Calgary, AB – The Western Hockey League is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of hockey icon and Vancouver Giants co-owner ‘Mr. Hockey’ Gordie Howe this morning.
A product of Saskatchewan and a proud Western Canadian, Howe was born in March of 1928. He was first signed by the Detroit Red Wings in 1944 and went on to play 32 seasons of professional hockey. Over a record 1,767 NHL regular season games, Howe recorded 1,850 points (801g-1,049a), earned six Hart Memorial Trophies, six Art Ross Memorial Trophies and was named an all-star an incredible 23 times. With 160 points (68g-92a) in 157 NHL playoff games, Howe also captured four Stanley Cups.
Howe was a founding co-owner of the Vancouver Giants when the franchise entered the WHL as an expansion team in 2001.
“The WHL would like to express our heartfelt condolences to the Howe family and all those ‘Mr. Hockey’ touched throughout the course of his remarkable life,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “Gordie was not only one of the greatest players to ever play the game, he was also one of the game’s greatest ambassadors. We were very fortunate to have had Gordie associated with the WHL for many years in an ownership capacity with the Vancouver Giants, and he will continue to be an inspiration for players in our system for generations to come.”
Howe was among the top five NHL scorers for 20 consecutive seasons. Howe was admitted to the Order of Canada in 1971 and in 1972, he saw his number 9 retired by the Red Wings prior to being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame later that same year. In 2008, Howe was named the inaugural recipient of the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award.
From 1973 to 1979 Howe played in the WHA for Houston and New England, racking up 508 points (174g-334a) in 419 games and two championships before returning the NHL with the Hartford Whalers for his final NHL season in 1979-80. Howe suited up in one game for the IHL’s Detroit Vipers in 1997 to become the only player to have ever played professionally in six different decades.
‘Mr. Hockey,’ Gordie Howe, was 88 years of age.