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Gordie Howe: 1928-2016

This Date in NHL History

April 6: Howe scores in final NHL game

Plus: Potvin sets rookie defensemen records; Gretzky wins Art Ross Trophy for sixth straight season

by John Kreiser @JKreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: April 6

1980: In his 1,767th and final regular-season game, 52-year-old Gordie Howe of the Hartford Whalers scores his 801st NHL goal, a backhand shot past Detroit Red Wings goaltender Rogie Vachon. The Whalers win 5-3 at the Hartford Civic Center to end their first season in the NHL.

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This Date in NHL History

March 12: Hull sets single-season record with 51st goal

Plus: Howe plays final game in Detroit; Hitchcock gets 700th win as NHL coach

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: March 12

1966: Bobby Hull passes Maurice Richard and Bernie Geoffrion for the most goals in one season when he scores No. 51 for the Chicago Blackhawks in the third period of a 4-2 victory against the New York Rangers at Chicago Stadium.

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This Date in NHL History

Jan. 12: Devils use four players from Soviet Union

Plus: Malone becomes NHL's first 20-goal scorer; Howe returns to Joe Louis Arena; Rangers retire Messier's No. 11

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Jan. 12

1992: The New Jersey Devils make NHL history when they use four players born in the Soviet Union. Defensemen Viacheslav Fetisov and Alexei Kasatonov, and forwards Valeri Zelepukin and Alexander Semak all play during a 5-2 victory against the Los Angeles Kings in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Zelepukin has a goal and an assist; Kasatonov assists on his first-period power-play goal.

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column

Bower, Howe were great friends, rivals

Saskatchewan natives competed fiercely on ice, vacationed together during offseason

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

It was 1963 or '64, but Mark Howe is pretty sure it was 1964. The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Final, and in the handshake line at Maple Leaf Gardens, Maple Leafs goaltender Johnny Bower traded sticks with Red Wings forward Gordie Howe.

Before each series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Gordie would ask his son Mark, "When the series is over, whose stick do you want?" That time, Mark had said, "I want Bower's."

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This Date in NHL History

Dec. 4: Howe scores 700th NHL goal

Plus: Canadiens franchise founded; Messier gets point No. 1,400

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Dec. 4

1968: Gordie Howe becomes the first member of the NHL's 700-goal club.

Howe reaches the milestone when he takes a pass from Frank Mahovlich and beats goaltender Les Binkley with a low shot 7:13 into the Detroit Red Wings' 7-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Civic Arena.

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Centennial Portraits

Gretzky, Howe portraits unveiled

Final 10 color paintings of 100 Greatest NHL Players will be revealed on NHL.com this week

NHL.com @NHL

As part of the NHL Centennial Celebration, renowned Canadian artist Tony Harris will paint original portraits of each of the 100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian as chosen by a Blue Ribbon panel.

NHL.com will reveal the final 10 portraits this week, starting with those of center Wayne Gretzky and forward Gordie Howe on Monday in the 46th installment.

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This Date in NHL History

Sept. 8: Howe announces retirement

Plus: Worsley, Lumley inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Sept. 8

1971: Gordie Howe announces his retirement after 25 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings and becomes a team vice president.

Howe, 43, owns the NHL career marks for games played, goals, assists and points, but he's coming off his worst offensive season (23 goals, 52 points) since 1948-49 when he decides to retire. The Hockey Hall of Fame waives the mandatory three-year waiting period and he's inducted in 1972.

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This Date in NHL History

Aug. 24: Howe, Beliveau inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame

Plus: Stastny brothers defect, Kopitar born in Slovenia

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Aug. 24

1972: The Hockey Hall of Fame inducts perhaps its most star-studded class yet, even waiving its mandatory three-year waiting period for two of the inductees.

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This Date in NHL History

June 4: Gordie Howe announces second retirement

Plus: Patrick Roy passes Billy Smith in playoff appearances; Capitals advance to first Cup Final

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: June 4

1980: At age 52, Gordie Howe retires again, this time for good.

Howe's first retirement, from the Detroit Red Wings after the 1970-71 season, lasts two years before he joins the Houston Aeros of the World Hockey Association, where he plays with sons Mark Howe and Marty Howe. All three Howes move to the New England Whalers in 1977, and Mr. Hockey returns to the NHL (with his sons) two years later when the franchise is one of four WHA teams that are admitted to the League.

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stats

All-time playoff stats for Gretzky, Howe, all players now on NHL.com

Fans can explore every postseason box score, player game logs from 1917-18 to present

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

A century of the NHL has been about the men who have played the game. It's been about the battles they have waged, the Stanley Cup titles they have won, sometimes against all odds, and the championships they have not won when everything suggested that the sterling trophy was all but engraved.

Thumb back through the pages charting the players and the momentous Stanley Cup Playoff games and the often incredible events that changed the complexion of a series, a game, a period or even a shift, and you will find so many numbers.

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