The Hockey Hall of Fame was established in 1943 and is located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It’s a place where the best of best in the sport of hockey are spotlighted for whomever visits the facility. Players like Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Mario Lemieux and Grant Fuhr are just a few of the names that you’ll see if you ever have been or are planning on visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame. There is one player in particular that is spotlighted, that played for our very own Detroit Red Wings and deserves to have the Hall of Fame honor arguably more than any other player that ever played the game.
Gordie Howe a.k.a. ‘Mr. Hockey’ was officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on this day, back in 1972. Howe played 25 years in Detroit and currently leads the franchise all-time in games played, goals scored and total points produced. He led the league in total points on six different occasions, was the league’s best in goals scored on five different occasions and to this day still holds the record for most All-Star Game appearances with 23 (21 with Detroit). Howe was the recipient of the Hart Trophy (league MVP) six times in his illustrious NHL career and also hoisted the Stanley Cup four times.
His #9 was officially retired by the Red Wings on March 12, 1972. It now hangs for all to see in the rafters of Joe Louis Arena and will be shifted over along with six others (Nicklas Lidstrom, Steve Yzerman, Sid Abel, Terry Sawchuk, Alex Delvecchio & Ted Lindsay) to the new Little Caesars Arena once the 2017-2018 season comes around.
On June 10, 2016, tragic news shook the area of Hockeytown and many others around the world. News broke that Howe had passed away at his son, Murray Howe’s home in Ohio early that morning. No cause was immediately given for the passing of ‘Mr. Hockey’, but has since been stated as natural causes. It was a day that tugged on a lot of heartstrings. Gordie was one of those guys that people just gravitated to. If you were any opposing player during his playing days, he wasn’t the kind of guy you wanted to play against. He played the game extremely tough and you knew it if you played against him, but through it all, there wasn’t any question as to how truly nice of a human being he was on the inside.
Howe’s legacy will forever live on in the game of hockey. There will never be another one like him.
Rest in peace, Gordie.