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NHL Legacies: Gordie Howe

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Gordie Howe

For many still, nobody within the NHL has ever matched the hockey career of Gordie Howe. This is due to an immense skill set and ability to move seamlessly across the ice. It is exciting to see how Gordie Howe’s legacy continues, and which NHL rookies show potential to follow in his footsteps. Because of this, the latest NHL odds are all the more exciting. 

He is a truly iconic player and has certainly left an impact on the NHL as well as the World Hockey Association (WHA). There have been so many pivotal moments within this legendary athlete’s career that have made him such a legendary figure.  Here is a look into the impressive career and legacy of Gordie Howe, and how he gained the nickname ‘Mr. Hockey’. 

Detroit Red Wings

Firstly, Howe was drafted to the Detroit Red Wings at the age of eighteen, and there was no doubting his immense capacity for success on the ice. This is because he played exceptionally well at fifteen during the New York Raiders’ training camp in 1943. 

Howe stood out as one of the few players who was able to use a straight stick to shoot with his left or right hand. Being ambidextrous is highly valuable in sports such as hockey, and it is one of the reasons why the Detroit Red Wings did not hesitate to recruit Howe. 

The young player stood out as an impressive scorer and as a player who was willing to fight. This determination paired with his talent allowed the Red Wings to win four Stanley Cups, and Howe was a large contributor to the franchise’s success. 

Thanks to his determination and drive, Howe played for the Red Wings for 25 seasons. He was widely recognized as a superstar among the franchise, and was named the NHL’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) six times. This remained a record until 2019. 

Houston Aeros

Following his retirement, Howe returned as a part of the Houston Aeros. The veteran player wanted to join his sons on the ice with the WHA. Howe was named the MVP in 1974, and he scored over 100 points twice in six years. Even though he was in his forties at that time, Howe continued to impress crowds and stand out for his performance on the ice. 

He won two Avco World Trophies during this time, and many have named Howe as an instrumental player in the lead up to the NHL and WHA merger. This made the NHL progress with the times, and enabled them to recruit European players with fewer consequences. 

Howe also played for the New England Whalers, who were later named the Hartford Whalers. He also played one game with the Detroit Vipers of the International Hockey League in 1997, at age 69!

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Gordie Howe Hat Trick

Among other things, Gordie Howe left a permanent impact on the world of professional hockey because of a maneuver which became known as the Gordie Howe hat trick. This is what happens when one player collects a goal, a fight, and an assist in a single game. Even though the legendary player only achieved this feat twice during his career, it became iconic nonetheless. 

Howe was one of the most iconic players on the ice because talent scouts watched him playing and began to ask others to look for rookies and players who showed a similar ability to Howe. He showed them how effective his range of talents could be on the ice, which allowed talent scouts to change their perspective and approach to finding new players. 

Records

Throughout his career, Howe was able to maintain a reputation for being well-mannered and considerate off the ice. This meant that he did not engage in discussions about his pay, and he began to earn $40,000 after scoring more than 600 goals professionally. With 1850 points in total during his career, Howe is currently fourth in the list for the NHL all-time points.

Not only did Howe stand out for his longevity, but he was able to reach an enormous number of records during his career. He played professional hockey for fifty years, with several appearances on the ice during the sixth decade. 

Legacy

Many have said that NHL player Wayne Gretzky is the next Gordie Howe, because of their similarities in talent. This can be seen by a very closely matched scoring ability as well as their ease of movement on the ice. 

Gretzky idolized Howe, and it was bittersweet for him when he broke Howe’s all-time goals record as a Los Angeles King. But Howe was there on that night, and the two were very close off the ice.

Summary

There are so many reasons why Gordie Howe remains a standout player within the NHL and WHA, that it is difficult to quantify. Thanks to a highly impressive career spanning sixty years in total, no player has such a complete list of achievements as Howe. It is exciting to see how well-rounded the latest recruits for the NHL are, and where their range of talents will take them. 

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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