Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Gordie Howe made his NHL debut in 1946 at the age of 18, playing right wing for the Detroit Red Wings. He quickly established himself as a great goal scorer and a gifted playmaker. Using his great physical strength, he was able to dominate the opposition in a career that spanned five decades. In a feat unsurpassed by any athlete, in any sport, Gordie Howe finished in the top 5 in scoring for 20 straight seasons.
Howe led Detroit to four Stanley Cups. During this time his line-mates, Sid Abel and Ted Lindsay, and Howe were known collectively as "The Production Line", both for their scoring and as an allusion to Detroit auto factories. The Red Wings were consistenly contenders throughout the 1950s and early 1960s but began to slump in the late 1960s.
After 25 years, a wrist problem forced him to retire, and take a job in the Red Wings front Office. However, a year later he was offered a contract to play with the Houston Aeros of the newly formed World Hockey Association. An operation to improve his wrist made a return to ice hockey possible and he led his new team to consecutive championships. In 1974, at the age of 46, Gordie Howe was selected as the WHA's most valuable player.
When the WHA merged with the NHL in 1979, the 51-year-old Howe signed with the Hartford Whalers for one final season, competing in all 80 games of the schedule. Another milestone in a remarkable career was reached in 1997 when Gordie Howe played professional hockey in a sixth decade. He was signed to a one-game contract by the Detroit Vipers of the International Hockey League and, almost 70 years old, made a stirring return to the ice for one shift.
His most productive seasons came during an era when scoring was difficult and checking was tight, yet Gordie Howe ranks third in NHL history with 1,850 total points made up of 801 goals and 1,049 assists. Careerwise, when his goals and assists from both the NHL and the WHA are combined, he ranks first in goals with 975. Howe would also become good friends with Wayne Gretzky, who had idolised Howe as a young player, and who would later break many of Howe's scoring records and milestones.
Howe has been married to Colleen Joffa since April 15, 1953; two of their sons, Marty and Mark, were his teammates on the Houston Aeros and the Hartford Whalers. Colleen is the founder of the Detroit Junior Red Wings, the first junior hockey team in the U.S.
- Art Ross Memorial Trophy - 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1957, 1963
- Hart Memorial Trophy - 1952, 1953, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1963.
- Lester B. Patrick Award - 1967
- Made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1971.
- Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972.
- Played in the NHL All-Star Game 23 times.
- Gary Davidson Trophy - 1974
- Played in the WHA All-Star Game 2 times.
- Most NHL goals (801), broken by Wayne Gretzky
- Most NHL points (1,850), broken by Wayne Gretzky
- Most NHL games played (1,767)
- Most career goals (975)
- Most seasons played (26)
- Most career assists by a right winger (1,049)
- Most career points by a right winger (1,850)
- 2nd in NHL all-time goals (801)
- 3rd in NHL all-time points (1,850)
- 7th in NHL all-time assists (1,049)
|1946-47||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||58||7||15||22||52||5||0||0||0||18|
|1947-48||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||60||16||28||44||63||10||1||1||2||11|
|1948-49||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||40||12||25||37||57||11||8||3||11||19|
|1949-50||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||70||35||33||68||69||1||0||0||0||7|
|1950-51||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||70||43||43||86||74||6||4||3||7||4|
|1951-52||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||70||47||39||86||78||8||2||5||7||2|
|1952-53||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||70||49||46||95||57||6||2||5||7||2|
|1953-54||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||70||33||48||81||109||12||4||5||9||31|
|1954-55||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||64||29||33||62||68||11||9||11||20||24|
|1955-56||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||70||38||41||79||100||10||3||9||12||8|
|1956-57||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||70||44||45||89||72||5||2||5||7||6|
|1957-58||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||64||33||44||77||40||4||1||1||2||0|
|1958-59||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||70||32||46||78||57||--||--||--||--||--|
|1959-60||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||70||28||45||73||46||6||1||5||6||4|
|1960-61||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||64||23||49||72||30||11||4||11||15||10|
|1961-62||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||70||33||44||77||54||--||--||--||--||--|
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|1963-64||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||69||26||47||73||70||14||9||10||19||16|
|1964-65||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||70||29||47||76||104||7||4||2||6||20|
|1965-66||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||70||29||46||75||83||12||4||6||10||12|
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|1967-68||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||74||39||43||82||53||--||--||--||--||--|
|1968-69||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||76||44||59||103||58||--||--||--||--||--|
|1969-70||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||76||31||40||71||58||4||2||0||2||2|
|1970-71||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||63||23||29||52||38||--||--||--||--||--|
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|1978-79||New England Whalers||WHA||58||19||24||43||51||10||3||1||4||4|
- Bart Simpson used a picture of Howe as part of a practical joke he pulls on Mrs. Krabappel in The Simpsons episode "Bart the Lover."
- A member of 11 different Hall of Fames.
- His name and nickname, as well as his wife's nickname, Mrs. Hockey, are registered trademarks.
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