What was Gordie Howe’s Net Worth?
Gordie Howe was a Canadian professional ice hockey player who had a net worth of $10 million. Gordie Howe was renowned for his 25-year tenure with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. Widely regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time, he won four Stanley Cups, six Hart Trophies, and six Art Ross Trophies, and set numerous NHL records. Later in his career, Howe played in the World Hockey Association for the Houston Aeros before returning to the NHL to play his final season with the Hartford Whalers. Nicknamed “Mr. Hockey”, he scored 1,071 goals in 2,421 career games with 2,589 total points. He came in at number three on a list of the top 100 NHL players of all time, behind Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky. The 23-time NHL All-Star earned the first ever NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 and retired to Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Gordie Howe died on June 10, 2016 at the age of 88.
Gordie Howe was born on March 31, 1928 in Floral, Saskatchewan, Canada as one of nine children of Katherine and Albert. Shortly after his birth, he moved with the family to Saskatoon. Growing up, Howe proved to be physically beyond his years; by his mid-teens, he was already six feet tall. During the Depression, he dropped out of school to work in construction. As an amateur hockey player, Howe played bantam hockey with the King George Athletic Club, winning his first championship with the team in 1942. The following year, he was invited to the training camp of the New York Rangers. When he was 16, Howe left Saskatoon to pursue his professional career in ice hockey.
In 1944, Howe was noticed by Fred Pinkney, a scout for the Detroit Red Wings. Invited by Pinkney to the team’s camp in Windsor, Ontario, Howe was assigned to the junior team the Galt Red Wings. In 1945, he was promoted to the Omaha Knights of the United States Hockey League.
Detroit Red Wings
At the age of 18 in 1946, Howe made his NHL debut as a right wing for the Detroit Red Wings, and scored in his very first game. He went on to establish himself as a top goal-scorer and brilliant all-around player, soon acquiring a reputation as one of the greatest ice hockey players in the sport’s history. Across his 25 seasons with the Red Wings, Howe finished in the top five in scoring for a record 20 consecutive seasons. Moreover, he led his team to four Stanley Cup titles, as well as to first place in the NHL regular season for seven straight seasons. Howe was not without his struggles, however. In the 1950 playoffs, he suffered a fractured skull and a broken nose and cheekbone that required emergency surgery. Amazingly, Howe bounced back the next season, leading the league in points and winning his first of six Art Ross Trophies. In the 1952-53 season, he became the first NHL player ever to score 90 points in a single regular season.
Although the Red Wings began slumping in the late 60s, Howe and his teammates Alex Delvecchio and Frank Mahovlich were able to turn the team’s fortunes around. In the 1968-69 season, Howe scored 103 points, surpassing 100 points for the only time in his NHL career.
Red Wings Retirement
Following his incredible 103-point season, conflict arose between Howe and the Red Wings when Howe found out he was only the third-highest paid player on the team. Red Wings owner Bruce Norris increased his salary, and Howe remained with the team for two more seasons. Ultimately, he retired after the 1970-71 season due to a chronic wrist problem. Howe finished his NHL career with the Red Wings with 801 goals, 1,049 assists, and 1,850 points, all records at the time. Additionally, he won six Hart Trophies as the NHL’s most valuable player, another record at the time.
Final Playing Years
A year after his NHL retirement, Howe was offered a deal to play with the Houston Aeros of the newly founded World Hockey Association. Joining his sons Mark and Marty on the team, he led the Aeros to two straight league championships in 1974 and 1975. In the former year, Howe won the Gary L. Davidson Trophy as the WHA’s most valuable player; the prize was rebranded in his name the next year. Howe continued to play with the Aeros until 1977, when he and his sons moved to the New England Whalers. The WHA ultimately folded in 1979, and the Whalers, now going by the Hartford Whalers, joined the NHL.
Howe played his final season of hockey in 1979-80 with the NHL’s Whalers. Appearing in all 80 regular-season games, he helped lead the team to the playoffs. Notably, during this time, Howe became the oldest person to play in an NHL game, at the age of 52.
After his first retirement in 1971, Howe was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame. The same year, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 1972, Howe was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and in 1975 was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. He also earned honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan during his life.
In 2007, Howe was honored with a bronze statue of his likeness at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit; it was later moved to the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon. In that city, Howe also has a bridge, football stadium, and campground named after him. Among his many other honors, Howe became the inaugural winner of the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.
Personal Life and Death
Howe married his wife Colleen Joffa in 1953. Their sons Marty and Mark have played ice hockey in the WHA and the NHL, while their third son, Murray, is a radiologist. They also have a daughter named Cathy. In 2009, Colleen passed away following a long struggle with Pick’s disease. In her honor, Howe founded the Gordie and Colleen Howe Fund to contribute to the research and prevention of degenerative diseases.
In late 2014, Howe suffered a severe stroke. A little less than two years later, in June of 2016, he passed away in Sylvania, Ohio aged 88. The cremated remains of both Howe and his wife Colleen are interred at the base of Howe’s statue at the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon.