Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Red Wings Retire Howe's Jersey

On March 12, 1972, that Gordie Howe had his no. 9 jersey retired by the Detroit Red Wings. 

Gordie Howe in the late 2000s at a Detroit Red Wings press conference.

Howe would return to playing a couple years later for the Houston Aeros of the newly formed WHA.  After the WHA went bust in 1979,  “Mr. Hockey” would return for one more year in the NHL with the Hartford Whalers.

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. 

Gordie Howe in 1968 with the Detroit Red Wings.
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.

Howe is most famous for his scoring prowess, physical strength, and career longevity. He is the only player to have competed in the NHL in five different decades (1940s through 1980s). A four-time Stanley Cup champion with the Red Wings, he won six Hart Trophies as the league's most valuable player and six Art Ross Trophies as the leading scorer. He was the inaugural recipient of the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

Howe's name and nickname, "Mr. Hockey," as well as his wife's nickname as "Mrs. Hockey," are registered trademarks.

During his NHL career Howe scored 801 regular season goals and 1048 assists totaling 1850 points 1767 games. In the playoffs Howe would score 68 goals and 92 assists for 160 total points in 157 games. 

In 1998, The Hockey News released their List of Top 100 NHL Players of All Time and listed Howe third overall, ahead of Mario Lemieux, but behind Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr. Of the list, Orr was quoted as regarding Howe as the greatest player.

On April 10, 2007, Howe was honored with the unveiling of a new bronze statue in Joe Louis Arena. The statue is 12 feet tall and weighs about 4,500 pounds. The man who was commissioned to create the art was Omri Amrany. The statue contains all of Howe's stats and history. Another statue of Howe was erected in downtown Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on the corner of 20th Street and 1st Ave. He is depicted wearing a Detroit Red Wings sweater. The statue has since been relocated to the Credit Union Centre.

In February 2011, various groups have proposed naming the Detroit River International Crossing bridge, a proposed bridge that will connect Detroit and Windsor by linking Highway 401 in Ontario with Interstate 75 and Interstate 94 in Michigan, in honor of Gordie Howe. Gordie Howe is a prime choice, because he is a native Canadian and his long affiliation with Detroit. This name is backed by Canadian politicians and Michigan governor Rick Snyder.