Hockey legend Gordie Howe dies at 88
Hockey legend Gordie Howe, affectionately known as "Mr. Hockey" and recognized as the greatest NHL player ever, died Friday. He was 88. The Detroit Red Wings made the announcement on Twitter: "Thoughts and prayers to the Howe family as Gordie How...
Hockey legend Gordie Howe, affectionately known as "Mr. Hockey" and recognized as the greatest NHL player ever, died Friday. He was 88.
The Detroit Red Wings made the announcement on Twitter: "Thoughts and prayers to the Howe family as Gordie Howe passes away at the age of 88. #9RIP."
Howe played 25 seasons with the Red Wings and helped them win four Stanley Cup championships. He holds NHL records for most games (1,767) and seasons (26). His 801 career goals rank second to Wayne Gretzky's 894.
"Today is a sad day for the Detroit Red Wings and the entire hockey world as together we mourn the loss of one of the greatest hockey players of all-time," Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch said in a statement. "The Red Wings organization and the National Hockey League would not be what they are today without Gordie Howe. There is no nickname more fitting for him than 'Mr. Hockey.' He embodied on and off the ice what it meant to be both a Red Wing and a Detroiter. He was tough, skilled, and consistently earned success at the highest level. His achievements are numerous and his accomplishments immeasurable. It is truly a blessing to have had him both in our organization and our city for so many years. He will be deeply missed."
Howe, a native of Floral, Saskatchewan, arrived with the Red Wings in 1946 as an 18-year-old, scoring in his first NHL game. After the Red Wings, Howe went on to play one more season in the NHL with the Hartford Whalers and six in the World Hockey Association.
With the WHA's Houston Aeros, Howe played alongside two of his sons, Mark and Marty, who were each beginning their professional careers.
Howe, inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972, totaled 1,850 points over 26 NHL seasons. He retired from hockey when he was 52.
Howe played 1,924 NHL games (regular season and playoffs) and 497 in the WHA.
Recent years had been challenging for Howe, who had memory loss from the early stages of dementia and suffered two strokes in October 2014.
"Gordie Howe was an incredible ambassador for the game of hockey," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "He was as fierce and competitive as they come but away from the rink he was truly engaging and personable and always enjoyed his interaction with the fans. Gordie set the standard for this franchise during the Original Six era, winning four Stanley Cups, capturing numerous awards and setting an abundance of league records. We will miss Mr. Hockey, who was the greatest Red Wing of all time. Our deepest sympathies go out to Mark, Marty, Murray, Cathy and the rest of the Howe family during this difficult time."