Yesterday, Gordie Howe, a.k.a. “Mr. Hockey,” passed away at the age of 88. Gifted on the ice and humble off it, he’s considered one of the greatest hockey players of all time.
Born in the small farming town of Floral, Saskatchewan, he put on a pair of ice skates at the age of four years. He played in an organized league and had a tryout with the NHL’s New York Rangers at age fifteen but failed to impress. A year later, a Red Wings scout discovered Gordie Howe and two years after that, in October 1946, he scored a goal in his NHL debut in what proved to be the start of one of the game’s most prolific careers.
He went on to become a 23-time All-Star, won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player six times, and led the league in scoring six times.
Over his professional career, Gordie Howe played a remarkable 2,421 games, including playoffs. He is second on the NHL’s all-time goals list with 801, behind Wayne Gretzky with 894, and fourth on the points list with 1,850.
My favorite Gordie Howe quotes…
You’ve got to love what you’re doing. If you love it, you can overcome any handicap or the soreness or all the aches and pains, and continue to play for a long, long time.
I always tell kids, you have two eyes and one mouth. Keep two open and one closed. You never learn anything if you’re the one talking.
There’s always something in the game you wish you would have done different. That’s why players improve, because they learn from what they did before. They might have been guessing before, but now they know.
You find that you have peace of mind and can enjoy yourself, get more sleep, and rest when you know that it was a one hundred percent effort that you gave—win or lose.
Age has nothing to do with it. Heck, I played until I was 52 so I could play with my sons, Mark and Marty. In fact, at 52, I was leading scorer on the team until Christmas before they benched me.
My philosophy is never start talking about ‘if,’ ‘and,’ ‘but’ or the past, because 90 percent of what follows will be negative.
Love this oldie-goldie recorded by Big Bob and The Dollars in 1963: