978.
  • He was awarded the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal in 1992.
  • The Howe family received the Wayne Gretzky International Award for major contributions to the growth and advancement of hockey in the United States in 2000.
  • He was awarded the Canadian version of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002.
  • He was awarded the Canadian version of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
  • He was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Regina in spring 1997.
  • He was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan on June 3, 2010.
  • Gordie Howe was specifically honoured by then US President Barack Obama in his speech in the House of Commons Chamber in the Parliament of Canada on June 29, 2016 when Obama stated that "as Americans, we, too, celebrate the life of Mr. Hockey himself, the late, great Gordie Howe."

Awards

Records

  • Most NHL regular season games played with a single team: 1,687
  • Most NHL and WHA regular season games played: 2,186
  • Most NHL and WHA regular season and playoff games played: 2,421
  • Most NHL and WHA goals regular season 975
  • Most NHL seasons played: 26 (tied with Chris Chelios)
  • Most NHL and WHA seasons played: 32
  • Most NHL regular season goals by a right winger: 801
  • Most NHL regular season points by a father/son combo (with son Mark): 2,592
  • Most consecutive NHL 20-goal seasons: 22 (1949–1971)
  • First player to score over 1000 goals (WHA and NHL, regular season and playoff combined)
  • First player to reach 1,500 games played in NHL history.
  • Most times leading NHL playoffs in scoring (six times)
  • Oldest player to play in NHL: 52 years, 11 days (no other player has played past the age of 48)
  • First in Red Wings history in points, goals and games played, second in assists
  • Most NHL All-Star Game appearances: 23
  • From 1961 until being surpassed by Patrick Marleau in April 2021, Howe held the record for most NHL regular season games played.