But Gordie was all about hockey, and there’s more than one reason his nickname is Mr. Hockey:
Gordie Howe was a skilled player. But, he also was a tough guy who would do whatever it took to succeed on the ice and, apparently, had no idea why he played the way he did. There is something to the "Gordie Howe hat trick" -- a goal, an assist and a fight in a game -- but Howe didn't pay much attention to it. Ironically, Howe achieved the "Gordie Howe hat trick" just once in his career.
There was no rhyme or reason to his game, he was just playing hockey. He was a just a hockey player doing his job.
Frank Mahovlich played with Gordie and Alex Delvecchio in the late 1960s on the last incarnation of the Production Line. With the newly acquired Mahovlich in 1968-69, Howe had his best scoring season in then his 23rd season with 44 goals and 59 assists and topped the 100-point mark for the first time. Nearly four decades later, Mahvolich still looks up to Gordie Howe with profound respect.
"It was great to have Gordie on your side. He was a great competitor and it was easier being on his side than playing against him," recalled the Big M in October 2006. "He kind of dominated the play. When he got on the ice, that puck gravitated to his stick and he set the pace of the game. He could slow the game down, he could speed it; he could do what he liked with it. He was that good."
Read the whole thing. It’ll do ya good.
(photo credit: NHL.com)