Gordie Howe's Detroit Red Wings were swept by the dynastic Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1949 Stanley Cup finals, but it was a playoffs Howe would never forget. That was due largely in part for his dominance in the semi-final against Montreal, and a special gift he received from Red Wings owner Jim Norris.
"I scored six goals against the Canadiens in the first five or six games of the semi-final. Mr. Jim Norris promised me a watch if I got a seventh goal in the series. It wasn't a cheap watch, either. It was an Omega, costing around $150 or $200. I was 21 years old at the time, I was making only about $6,000 a year, and I thought a watch like that looked like the crown jewels. I scored the seventh goal and an eighth, and we beat the Canadiens in seven games. Then we lost to Toronto in the finals . . . but going home with that watch on my wrist, I didn't feel so bad. I don't think I've ever felt so rich."
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