Gordie Howe Statistics, Awards: 5 Fast Facts You Need To Know

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Gordie Howe receives the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 (Getty)

Gordie Howe, the hockey legend who became so important to the sport that he earned the nickname Mr. Hockey, died today at age 88. Howe made his debut with the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL in 1946 and remained with the team until he first retired in 1971. He then made a comeback, playing for the World Hockey Association (WHA) and then returning to the NHL for his final season with the Hartford Whalers. He played his final game NHL game when he was 52.

Howe, who was born in Saskatchewan, still holds NHL records. Here’s a look at some of his best numbers.

1. Scored Over 800 Goals in His Career

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Gordie Howe signs autographs in 2007 (Getty)

During Howe‘s 25 years with the Red Wings, he scored 786 goals and added another 15 during his single season with the Whalers in the NHL. His NHL total was 801. HE also scored 174 goals during his years in the WHA.

The only other player in NHL history to score over 800 goals is Wayne Gretzky, who has 894. Jaromir Jagr, who is behind Howe and Gretzky, has ‘only’ 749.

2. Howe Has a Feat Named After Him: the Gordie Howe Hat Trick

Howe has a unique feat named after him, the Gordie Howe Hat Trick. This involves a player getting a goal, an assist and into a fight in the same game. Howe was in 22 fights during his NHL career, but he doesn’t actually have the most Gordie Howe Hat Tricks. That distinction belongs to Rick Tochet, who had 18 in his career. Howe himself only scored two Gordie Howe Hat Tricks.

One recent Gordie Howe Hat Trick was completed by San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns during a game against the Calgary Flames in March. He scored a goal during the game, had an assist in overtime and also got into a fight with Flames forward Garnet Hathaway.

3. Holds Records for Most Regular Season Games Played and All-Star Appearances

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Goride Howe statue at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit (Getty)

Howe’s incredible longevity in the sport guarantees that many of his records will be unbreakable. He holds the record for most regular season games games played at 1,767 in the NHL. He is also tied with Chris Chelios for most NHL seasons at 26. He does have the record for most combined NHL/WHA seasons at 32.

Howe also has the record for most NHL All-Star Game appearances with 23. He made his first appearance at the 1948 game and appeared in every single one between 1948 and 1971. He also made it to the All-Star Game in 1980.

4. Named MVP Six Times

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Goride Howe in 2012 (Getty)

Howe was named the MVP six times during his tenure with the Red Wings for the seasons 1951-52, 1952-53, 1956-57, 1957-58, 1959-60 and 1962-63. He also received the Lester Patrick Trophy after the 1966-67 season, the Art Ross Trophy for most points in a season six times and the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. Howe was also won the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings four times.

His number 9 is retired by the Red Wings and the Carolina Hurricanes, the franchise formerly known as the Whalers. The AHL Houston Aereos, who took their name from the original name for the Whalers, also retired Howe’s number. The Aereos are now the Iowa Wild.

5. Played in the NHL While Already in the Hall of Fame

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Gordie Howe with son Mark Howe in 2011 (Getty)

The Hockey Hall of Fame wasted no time inducting Howe into the Hockey Hall of Fame. In fact, he was inducted in 1972, right after he retired for the first time. Of course, Howe wasn’t really done. He came back to the ice with the Aeros in the WHA in 1973 and then played in the NHL in 1979-80.

The entire Howe family, including his sons Mark and Marty, and his wife Colleen Howe, are Honored Members of The World Hockey Association Hall of Fame as a family and individually.

Howe was only 18 when he started playing in the NHL. He was 52 when he retired and remains the only player to play in five decades. While Gretzky may have topped some of his records, Mr. Hockey will still be in the record books.