November 18, 2014

Gordie Howe Timeline

March 31, 1928 — Born in Floral, Saskatchewan to Katherine and Albert Howe. A week later the family completed their move to Saskatoon.

Dec. 25th, 1933 — Howe receives his first pair of skates as a Christmas gift.

August, 1943 — Howe tries out with the New York Rangers, but he goes home homesick before making much of an impression at all.

September 1944 — Tries out with the Detroit Red Wings. The Wings assign him to their junior team in Galt, Ontario.

Oct. 8, 1946 — Signs first contract with the Detroit Red Wings.

Oct. 16, 1946 — Scores his first NHL goal, during first NHL game in Detroit against Toronto goaltender Turk Broda. Game finishes in 3-3 tie. Howe wears jersey #17.

Oct. 19, 1946 — Posts first NHL assist, on a goal by Adam Brown during a 6-3 loss at Toronto. He also received his first major penalty, for fighting with Bill Ezinicki.

Nov. 1, 1947 — The ‘Production Line’ is formed by new Red Wings coach Tommy Ivan.  Ted Lindsay at left wing, Sid Abel at centre and Gordie Howe at right wing. The nickname is a reference to Detroit's many automotive assembly plants.

Oct. 29, 1947 — Howe wears jersey #9 for the first time. He previously wore 17, but traded for a lower number to ensure a better bunk on the train.

1949-50 — ‘Production Line’ finishes 1-2-3 in NHL scoring race.

March 28, 1950 — Suffers head injury in playoff semifinal against Toronto after being checked awkwardly into the boards by Toronto’s Ted Kennedy. Howe’s fractured skull requires life-threatening brain surgery.

April 23, 1950 — Watches his team win a seven-game Stanley Cup final series over the New York Rangers. It is the first of four Stanley Cup wins for Howe.

Jan. 17, 1951 — Scores the 100th regular-season goal of his career, against Canadiens goaltender Gerry McNeil in Montreal. The game was designated Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard night, as the Habs showered him with gifts for recently surpassing Howie Morenz and Aurel Joliat as the Habs greatest goal scorer.

1951 - Howe wins his first Art Ross Trophy as NHL scoring champion. He would win six in total, including four in a row from 1951 through 1955.

April 15, 1952 — Detroit defeats arch rival Montreal 3-0 in Detroit to the Stanley Cup title. Detroit would roll through the playoffs undefeated with a perfect 8-0 record. An octopus is tossed on the ice after the triumph, marking the beginning of a Red Wings tradition.

Feb. 15, 1953 — Scores his 200th regular season goal, against Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Al Rollins.

April 15, 1953 — Marries Colleen Joffa in Detroit.

April 16, 1954 — Wins third Stanley Cup, as the Red Wings triumph again over the Habs.

April 14, 1955 — Scores Stanley Cup-winning goal in 3-1 win over Montreal. It was Howe’s fourth and final Cup.

Feb. 7, 1956 — Scores his 300th goal, against Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Al Rollins.

Oct. 11, 1958 — First league game as captain of the Red Wings.

Dec. 13, 1958 — Howe scores the 400th goal of his career - in his 805th game - at Montreal. The goal was scored against Hall-of-Famer Jacques Plante. The game ended in a 2-2 tie.

Feb. 1, 1959 — Engages in legendary scrap with New York Rangers enforcer Lou Fontinato. Howe is declared the undisputed winner and is rarely challenged again.

March 3, 1959 — ‘Gordie Howe Night’ is celebrated at the Detroit Olympia. It is the first time in his 13-year career that father Albert sees Howe play in an NHL arena.

Feb. 16, 1960 — Howe scores a goal and an assist to surpass Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard as the NHL’s all-time leading scorer.

Nov. 26, 1961 — Becomes first NHL player to play 1,000 regular-season games.

March 14, 1962 — Becomes second player, after Richard, to score 500 goals.  It is his 1,045th game. Howe's shorthanded goal gave Detroit a 3-2 victory over the Rangers in New York against Hall-of-Fame goalie Gump Worsley.

Oct. 27, 1963 — Scores 544th goal, tying Maurice Richard’s all-time NHL regular season record. The goal comes, once again, against Montreal, this time in a 6-4 loss. Gump Worsley, now with the Habs, was the victim again. It was Howe's 1,126th career game.

Nov. 10, 1963 —  Gordie Howe surpasses Rocket Richard as the number one leading all-time goal scorer in the NHL with 545th career goal. The game, fittingly was against Montreal (the goalie was Charlie Hodge), a 3-0 Red Wings victory in Detroit. It was Howe's 1,132nd game.

Nov. 14, 1964 — Becomes the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring leader, including playoffs, when he beats Montreal’s Charlie Hodge. It is his 627th goal and is scored in his 1,233rd game, including playoffs.

Nov. 27, 1965 — Scores 600th goal, against Canadiens’ goaltender Gump Worsley.

Dec. 4, 1968 — Scores his 700th goal, against goaltender Les Binkley of Pittsburgh Penguins.

June 25, 1971 — Made an officer of the Order of Canada.

Sept. 8, 1971 — Announces his retirement from professional hockey.

March 12, 1972 — No. 9 jersey is retired by the Red Wings.

June 7, 1972 — Named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

June 5, 1973 — Howe comes out of retirement when he, along with sons Marty and Mark, signs a four-year deal, $1 million deal with the Houston Aeroes of the World Hockey Association.

May 19, 1974 — Wins first WHA championship with Houston Aeros. Howe says he will retire after the season but does not.

June 1977 — Signs as a free agent with New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association.

Dec. 7, 1977 — Playing with the New England Whalers, scores the 1,000th goal of his professional hockey career, against Birmingham Bulls goaltender John Garrett.

June 9, 1979 — Rights are retained by the Hartford Whalers prior to NHL expansion draft.

Oct. 11, 1979 — Returns to the NHL, playing with sons Marty and Mark with the Hartford Whalers.

Feb. 29, 1980 — Becomes first player to reach 800 career goals, in a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues.

April 9th, 1980 — Gordie Howe scores the 801st and last goal of his NHL career. Fittingly, it comes against the Canadiens and in the Montreal Forum. Denis Herron was the goaltender.

April 11, 1980 — Plays his final NHL game, becoming the oldest person to ever play in an NHL game, at 52 years and 10 days.

June 4, 1980 — Again announces his retirement.

Oct. 3, 1997 — Plays a shift with the IHL’s Detroit Vipers, extending his record of consecutive decades played in professional hockey to six.

2002 — Colleen Howe is diagnosed with Pick’s disease, an incurable neurological disease that causes dementia.

March 6, 2009 — Colleen Howe dies at the age of 76.

Oct 26th, 2014 — Howe suffers a serious stroke.

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