One of the greatest hockey players of all time has died.
Gordie Howe passed away at the age of 88.
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Howe was a legend in Detroit, winning four Stanley Cup Championships in his 25 years as a player for the Red Wings. He took the ice for the first in 1946 and would be named an NHL All-Star 23 times in his illustrious career.
After his career ended in Detroit, he landed in the World Hockey Association with the Houston Aeros.
Howe had been battling severe health issues for years, including a stroke in 2014.
Howe was a child of the Great Depression and grew up poor in Saskatchewan.
When his family moved to Saskatoon, a neighbor sold his mom a stack of used items - where he saw a pair of skates. From there, he fell in love with the game.
Howe first tried out for the New York Rangers at the age of 15 but didn't get a deal. The next year, the Detroit Red Wings signed the then 17-year-old to a contract.
In 1946, he made is debut in Detroit and scored his first goal in his very first game.
The legend was born.
He would be with the Wings until 1971.
In his 25 years on the 'production line', he collected 4 Stanley Cups, 6 Art Ross Trophies (most points), and 6 Hart Memorial Trophies (MVP).
At the age of 41, he posted a career high of 103 points with 44 goals and 59 assists.
At the age of 43, he retired from the Red Wings in 1971 and held records for most goals, most assists, total points, and most games played.
He was immediately inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The Gordie Howe Hat Trick
Gordie Howe was one of the toughest guys in sports. He proved his toughness every day on the ice and, in doing so, created the Gordie How hat Trick.
That's a goal, an assist, and a fight.
Post Red Wings
When his two sons were signed to the Houston Aeros of the WHA in 1973, Mr. Hockey wanted in. When he signed with the team, he scored 100 points and won the WHA championship and MVP.
He bounced around the WHA and ended up with the New England Whalers. When the NHL and WHA merged, they became the Hartford Whalers and he was back in the NHL for one final season.
He was 51.
In 1997, he returned to the ice to play one shift for the IHL Detroit Vipers, becoming the first pro player to play in 6 decades.
Today, Howe is remembered with a 12 foot tall bronze statue at Joe Louis Arena and a statue in Saskatoon.
Ted Lindsay released this statement:
“I was very sad to learn today of the passing of my longtime teammate, and friend, Gordie Howe. Gordie really was the greatest hockey player who ever lived.
"I was fortunate to play with Gordie for 12 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings and I’ve known him for over 70 years. He could do it all in the game to help his team, both offensively and defensively. He earned everything that he accomplished on the ice.
“Beyond hockey, Colleen and his family meant everything to him. Gordie was larger than life, and he was someone who I thought would live forever. My wife Joanne and I extend our condolences to Gordie’s children — Cathleen, Mark, Marty and Murray — and his entire family and many friends during this time.”