Gordie Howe played hockey for an impressive 32 years, from 1946 to 1980. His enduring career in the sport is a testament to his skill, dedication, and love for the game. Here are five supporting facts about his incredible tenure in professional hockey:
1. Professional Debut: Howe made his professional debut with the Detroit Red Wings in the 1946-1947 season, just a year after he turned 18. This marked the beginning of his illustrious career in the National Hockey League (NHL).
2. NHL Stints: Throughout his career, Howe played for the Detroit Red Wings (1946-1971, 1979-1980) and the Hartford Whalers (1977-1979). He played a major role in establishing the Red Wings as one of the most successful franchises in NHL history.
3. Six-Time MVP: Known for his exceptional skills as both a scorer and a physical player, Howe was awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player an outstanding six times. He is the only player in NHL history to have won it that many times.
4. Four Stanley Cups: Howe played a crucial role in leading the Red Wings to four Stanley Cup championships during his career. He helped the team win in 1950, 1952, 1954, and 1955, solidifying his legacy as one of the greatest players of all time.
5. WHA Years: After leaving the NHL, Howe played for the Houston Aeros in the World Hockey Association (WHA) from 1973 to 1977. His dominant performance in the WHA, even at the age of 45 and older, displayed his remarkable longevity and skills.
FAQs about Gordie Howe’s hockey career:
1. What was Gordie Howe’s most significant achievement in hockey?
Answer: One of his most significant achievements was becoming the NHL’s all-time leading scorer at the time of his retirement, with an impressive 801 goals and 1,850 total points.
2. Did Gordie Howe retire and come back to hockey?
Answer: Yes, Howe retired from professional hockey in 1971 but made a comeback in 1973 to play in the WHA. He later returned to the NHL in 1979 for one final season with the Red Wings.
3. How old was Gordie Howe when he finally retired?
Answer: Gordie Howe retired from professional hockey at the age of 52, making him the oldest player to have ever suited up in an NHL game.
4. How many games did Gordie Howe play in the NHL?
Answer: Howe played an astounding 1,767 regular-season games in the NHL, a record at the time of his retirement. He also played 157 playoff games.
5. Was Gordie Howe known for his physical style of play?
Answer: Yes, Gordie Howe was known as a “power forward” who excelled in physical play. He possessed a combination of skill, toughness, and an unmatched scoring ability, earning him the nickname “Mr. Hockey.”
6. Did Gordie Howe have any NHL records?
Answer: Yes, Gordie Howe held numerous NHL records during his career, including most games played, most consecutive seasons (26), and most seasons played (32).
7. How did Gordie Howe’s impact on the game extend beyond his playing career?
Answer: After retiring as a player, Gordie Howe continued to be involved in hockey as a coach, ambassador, and mentor to younger players. His influence on the sport and his charitable endeavors left a lasting legacy.
BOTTOM LINE: Gordie Howe’s remarkable 32-year career in professional hockey showcases his exceptional talent and love for the game. His longevity, scoring prowess, and physical play have made him an iconic figure in the history of the sport.