On June 10 2016, Hockey has lost its greatest. Gordie Howe has passed away, aged 88, leaving behind a legacy that will never be matched. Howe started his career with the Detroit Red Wings, scoring his first of 2358 goals throughout his illustrious career, which spanned 34 years, franchises and two leagues, the National Hockey League (NHL) and the World Hockey Association (WHA). The latter of which, saw him play for the Houston Aeros in 1973, alongside his sons, Marty and fellow NHL Hall of Famer, Mark.
Mr. Hockey was the best player in the toughest era. The combo of a goal, an assist and a fight, within the same game, is dubbed the ‘Gordie Howe hat-trick’. Howe though, only had two in his entire career, Rick Tocchet has the most in NHL history, with 18.
Gordie Howe started in 1946, and fully retired in 1980, only returning for a one-off game for the IHL’s Detroit Vipers during the 97-98 season. His last all-star game was in 1980, which also just happened to be the first NHL all-star game of the game’s future greatest, then 19-year old Wayne Gretzky. Howe earned 23 all-star appearances, won four Stanley Cups with the Red Wings and two Avco World Trophiesin the WHA with the Hartford Whalers.
There may be a debate, as to who the greatest player of all-time is, but there will only ever be one Mr. Hockey. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Howe family, and all of his family, friends and fans.