Gordie Howe, a.k.a. Mr. Hockey, died at the age of 88. He had been in failing health for years, struggling with Alzheimer's and was debilitated after a massive stroke in October 2014. But at Gordie Howe's passing, it is worthwhile to remember his remarkable achievements and motivation to play the sport which he loved.
Howe played 32 seasons in professional hockey-- 26 seasons for the NHL and six seasons for the WHA. Howe played for the Detroit Red Wings from 1946 to 1971. As a Red Wing, Howe led the team to four Stanley Cup championships, was the NHL's MVP six times and was the league's leading scorer six times. In fact, Howe was in top ten scorers for 21 seasons. Howe retired in 1971 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of fame.
However, two years after retiring from the NHL, Howe came back in his mid 40s to join sons Mark and Marty Howe to play for the Houston Aeros in the upstart World Hockey Association. This stint was not just a marquee trick as Gordie Howe managed to rack up 100 points during his six seasons with the Aeros.
Howe briefly made a comeback in the NHL during the 1979-80 season at age 52 with the Hartford Whalers. In 1980, Howe make the starting team for his 23rd NHL All Star Game. The welcome which greeted Gordie at the All Star Game in Detroit that year was astounding.
The new International Bridge over the Detroit River between Ontario and Michigan will be named for Gordie Howe.