One of the greatest players to ever play the game of hockey, Howe spent nearly his entire career with the Detroit Red Wings, however he also helped to solidify the brand-new Hartford Whalers as a true NHL team. Howe became immensely important for two entirely different reasons for the only NHL clubs he would play for during his legendary three-decade long career.
Born in Saskatchewan in 1928, Howe is widely regarded as one of best players ever, earning the nickname “Mr. Hockey”. His records are staggering, winning four Stanley Cups with Detroit, along with six Hart Trophies and six Art Ross Trophies. Howe also captured two Avco Cup trophies while playing with the Houston Aeros of the WHA, on the same team as his sons, Mark and Marty.
Howe spent 25 seasons wearing a Red Wings’ jersey, setting franchise records in games played, goals and points, and went on to set numerous league records as well. “Mr. Hockey” owns the all-time marks for regular season games played (1,767), games played with one team (1,687), most seasons played (26), most regular season goals by a right wing (804), oldest player to play in an NHL game (52), along with countless other records.
In 1977, Gordie Howe, along with his sons, arrived in Hartford, joining the New England Whalers from Houston. He played two seasons with the WHA Whalers, and remained with the team for one season as they joined the NHL in time for the 1979-80 season. Howe, at 51 years old, skated in every game during the Whalers’ inaugural season, tallying 15 goals and helping Hartford make the playoffs.
A multi-generational icon in the game of hockey, Howe was selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972, and has had his trademark number 9 jersey retired at the Hartford Civic Center in Hartford. Howe was a charter member of the Whalers Hall of Fame in 1989.