TBT: Gordie, Mark, and Marty Howe play against the Red Wings

On this day in 1980, Mr. Hockey himself Gordie Howe returned to the city for whom he had played for over 25 years – this time as a member of the Hartford Whalers.

The Whalers had a date with the Detroit Red Wings at the brand new Joe Louis Arena. In addition to Gordie, the Hartford lineup also featured Howe’s two sons, Mark and Marty. Fittingly, the Howe trio would start the game on the same line and take the opening faceoff.

The Howe’s and the Whalers went on to win that game by a core of 6-4, snapping a nine-game winless streak in the process. Mark Howe recorded two assists in the game. He still has great memories of that very day and what it was like playing along side family against the team that Gordie made a name with.

“I do remember trying to do something to get Dad a point in that game,” he said. “On this occasion, I specifically remember trying to look for my Dad, which was so out of character for me.”

“Obviously, I do remember that you have a little more adrenaline in you. The personal thing of it all, I knew how important it was to Dad. It was a game, it was important, but let’s get through the first shift. I was focused on getting through the distraction of trying to appreciate it for my Dad.”

Gordie would later return to Detroit to participate in the 23rd NHL All-Star game, where he received a thunderous standing ovation.

Written by Michael Whitaker

Always at the front lines of Detroit Sports.

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