Gordie Howe was one
of the most prolific scorers in history. He was born Gordon Howe in
Floral, Saskatchewan. One of hockey's finest players, he had a remarkably
long playing career that lasted from 1945 to 1980. He played for the Omaha
Knights of the United States Hockey League during the 1945-46 season.
Howe then joined the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League (NHL)
and starred with the team from 1946 to 1971. After two years of
retirement, he joined the Houston Aeros of the World Hockey Association (WHA)
in 1973. In 1977 Howe began playing for the New England Whalers of the WHA.
He remained with the team until 1980, by which time the franchise had
moved to Hartford, Connecticut, and joined the NHL.
Howe, who played the right wing position, won six NHL scoring titles
(1951-1954, 1957, 1963) and was named most valuable player (MVP) of the
NHL six times (1952, 1953, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1963). He retired in 1980, at
the age of 52, as the NHL leader in career goals scored, with 801. Howe
now ranks second only to Canadian hockey player Wayne Gretzky on the NHL
career list for career goals and total points, with 1,850.
As members of the Eastern Division of the WHA during the 1970s, the
Whalers earned three division titles and one league championship. From
1977 to 1980 right wing Gordie Howe and two of his sons, Mark and Marty
Howe, both defensemen, played for the Whalers. In the 1980s and 1990s
Hartford qualified for the NHL playoffs for seven consecutive seasons with
lineups starring center Ron Francis and goalie Mike Liut.
Combining his NHL and WHA statistics, Howe accumulated 975 goals and 1,383
assists, for a total of 2,358 points in professional top-level
competition. Only Gretzky accumulated more. Howe also ranks among the
leaders in career Stanley Cup playoff goals, assists, and points. He was
inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972.