Gordie Howe

Gordie Howe was an iconic Canadian professional ice hockey player. He participated in 25 National Hockey League seasons.


Gordie Howe was an iconic Canadian ice hockey player who enjoyed five decades of success in the National Hockey League (NHL). Widely revered, Howe earned himself the moniker “Mr. Hockey,” due to his physical style of play that earned him one of the greatest fear among opponents. Most notable among them are his years with Detroit Red Wings from 1946 – 1971 where he set several NHL records and won four Stanley Cups as part of an unmatched streak of excellence that won four championships plus six World Championship gold medals as part of his incredible performances – cementing his place among history’s greats!

Early Life and Career

Gordie Howe was a Canadian professional ice hockey player born March 31st 1928 in Floral, Saskatchewan and often referred to as “Mr. Hockey.” Howe made over 500 NHL and WHA appearances between 1946-1971 (first with his sons Mark and Marty playing along side him); from 1973-1977 with Houston Aeros of World Hockey Association; also playing for Detroit Red Wings from 1946 to 1971 and again between 1973 and 1980 with son Marty playing alongside him (see Detroit Red Wings history below for further detail). He made over 350 NHL appearances between 1946-1971 which included 173 NHL seasons during which his sons Mark and Marty also joined him (NHL and WHA respectively).

Gordie Howe began playing minor hockey at age 8 in Saskatoon before joining Galt Red Wings of Ontario Hockey Association (OHA). At 17 he made his NHL debut with Detroit Red Wings on October 16, 1945 as one of its youngest ever players – becoming one of its youngest ever to make their NHL debut! As one of hockey’s greatest players he would set numerous records during his career while winning six Hart Trophies for Most Valuable Player, six Art Ross Trophies as leading scorer and four Stanley Cups with Detroit Red Wings before being honored as Hockey Hall of Fame member & one Hundred Greatest NHL Players by The Hockey News in 1998!

Legacy and Accomplishments

Gordie Howe, commonly referred to as “Mr. Hockey”, is widely considered one of the greatest NHL players ever. Over five decades, he played 32 seasons and amassed an extraordinary list of accomplishments and awards that continue to stand today.

At his retirement in 1980, Howe held virtually every major NHL scoring record including most goals (801), assists (1049) and points (1850). In addition to his on-ice success – 23 All Star selections and 4 Stanley Cup championships with Detroit Red Wings – Howe was known for his physical style of play and toughness – even known to engage opponents in physical fights from time to time!

Gordie Howe made history when he became the first player in NHL history to be honored with induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame upon retirement instead of waiting the mandatory three years posthumously. This reflects just how highly respected he was by both peers and hockey enthusiasts across generations; today many still remember him fondly as “Mr. Hockey”.

Personal Life and Family

Howe married Colleen Joffa in 1953 and had four children together: Marty, Mark, Cathy and Murray. Additionally he had nine grandchildren that he often took out to lunch after games or brought on trips when traveling for work – this made Gordie even more beloved off the ice than on it.

Gordie Howe found great enjoyment playing golf and gardening alongside his wife Colleen for over 50 years until her untimely passing in 2009 at age 76 due to complications from a stroke. Following Colleen’s passing, Gordie received an outpouring of love from all corners of hockey as fans remembered their life together.

Gordie Howe will always be remembered as one of hockey’s greats; but, more than that, his legacy should also include being one of unwavering loyalty to his family throughout their lives.

Retirement and Health Struggles

Gordie Howe is widely considered one of the greatest hockey players of all time and retired from professional hockey in 1980 as an accomplished veteran having amassed six Stanley Cups and four Hart Trophies (Best MVP Award).

Howe’s retirement wasn’t smooth sailing, however; he suffered several health issues which complicated his life post-retirement. In 1997, Howe underwent multiple surgical procedures to remove a tumor on his spine and repair damage caused by stroke; furthermore, in later years, Howe battled dementia.

Howe continued his involvement in hockey despite health struggles until his passing at 88 in 2016. He regularly attended Detroit Red Wings games until 2013, making public appearances and attending public functions to maintain his legacy in hockey fans worldwide.

Posthumous Honors and Tributes

Gordie Howe was posthumously recognized for his extraordinary achievements in 2016. Since his passing away at age 88 in 2016, numerous tributes to Howe have come pouring in from throughout hockey.

The NHL established an award in his name: the Gordie Howe Award – to recognize his exceptional dedication to hockey through skill, sportsmanship, leadership on and off the ice, as well as to Little Caesars Arena in Detroit Michigan where Howe had played 25 seasons for Red Wings.

Furthermore, an outdoor bronze statue commemorating Howe has also been placed outside.

As part of their 2017 celebrations of Canada’s 150th anniversary, The Canadian Mint issued a commemorative coin featuring Howe as part of its 2017 festivities. It features him skating away from two opponents while including six stars for each Stanley Cup that Red Wings won while Howe was there.

Hockey Canada honored Gordie Howe with induction into their Hall of Fame in 2020 in recognition of his numerous contributions to Canadian hockey. Howe’s legacy lives on through various memorial funds established in his name such as “The Gordie & Colleen Howe Fund for Alzheimer’s Research” which his family established after he was diagnosed with dementia shortly before passing.

Gordie Howe will always be remembered fondly by fans around the globe as one of their own; these posthumous honors serve as poignant reminders.

Records and Statistics

Gordie Howe stands as one of the greatest hockey players ever, as evidenced by his records and statistics. Over 26 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL), Howe scored 801 goals and 1049 assists for 1850 points; in addition, his 2359 penalty minutes put him among only a select group who have amassed this many penalties. Howe won four Stanley Cups with Detroit Red Wings as well as six Hart Trophies as most valuable player as well as Art Ross Trophies as leading scorer.

Furthermore, Howe continued playing until age 52- becoming oldest player ever ever ever in an NHL game!

Howe led his team to 25 division titles and seven regular season championships during his career. He set numerous NHL records during this time, such as most games played (1767) and seasons played (26). Howe also holds several playoff records such as most points (348) and games played (176). On top of setting individual records, Howe also led his teams to some of their finest years ever: 1954 to 1956 saw Howe help lead Detroit Red Wings win three Stanley Cups!
Gordie Howe’s accomplishments speak for themselves; his records and statistics speak volumes. An incredible athlete, Gordie Howe ruled hockey for more than two decades as one of its greats ever. His legacy will live on as one of history’s finest hockey players ever.

Popular Culture References

Over Gordie Howe’s four-decade career with Detroit Red Wings he won six Stanley Cup championships and two Hart Trophies for MVP award. Howe has left an impactful legacy that lives on today, from movies and books to songs and popular culture references. His life was immortalized in 2002 movie Mystery Alaska as an important figure who featured Howe as his jersey number (9). There have also been multiple books written about Howe’s life and career, such as Roy MacGregor’s Gordie: A Hockey Legend which explores Howe’s early years playing hockey in Saskatchewan before beginning his NHL career. Rush, a Canadian rock band, released a song based on an old tale about Howe racing cars during his tenure with the Red Wings – this popular culture reference demonstrates Howe’s lasting effect on hockey and those who followed it.


Gordie Howe will always be remembered fondly as one of the greats in hockey, leaving an indelible mark upon our sport and our culture as a whole. An inspiring player and leader, Gordie revolutionized hockey while setting an exemplary standard of excellence across every aspect of life he touched. His drive and determination to achieve all that was in him are an inspiration to us all, no matter our individual goals may be.

Gordie Howe was revered as “Mr. Hockey”, and it is easy to understand why. A master of his craft and one of the greatest hockey players ever to grace the ice, Gordie set records that may never be broken again. Beyond just hockey however, Howe demonstrated how important dedication and hard work are in attaining success; his example should serve as motivation to any aspiring individual seeking excellence in any endeavor they undertake.

Gordie Howe brought joy and inspiration to millions around the globe during his remarkable hockey career, captivating fans everywhere with his extraordinary skill and love for the game. He truly epitomised what it meant to be a champion both on and off the ice – making him an icon in Canadian sports history as well as globally. Even after retiring in 1980 from professional hockey, Howe continued making appearances at charity events while remaining engaged with hockey he so ardently loved.

Gordie Howe made an indelible mark on hockey that will remain part of its culture for years to come; his skillful play transformed our view and appreciation of this beloved game, inspiring generations with his skillful on-ice skills while positively influencing them through off-ice interactions and positive attitude off the ice. No other athlete has left such an impactful imprint upon their sport like Gordie Howe has on hockey; his legacy will always remain part of its rich history and heritage.

Gordie Howe made innumerable contributions throughout his legendary career that will inspire future generations as players and people. Few athletes have managed to do that so far; and it remains true: Mr Hockey’s legacy will surely live on!

Frequently asked questions

Who was Gordie Howe?

Gordie Howe was a Canadian professional ice hockey player. Known as “Mr. Hockey”, Howe earned 26 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) and six in World Hockey Association (WHA). Considered one of the greatest players ever, Howe earned six Hart Trophies as NHL most valuable player and six Art Ross Trophies as leading scorer during his career; four Stanley Cup championship teams included him, plus was inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972.

What is the "Gordie Howe hat trick"?

The Gordie Howe Hat Trick refers to when a hockey player scores a goal, gets an assist and engages in a fight in one game – an event made famous by legendary player Gordie Howe who was known for both scoring goals and fighting hard during games. The term was named in his honor due to its association with such feats of physicality in play.

How many NHL games did Gordie Howe play in?

Gordie Howe played in 1,767 NHL games over his long and distinguished career.

When and where was Gordie Howe born?

Gordie Howe was born March 31st 1928 in Floral, Saskatchewan Canada.

What awards did Gordie Howe win throughout his career?

Gordie Howe earned numerous accolades throughout his career, such as four Stanley Cup championships with the Detroit Red Wings, six Hart Memorial Trophies as the NHL’s most valuable player, six Art Ross Trophies for leading in scoring, two Lady Byng Memorial Trophies, induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972 and inclusion as one of “100 Greatest NHL Players” by Hockey Central Magazine in 2017.

How long did Gordie Howe play professional hockey for?

Gordie Howe enjoyed an unparalleled 32 season career playing professional hockey from 1946 to 1980. Of this total timeframe, 26 were spent as part of the NHL playing for Detroit Red Wings, Hartford Whalers and Houston Aeros; plus six in World Hockey Association (WHA).

Was Gordie Howe ever inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Gordie Howe was honored with his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972 – becoming one of the very first players honored with this honour and remaining one of hockey’s most revered figures ever since.

How many NHL All-Star games did Gordie Howe play in?

Gordie Howe participated in 23 NHL All-Star games over his career. He first appeared at an All-Star game in 1947 and his last was held in 1980.

What team did Gordie Howe play for during his professional career?

Gordie Howe spent most of his professional hockey career with the Detroit Red Wings from 1946 to 1971. Additionally, he held brief stints with Houston Aeros and New England Whalers of World Hockey Association from 1973-1979.

How many years did Gordie Howe's sons, Mark and Marty, play alongside him in the NHL?

Mark and Marty Howe both played alongside their father, Gordie Howe, during one season in the NHL for Hartford Whalers during 1979-80 season.

What other sports did Gordie Howe participate in during his lifetime?

Gordie Howe was widely revered as one of the greatest ice hockey players of all time, yet also had an interest in many other sports during his life. An avid golfer and bowler competing both professionally and recreationally; also enjoying baseball by playing for several semi-professional teams in Detroit when he was young; as well as track and field events such as shot put and discus throw.

Did Gordie Howe ever set any NHL records or milestones while playing in the league?

Gordie Howe achieved several NHL records and milestones during his time in the league. He holds many individual and team records that set a standard in terms of player accomplishment and achievements in multiple decades (1940s-1980s), from most career points (1,850) and being named to 23 All-Star teams to most consecutive seasons with 20 or more goals (22!). Furthermore, Howe won six Hart Memorial Trophies as most valuable player, six Art Ross Trophies for scoring champion and four Stanley Cup championships!

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