Hockey Loses a Legend, Gordie Howe Dead at 88
The sports world has lost another great athlete that cannot be replaced. Just days after the greatest boxer ever – Muhammad Ali – passed, news broke that legendary hockey star Gordie Howe has also died.
Hockey icon Gordie Howe has died at age 88, the Detroit Red Wings confirm https://t.co/XdlVn7tQvN
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) June 10, 2016
The man known as Mr. Hockey was 88 years old.
Howe spent his final days in Toledo, Ohio, with his son, Murray. Howe had been battled dementia in his final years and even suffered a stroke as recently as 2014. He managed to recovery from the stroke, however, and was in good spirits as recently as March during his last birthday celebration.
Howe will best be known for his greatness on the ice, as he spent a remarkable 26 years in the NHL, including 25 with the Detroit Red Wings.
Red Wings owned Mike Ilitch admitted in a statement that the Detroit organization would not be where it is today without Howe’s service and stated that he would be deeply missed.
“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”.
During his time, Howe was easily regarded as the greatest hockey player that had ever lived and it wasn’t until Wayne Gretzky broke most of his records years later that the argument for greatest hockey player of all-time was worth discussing.
While many of his records have now been topped, Howe still sticks in the annals for his longevity, currently holding the records for most seasons and games played.
Howe was more than a record holder, however, as his stellar play went noticed to the tune of 23 NHL All-Star appearances and he flat out dominated in his prime, finishing inside the top-10 in league scoring for an amazing 21 consecutive years.
Better With Age?
It’s tough to see Howe was truly better with age, but his longevity in the sport was quite impressive, as he was still producing numbers deep into his 40’s.
Howe originally retired with the Red Wings back in 1971 and was such an iconic player that he was immediately named to the NHL Hall of Fame just one year later. Howe wasn’t done yet, however, as he jumped right back into the league just two years after retiring to join his sons, Mark and Marty, with the Houston Aeros of the WHA.
Howe would spend four years with the Aeros and went on to play two more years in the WHA with the New England Whalers.
Howe made one last return to the NHL in 1980, as he wrapped up a brilliant hockey career with the Hartford Whalers at 51 years old. His final NHL season allowed him to be the only hockey player ever to play in five different decades, ranging from 1940 to 180.
In addition to his long stay and many records, Howe was a NHL champion, four times hoisting the Stanley Cup trophy. He exits this world sitting in second place with career goals (801), but first place in many hockey fan’s hearts, as the NHL community has lost a brute on the ice and one of the kindest, most humble human beings off of it. Rest in peace, Mr. Hockey.
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