If you have had the good fortune of attending a Detroit Red Wings game, you'll see some iconic banners hanging from the rafters: The Captain, Steve Yzerman (#19), Terry Sawchuk (#1), recently retired Nick Lidstrom (#5), and most notably the Legend, Gordie Howe (#9).
Gordie played in an era where players skated around without helmets, the TV coverage was in black and white, and there were a tiny amount of teams in the league. During his time in professional hockey, Gordie Howe tallied 801 goals and 1,049 assists, bringing his total to 1,850 points. What made Gordie so special was his longevity: he played hockey until he was 52(!!) years old. Historians remember him simply as "Mr. Hockey," a nickname that is instantly connected to Gordie. He also patented the "Gordie Howe Hat Trick," which consists of a goal, an assist, and getting into a fight on the ice.
While with the Red Wings, Gordie led the franchise to four Stanley Cup titles. After his retirement, the Red Wings franchise honored him with a giant statue at the Joe Louis Arena. He has also earned a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame. Gordie is solidly in the top 10 hockey players of all time, with one publication having him just behind Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr.
Sadly, Gordie battled some declining health conditions, including a massive stroke back in 2014. Fighting as only Mr. Hockey could, Gordie made an incredible recovery and continued to live on. Sadly, Gordie Howe passed away at the age of 88 today. Hockey fan or no, Gordie Howe's name is known by almost everyone who follows athletic competition. Cheers to you Gordie, you made the Detroit Red Wings into the special organization that they are today. Just try your best not to rough anyone up while skating wherever you may be.
Rest in Peace Gordie Howe!
Thanks to Wikipedia for information on Gordie.