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Happy birthday to Mr. Hockey

Legendary Red Wings forward Gordie Howe turns 86 on Monday

Monday, 03.31.2014 / 12:26 PM ET / News
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Happy birthday to Mr. Hockey
Longtime friends Gordie Howe and Bill Gadsby share a moment at the unveiling of Mr. Hockey's stature inside Joe Louis Arena. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

Gordie Howe, the legendary Mr. Hockey, celebrates his 86th birthday Monday.

Born March 31, 1928 in Floral, Saskatchewan, Howe has been part of the hockey universe since his debut with the Red Wings on Oct. 16, 1946.

The numbers that surround Howe's career have reached iconic status. His 801 goals and 1,850 points when he retired in 1980 were NHL standards; he still ranks second to Wayne Gretzky and in goals, and third, behind Gretzky and Mark Messier, in points.

Howe played 26 seasons in the NHL, all but one with the Red Wings. He's the only player in NHL history to play in five decades, and his 1,767 games remains the most in League history. His 1,685 penalty minutes are a testament to the toughness he played with.

He won the Hart Trophy six times, the Art Ross Trophy six times, the Stanley Cup four times and skated in 23 NHL All-Star Games. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972, won the Lester Patrick Award for contributions to hockey in the United States in 1967 and was honored with the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.

Howe initially retired in 1971, but was away from the game for two seasons, returning in 1973 to play in the World Hockey Association. He spent six seasons in the WHA, with the Houston Aeros and New England Whalers, and his teammates were sons Mark Howe and Marty Howe.

The Whalers were absorbed into the NHL prior to the 1979-80 season; that was Gordie's final season, and at age 51 he had 15 goals and 41 points in 80 games.

Gordie's longtime teammate, friend and fellow Hall of Fame member Bill Gadsby, best summarized Howe's career: "He was not only the greatest hockey player I've ever seen, but also the greatest athlete."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80