Saturday, March 15, 2014

Gordie Howe Signs With Syracuse Crunch

On March 14, 1997, that a 68-year-old Gordie Howe signed a contract with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch.  He was attempting to become the first player to play professional hockey in six consecutive decades.

The Syracuse Crunch of the AHL's jersey.
Unfortunately, Howe’s comeback had to be canceled because the Crunch were in the playoff hunt and could not afford to sacrifice a roster spot for a player that they felt could put them at a disadvantage. 

Later on that year, he would get his chance to accomplish the milestone, stepping onto the ice for one shift as a member of the IHL’s Detroit Vipers.

Godie Howe (right) at 68-years-old became the oldest player to suit up for a professional hockey team, and became the first player to suit up in six consecutive decades.

Strangely enough, the significance of this day for Howe goes beyond just his contract with the Syracuse Crunch.  He also became just the second NHL player to score 500 goals on March 14, 1962. 

It was just another one of the many milestones Howe reached during his incredibly long professional hockey career.

Howe set several marks of longevity in the NHL, playing in a record 1,767 regular season games over 26 years spanning an incredible five decades.

Gordie also held the records for most goals, assists and points in a career until Wayne Gretzky came along and broke them all.

Howe won four Stanley Cups, six Art Ross trophies and six Hart trophies as the league’s MVP.
Howe is often referred to as Mr. Hockey, and is generally regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time.