Today marks the 75th Anniversary of Gordie Howe’s NHL debut for the Detroit Red Wings in their 1946-47 season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The late Howe often told the story about how he was skating around the ice in warm-ups thinking about the game of cribbage before his first NHL game. His new teammates taught him the game and he was trying to sort it out in his head. He was snapped out of his daydream by coach Jack Adams calling out, “Sid, Adam and Howe.”
“I had no clue I would be on the top line,” Howe said.
That was Sid Abel, left wing Adam Brown and Gordie Howe. Gifted writer Dave Stubbs of NHL.com tells that story and many others in his piece about the Mr. Hockey’s beginnings.
His linemates assisted on Howe’s first goal. All three of those linemates ended up with a son in the NHL: Howe (Mark and Marty), Sid Abel (Gerry) and Adam Brown (Andy) – had sons who also played for the Red Wings.
Howe was 18 when he played his first NHL game on Oct. 16, 1946. He scored seven goals. He was 52 when he finished his last NHL season. Howe scored 15 goals for the Hartford Whalers in that 1979-80 season.
Recently, rare photos of his days at Galt, before he signed with the Red Wings were discovered.
Gordie Howe’s signing bonus. Fabulous. As priceless a piece of hockey history as there is. Thanks for sharing this, Travis. https://t.co/NO2XGyPcRP
— Dave Stubbs 🇨🇦 (@Dave_Stubbs) October 15, 2021
Around the NHL
Calgary: Steve MacFarlane is our new writer in Calgary. He authored an interesting story about how the former Flames captain is now helping the Seattle Kraken find success.
Detroit: Robbie Fabbri might replace suspended Dylan Larkin as first-line center for one game or longer if his injury necessitates a trip to the injured list.
Florida: Panthers rookie Anton Lundell was impressive in his NHL debut.
Montreal: Check out our new Montreal site. Mitch Gallo says the Habs have to win games against lower level teams like the Sabres.
Pittsburgh: Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now says good riddance to the bandwagon fans who are now deserting the Pens.
San Jose: JD Young previews the Sharks opener against Winnipeg.
Toronto: Take time to check out our Toronto writer Scott Cullen’s five takeaways from the Maple Leafs’ loss to the Ottawa Senators.
Vancouver: Rob Simpson says there will be lineup changes for Canucks vs. Flyers.