Skip to main content

Gordie Howe's Near 50 Goal Season

With 975 career professional goals, including 801 in the National Hockey League, there is not a lot that Gordie Howe failed to accomplish in his illustrious career.

But hitting the magical 50 goal mark in one season did elude him. You can be sure Montreal Canadiens fan, especially the Rocket Richard loyalists, were sure to let him know.

In his 32 major league seasons (26 in NHL, 6 more in WHA), Howe was an amazingly consistent scorer. He scored over 20 goals from 1949 through to 1978! Fourteen times Howe was in the top 5 in goal scoring!

Five times Howe led the league in goal scoring, including in 1952-53 season when he reached 49 goals. This was all in 70 game seasons, by the way.

Yet that 49 sticks out like a sore thumb, just aching for one more goal.

Myth has it that Howe did score a 50th goal. He shot the puck so hard it went right through the netting. Without the benefit of video replay back in those days, the referee missed it and played continued. Gordie Howe's 50th goal never counted.

In his 1995 book "and . . . Howe!" Gordie confirms this story is indeed a myth.

"I don't know where the tale got started. It was probably from some fan wishing I had gotten it," he said.

But he did go on to say there was another goal scored that season that should have been his but was awarded to Red Kelly instead. Howe deflected Kelly's point shot past the Boston goaltender but Bruins defenseman Hal Laycoe told the referee it deflected off of him. The ref awarded Kelly the goal. Howe knew he had scored it, but he said nothing as he knew Kelly was chasing his own goal scoring record - 20 goals by a defenseman.

Had the goal been called correctly Howe would have joined Rocket Richard as the second player to score 50 goals in one season.


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M