WASHINGTON: Canadian ice hockey legend Gordie Howe, a Hall of Famer known as “Mr. Hockey” and a four-time Stanley Cup winner with the Detroit Red Wings, died Friday, the team said. He was 88.
Howe spent a quarter-century with the Red Wings in the National Hockey League, six more seasons playing alongside sons Mark and Marty in the rival World Hockey Association and a final campaign back in the NHL with the Hartford Whalers at age 52.
The Red Wings announced Howe´s passing on Twitter with a photo and the message: “Thank You Mr. Hockey 1928-2016.”
Most of the NHL´s scoring records were owned by Howe, whose first NHL game was in 1946 and last came in 1980, until broken by Wayne Gretzky, whose boyhood idol was Howe.
Ice hockey fans refer to a player with a goal, an assist and a fight in the same game as having a “Gordie Howe” hat trick.
A bronze statue of Howe stands in front of the Red Wings´ home, the Joe Louis Arena.
In a record 1,767 NHL games, Howe scored 801 goals, assisted on 1,049 others and accumulated 1,685 penalty minutes.
Howe led the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup championship in 1950, 1952, 1954 and 1955.
He won the Art Ross trophy as the NHL´s top point producer six times between 1951 and 1963 and the Hart Trophy as the NHL´s Most Valuable Player six times from 1952 to 1963.
The Red Wings and the Whalers, who are now the Carolina Hurricanes, retired Howe´s jersey number, nine, and Howe was enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972.