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Howe Enduring: Mr. Hockey’s Long Connection to the Stanley Cup Final

The first time a Gordie Howe teammate played in the Stanley Cup final was in 1938. The last time was in 1992

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Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings
Gordie Howe teammates played in all but three Stanley Cup final series between 1938-1992.

When the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche begin the 2022 Stanley Cup final on Wednesday, Jaromir Jagr’s ties to the event will finally be coming to a halt. For the first time since the 1979 final between the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers, there won’t be a former Jagr teammate skating in the series.

That’s 42 years in a row and without a doubt is an impressive feat. However, when it comes to anything involving hockey and longevity, it takes a back seat to the legacy of Gordie Howe.

Gordie Howe’s Stanley Cup Legacy

Mr. Hockey played his first NHL game in 1946 and his final one in 1980. Howe’s future NHL teammates began appearing in Stanley Cup final series in 1938, eight years prior to his NHL debut. They were still skating in the final battle for Lord Stanley’s mug in 1995, 15 years following his retirement.

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Between 1938-79, the only year that a Howe NHL teammate didn’t appear in a Stanley Cup final series was in 1944, when the Montreal Canadiens beat the Chicago Blackhawks. Amazingly, Detroit-born Gordie Roberts, whose parents named him after Howe, played in the 1991 and 1992 Cup final series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Roberts and Howe were teammates with the 1979-80 Hartford Whalers.

WHA, IHL Extend Streak

However, take into account Howe’s teammates from his six WHA seasons and his Stanley Cup streak grows even more impressive. John Tonelli, who played in the WHA with Howe on the Houston Aeros, appeared in every Cup final series from 1980-84 and again in 1986. Gordie’s son Mark Howe, who played on the 1979-80 Whalers, skated in the 1985 and 1987 finals with the Philadelphia Flyers and in 1995 with the Red Wings. After missing out on the 1988 and 1989 final series, Howe’s Hartford teammate Ray Neufeld played for the 1990 Boston Bruins.

In fact, if you take into account Howe’s one-game appearance for the IHL’s Detroit Vipers during the 1996-97 IHL season, the streak gets unbelievably astonishing. Jimmy Carson was with those Vipers and suited up for the Los Angeles Kings (1993) and Vancouver Canucks (1994). Sergei Samsonov also played for the 1996-97 Vipers. Samsonov skated in the 2006 Stanley Cup final for the Edmonton Oilers – 26 years after Howe’s farewell NHL appearance.

Gordie Howe Teammates In Stanley Cup Final

Stanley Cup Final Gordie Howe Teammate(s)
1938 Hal Jackson (Chicago)
1939 Roy Conacher (Boston)
1940 Billy Taylor (Toronto)
1941 Roy Conacher (Boston); Eddie Bruneteau, Sid Abel, Jack Stewart, Hal Jackson (Detroit)
1942 Billy Taylor, Bob Goldham, Gaye Stewart (Toronto); Sid Abel, Jack Stewart, Adam Brown, Doug McCaig (Detroit)
1943 Bep Guidolin (Boston); Sid Abel, Jack Stewart, Adam Brown, Hal Jackson (Detroit)
1944 None
1945 Eddie Bruneteau, Ted Lindsay, Hal Jackson (Detroit)
1946 Jimmy Peters Sr (Montreal), Roy Conacher, Bep Guidolin (Boston)
1947 Gaye Stewart, Gus Mortson, Bud Poile, Bob Goldham (Toronto)
1948 Gus Mortson (Toronto); 20 Red Wings teammates
1949 Gus Mortson (Toronto); 19 Red Wings teammates
1950 Tony Lewswick, Nick Mickoski, Dunc Fisher (New York Rangers); 22 Red Wings teammates
1951 Calum McKay (Montreal); Gus Mortson (Toronto)
1952 Calum McKay (Montreal); 16 Red Wings teammates
1953 Lorne Davis, Calum McKay (Montreal); Leo Labine, Bill Quackenbush, Real Chevrefils, Jack McIntyre (Boston)
1954 Calum McKay, Gaye Stewart, Lorne Davis (Montreal); 17 Red Wings teammates
1955 Calum McKay (Montreal); 16 Red Wings teammates
1956 Jean-Guy Talbot (Montreal); 19 Red Wings teammates
1957 Jean-Guy Talbot, Andre Pronovost (Montreal); Don McKenney, Leo Labine, Jerry Toppazzini, Leo Boivin, Vic Stasiuk, Real Chevrefils (Boston)
1958 Marcel Bonin, Ab McDonald, Junior Langlois, Jean-Guy Talbot, Andre Pronovost (Montreal); Don McKenney, Leo Labine, Jerry Toppazzini, Leo Boivin, Vic Stasiuk, Bronco Horvath, John Bucyk, Larry Hillman (Boston)
1959 Marcel Bonin, Ab McDonald, Junior Langlois, Jean-Guy Talbot, Andre Pronovost (Montreal); Billy Harris, Frank Mahovlich, Gerry Ehman, Carl Brewer, Barry Cullen, Marc Reaume, Bob Baun, Noel Price (Toronto)
1960 Marcel Bonin, Junior Langlois, Jean-Guy Talbot, Andre Pronovost (Montreal); Billy Harris, Frank Mahovlich, Johnny Wilson, Carl Brewer, Barry Cullen, Red Kelly, Bob Baun, Gerry Ehman (Toronto)
1961 Glenn Hall, Bobby Hull, Ron Murphy, Ab McDonald, Ed Litzenberger, Al Arbour (Chicago); 18 Red Wings teammates
1962 Glenn Hall, Bobby Hull, Bronco Horvath, Ab McDonald, Gerry Melnyk (Chicago); Billy Harris, Frank Mahovlich, Carl Brewer, Red Kelly, Bob Baun, Dave Keon, Al Arbour, Ed Litzenberger (Toronto)
1963 Billy Harris, Frank Mahovlich, Carl Brewer, Red Kelly, Bob Baun, Dave Keon, Al Arbour, Ed Litzenberger, John MacMillan, Kent Douglas (Toronto); 19 Red Wings teammates
1964 Billy Harris, Frank Mahovlich, Carl Brewer, Red Kelly, Bob Baun, Dave Keon, Al Arbour, Ed Litzenberger, Larry Hillman, Kent Douglas, Don McKenney, Andy Bathgate, Gerry Ehman (Toronto); 19 Red Wings teammates
1965 Red Berenson, Jean-Guy Talbot (Montreal); Glenn Hall, Bobby Hull, John McKenzie, Matt Ravlich, Gerry Melnyk (Chicago)
1966 Noel Price, Jean-Guy Talbot (Montreal); 21 Red Wings teammates
1967 Jean-Guy Talbot (Montreal); Terry Sawchuk, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Baun, Dave Keon, Larry Hillman, Marcel Pronovost, Pete Stemkowski, Red Kelly, Larry Jeffrey (Toronto)
1968 Mickey Redmond (Montreal); Red Berenson, Craig Cameron, Al Arbour, Tim Ecclestone, Don McKenney, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bill McCreary, Gerry Melnyk, Glenn Hall (St. Louis)
1969 Mickey Redmond, Larry Hillman (Montreal); Red Berenson, Craig Cameron, Al Arbour, Tim Ecclestone, Ab McDonald, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bill McCreary, Gerry Melnyk, Glenn Hall (St. Louis)
1970 John Bucyk, Gary Doak, John McKenzie (Boston); Red Berenson, Al Arbour, Tim Ecclestone, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bill McCreary, Ron Anderson, Glenn Hall (St. Louis)
1971 Frank Mahovlich, Pete Mahovlich (Montreal); Bobby Hull, Pit Martin (Chicago)
1972 John Bucyk, John McKenzie (Boston); Pete Stemkowski, Dale Rolfe, Bruce MacGregor, Gary Doak (New York Rangers)
1973 Frank Mahovlich, Pete Mahovlich (Montreal); Pit Martin (Chicago)
1974 John Bucyk, Al Sims (Boston)
1975 Roger Crozier, Don Luce (Buffalo)
1976 Pete Mahovlich (Montreal)
1977 Pete Mahovlich (Montreal); John Bucyk, Al Sims, Gary Doak (Boston)
1978 Al Sims, Gary Doak (Boston)
1979 Nick Fotiu (New York Rangers)
1980 John Tonelli (New York Islanders)*
1981 John Tonelli (New York Islanders)*
1982 John Tonelli (New York Islanders)*
1983 John Tonelli (New York Islanders)*
1984 John Tonelli (New York Islanders)*
1985 Mark Howe (Philadelphia)
1986 John Tonelli (Calgary)*
1987 Mark Howe (Philadelphia)
1988 None
1989 None
1990 Ray Neufeld (Boston)
1991 Gordie Roberts (Pittsburgh)
1992 Gordie Roberts (Pittsburgh)
1993 Jimmy Carson (Los Angeles)**
1994 Jimmy Carson (Vancouver)**
1995 Mark Howe (Detroit)
2006 Sergei Samsonov (Edmonton)**

*WHA teammate
**IHL teammate

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