By: Brenna Carberry
Gordie Howe, the talented and tough hockey great who set scoring records that stood for decades, has died. The man who will forever be known as 'Mr. Hockey' was 88 years old.
His passing is not only a loss for the Detroit Red Wings, but for the entire sport of hockey. Chicago Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz today released the following statement on the passing of hockey legend Gordie Howe:
“The Chicago Blackhawks offer their heartfelt condolences to Gordie’s family and the entire Detroit Red Wings organization. There is no greater rivalry in hockey than the one between the Red Wings and the Blackhawks, and Gordie was a large part of that. The relationship between our family and Gordie is three generations long, and we are grateful for what he gave to our organization, the National Hockey League and the sport of hockey. There’s a reason why he is called “Mr. Hockey,” because of what he did for the game, and we stand with the entire sports world in mourning his loss.”
Renowned as one of the best hockey players of all time, Howe's blend of talent and grit helped him win four Stanley Cup trophies with the Detroit Red Wings, six Hart Trophies as NHL MVP, and six Ross Trophies as the league's top scorer. The Hockey Hall of Famer spent 32 seasons playing professional hockey - 25 with the Red Wings - and set NHL marks with 801 goals and 1,850 points that held up until Gretzky came along.
He was both a finesse player and a brutal fighter on the ice, using his magnificent slap shot or throwing elbows to get even with opponents. He was so famously fierce that a "Gordie Howe Hat Trick" became synonymous with the combination of having a goal, an assist and a fight in one game.
Howe's legendary NHL career ended in 1980 at the age of 52. His name sits at the top of lists of hockey greats alongside players like Bobby Orr, Maurice Richard, Mario Lemieux, Guy Lafleur, Bobby Hull and Gretzky. Howe's impact on the game of hockey can be seen both on and off the ice, as his entrance into the NHL helped convert the sport from a Canadian game into a North American game.
Take a look at some of Mr. Hockey's legendary career facts:
• Born March 31, 1928
• Career numbers:
o 1767 games played (most all-time)
o 801 goals (2nd all-time)
o 1049 assists (9th all-time)
o 1850 points (4th all-time)
• Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972
• Playoff Career:
o 157 games played
o 68 goals
o 92 assists
o 160 points
• Known as "Mr. Hockey"
• Won 4 Stanley Cups with Red Wings (1950, 1952, 1954, 1955)
• Won 6 Hart Trophies (2nd all-time) and 6 Art Ross Trophies (T-2nd all-time)
• Played in a record 23 All-Star games
• 22 seasons with 20+ goals (most all-time)
• Played 25 seasons for Detroit Red Wings from 1946 (age 18) to 1971 (age 43)
• Played in WHA from 1973 to 1979 (Houston Aeros & New England Whalers)
• Returned to NHL for the 1979-80 season at age 51 (finished at age 52). Tallied 41 points and 15 goals that season for the Hartford Whalers. He is still the oldest player to play in the NHL, playing his final game at age 52 and 11 days old.
o Began career during Harry Truman administration and retired for good during Jimmy Carter's. Only player to play in 5 different decades.
• Ironically, Howe only recorded a “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” twice in his career
o A “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” includes a goal, an assist and a fight in the same game