There is a popular though informal variation of the hat trick, known as the "Gordie Howe hat trick" That is accomplished when a player scores one goal, one assist and gets into one fight, all in the same game.
The origins of the name "Gordie Howe hat trick" remain a mystery, but it appears to be a way of honouring the great Howe. The term seems to have originated long after Howe retired.
Howe was so proficient at every aspect of the game, be it goal scoring, play making or physical play, that the rare goal-assist-fight combo was given his name in tribute.
However legend has it that only on one occasion did Gordie Howe score a Gordie Howe hat trick. That came on December 22nd 1955 against the Boston Bruins. When FHM Magazine asked him how many he had, Howe replied "Quite a few. I had a temper."
According to the December 4th, 2007 issue of The Hockey News no statistics were ever kept on all time Gordie Howe hat tricks up until the 1996-97 season. The only way to determine how many tricks "Mr. Hockey" actually had would be to comb through about 2200 NHL/WHA game summaries in search of the truth. Now unless someone has a lot of time on their hands, or is willing to pay me for my lost wages, we'll likely never know just how many Gordie Howe hat tricks Gordie Howe actually had.
THN did publish their data since '96-'97 of Gordie Howe hat trick leaders. Here's a look, with no surprise on the top: