Mr. Hockey Scores #800
Gordie Howe played 25 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, retiring in 1970 as the NHL’s all-time leading goal scorer. Three years later he came out of retirement to join his two sons on the World Hockey Association’s (WHA) Houston Aeros and later New England Whalers. In 1979-80 season, Howe returned to the NHL as the now Hartford Whalers were one of four WHA teams merged into the NHL.
On February 5, 1980, at the age of 51, Howe made a dramatic return to Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena in his 23rd and final All-Star Game appearance (which coincidentally was Wayne Gretsky’s first appearance).
On February 29, 1980, Howe became the first NHL player to score 800 goals. He would finish with 801 regular season goals and 68 playoff goals in his NHL career. He was 52 when he scored his last goal in the playoffs against Montreal on an assist from his son
At the time of his retirement, Howe’s professional totals, including playoffs, for the NHL and WHA combined, were first. He finished with 2,421 games played, 1,071 goals, 1,518 assists, and 2,589 points. Later on, however, Wayne Gretzky would pass him in goals (1,072), assists (2,297), and points (3,369), but not in games played or games played with one team.
Known as Mr. Hockey, Howe was a
- 23-time NHL All-Star and 2-time WHA All-Star
- 4-time Stanley Cup champion and 2-time WHA champion
- 6-time NHL scoring champion
- 6-time NHL MVP and a WHA MVP
In 1998, he was ranked #3 on The Hockey News’ list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players, the highest-ranking right wing on the list.
He also is the namesake of the Gordie Howe Hat Trick, where a player scores a goal, records an assist, and gets in a fight all in one game – a feat Howe accomplished twice.
In May 2015, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced that a new international bridge spanning the Detroit River would be named in honor of Howe. The Gordie Howe International Bridge is set to open in 2020