The man know as "Mr. Hockey", Gordie Howe, passed away today at the ripe old age of 88. One of the greatest players to ever lace 'em up, and perhaps the most complete player ever, Howe holds numerous NHL records, including most games played (1,767) and most seasons (26). The native of Floral, SK also played six seasons in the World Hockey Association, lending much respectability and helping that "rebel" league stay afloat until four of its clubs joined the NHL in 1979.
Howe began his NHL career with the Detroit Red Wings in 1946 and played 25 seasons with the organization, scoring 786 goals and 1,809 points before his retirement after the 1970-71 season.
After two years off, Gordie came out of retirement to play four seasons with his sons Mark and Marty for the WHA's Houston Aeros. The Aeros won the Avco Cup in 1974 and 1975.
The trio of Howes joined the New England Whalers in 1977 and Gordie played two more WHA seasons before the club became the Hartford Whalers upon entering the NHL in 1979. Howe final NHL campaign saw the then 51-year-old score 15 goals and add 26 assists to finish his career with 801 goals, 1,049 assists and 1,850 points. All three numbers were the most in NHL history at the time.
In 1997, at the age of 70, Howe played one final game with the Detroit Vipers of the IHL, becoming the only human being to play professional hockey in six different decades.
Some of Howe's other notable achievements include winning four Stanley Cup championships, leading the NHL in scoring six times and winning the Hart Memorial Trophy as league MVP six times.
His impact on the game is simply immeasurable and he will be greatly missed by all.