Bizarrely, he died a few days before Father’s Day in 2016, but Gordie Howe will have achieved what no other dad has achieved in history. Not with one, but with his two sons, Mark and Marty, Gordie Howe has played in both the World Association and the National League, a true and unique dad feat.
He had played 25 years in Detroit before a well-deserved retirement that was thought to be final, but he stunned everyone two years later when he announced what appeared to be a publicity stunt. He showed how much he was an exceptional, extraordinary hockey player.
In Quebec, because we adored Maurice Richard and Jean Béliveau, we tended not to recognize the domination of Gordie, a talented and very strong, robust man, who played with an exaggeratedly short stick, but also with surprisingly Tops. Gordie Howe, more than 2,000 points and four Stanley Cups, broke his jaws and he didn’t back down from anyone.
Moreover, in his very first game in the National League, it was against Toronto, he scored a goal, collected an assist and he fought twice. The story goes that in his very first game against the Canadiens at the Forum, he “froze” Maurice Richard with a punch.
THE EXPLOIT OF A DAD
However, in the summer of 1973, after a two-year inactivity, Gordie Howe announced that he was returning to play with the WHA’s Houston Eros. A million dollar contract for 5 years and the bomb is that he will play with his two sons, Mark and Marty, two defenders signed for 600,000 dollars each, same contract length.
It seemed like a real joke, but it won’t be. Gordie made that comeback at the age of 45 and, imagine, he had a 100-point season in addition to being recognized as the league’s most valuable player, receiving the Gary Davidson Trophy. And his son Mark will be chosen rookie of the year.
We thought that the WHA was less powerful than the National League and that the Howes could not repeat the feat in the old circuit, the NHL.
Six years later, the three Howes lined up this time with the Hartford Whalers in their first season in the National League.
Then 51 years old, Papa Gordie had a season of 15 goals, 26 assists and therefore 41 points in 80 games, and he still had gas in his elbows. Sonny Mark had then begun to show that he would be a top defenseman in the circuit. He had a 16-year career in the NHL and, like a dad, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame after completing his career with the Detroit Red Wings, where his father had started 49 years earlier.
Marty, a defender like his brother, did not play 200 games in the National League and, some will remember, he was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 1974, with whom he never played.
Gordie Howe, a hockey single dad, right? Happy Father’s Day !
From the enclave
- Inevitably, the number of bike rides will surely increase in his new life. Cheer, Pierre Bruneaufor these 50 years of important communications, and I wish you many more kilometers on the track.
- Marcel Bonin is 90 years old and he is surprisingly alert on the internet. Marcel plays and searches through a bank of 18,000 photos. Phenomenal, this man who notably played with Gordie Howe, Jean Béliveau and Maurice Richard in the 1950s.
- Returning from a trip to Mexico, Dominique Ducharme is gradually recovering from the savage dismissal he suffered with the Canadiens. What a solid man and he will bounce back, coach at heart.
- Lucien Deblois, he returns from Europe. “Lu” has played 1000 professional matches. A total of 993 in the NHL and 7 in New Haven, in the American League.
- Extremely rare, Corey Perry is in his third straight appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, each time with a different team: Dallas, Montreal last year and now Tampa Bay.
- A glue for you. Against which team Tim Raines did he pass his 800e stealing a career goal? It was against the Expos. It is that Tim, in 1998, was then returned with the Yankees of New York.
- During the Series of the Century in 1972, Serge Savard was wearing jersey number 23. It was Jean Ratelle who had number 18. Guy Lapointe was number 25 because Brad Park had chosen number 5. Seniority required.
- Did you know that Vic Howe, Gordie’s brother, played 33 NHL games with the New York Rangers in the 1950s? Total of 3 goals.
- Louis-Alexandre Pitre, head professional at the Pinegrove club, received with great class the guests at the tournament for the Fondation de l’Hôpital Charles-Le Moyne, which raised no less than $300,000. What a beautiful day under the honorary presidency of Ron Fournier!
- the 42e omnium André Chalut donated $73,000 to the oncology department of the Hôpital de Joliette. Bravo, Alain and Alexandre (son and grandson), year after year!
- Renovations at the Saint-Jean-de-Matha Golf Club. We just invested 1.3 million and it’s not over, says the owner Real Salvas.