While the 2021 NHL entry draft isn't viewed as being as deep as the 2020 class, as with Alexis Lafreniere last season, there appears to be a consensus No. 1 - Michigan's Owen Power. The Wolverines freshman defenceman didn't look out of place playing with the men at the IIHF world championship, winning a gold medal skating for Canada, playing in the top defensive pairing. Power is almost certainly going to the Buffalo Sabres.
Gordie Howe Tribute
Howe is regarded by most fans and pundits as the most complete player to play the game. His combination of skill, toughness, and leadership led him to accumulate bounties of awards including four Stanley Cup championships, six Hart Trophies as the league’s most valuable player, six Art Ross Trophies as the league’s leading scorer, and 18 National Hockey League All-Star teams.
Gordie Howe's Career
Hailing from Floral, Saskatchewan, Howe rose to prominence as an ambidextrous teenager and helped lead his hometown team, the King George Athletic Club to a championship. He then received his first taste of pro action when he was invited by the New York Rangers as a 15-year-old to their training camp in Manitoba. The Rangers were so impressed they offered to gain rights to Howe but he declined their offer.
Howe debuted in pro hockey in 1945 playing for the Omaha Knights of the USHL. A year later, he went to the NHL to play for the Detroit Red Wings. He won his first Stanley Cup in 1950, played his first of 23 all-star games in 1948 and his first Hart Trophy in 1952.
Gordie Howe Hat Trick
Howe was the most feared man on the ice both for his scoring prowess and physicality. He indirectly produced the term, “Gordie Howe Hat Trick”, which stood for each time a player scored a goal, an assist and got into a fight. The irony is Howe only ever had two career Gordie Howe Hat Tricks in his career but it perfectly epitomized his influence as a player.
But perhaps Howe’s most impressive attribute is his longevity. Despite his rough and physical way of playing, a career in which he racked up 2,084 penalties in minutes (PIM), Howe played over 30 years of professional hockey. At the age of 41, Howe recorded his career-high in single-season points with 103. Two years later, he retired from the NHL and joined his sons with the Houston Aeros at the WHA. Despite being in his mid-forties, Howe still managed to score over 100 points twice. He played his last season in the NHL with the Hartford Whalers in 1980.
Gordie Howe Stats
- 1,850 career NHL points (fourth most all-time)
- 1,767 career NHL games played (most all-time)
- 22 consecutive NHL seasons with 20 or more goals (most all-time)
- 23 NHL All-Star game appearances (most all-time)
- Oldest player to play an NHL game at 52 years, 11 days
Howe became the first and only player to play professional hockey in five different decades (from the 1940s to the 1980s). He was the original recipient of the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award and was awarded the Order of Canada by the Government General of Canada. The Gordie Howe International Bridge scheduled to open in 2020 was named after him after a joint venture by Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper and Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder in 2015.
Younger generations today may not be too familiar with Mr. Hockey but his legacy will be forever remembered and in the near hundred years of the NHL, there won’t be another Gordie Howe.
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