Today in Hockey History: Hartford Whalers Gordie Howe Plays Fifth Decade

Gordie Howe
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Normally we’d be in the closing in on the mid-way point of the regular season, however, we’re in a different world. Last Word on Hockey is still going to look back at each date’s historical significance to the game. We’ll remember the moments that shaped the sport of hockey that happened on this day. Here’s our look at this date in hockey history for January 2nd, featuring Gordie Howe.

Today in Hockey History

Gordie Howe Plays in Fifth Decade

1980: Mr. Hockey plays in his fifth different decade as his Hartford Whalers tie the Edmonton Oilers, 3-3. Howe is 51 years old and has played since he made his debut as an 18-year-old with the Detroit Red Wings in Oct. 1946. An 18-year-old Wayne Gretzky gets an assist on a Blair MacDonald goal.

Howe does’t record a point, but plays all 80 games with Hartford. The last four regular season games come after his 52nd birthday.

Other Notable Events

1986: Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders records his 500th goal in a 7-5 victory over the Boston Bruins. Bossy scores into an empty net for his second goal of the night. He gets to 500 in 647 games, which is the fastest before Gretzky breaks the record.

1992: The Toronto Maple Leafs send Gary Leeman, Michel Petit, Craig Berube, Jeff Reese and Alexander Godynyuk to the Calgary Flames for Doug Gilmour, Ric Nattress, Jamie Macoun, Rick Wamsley and Kent Manderville. Gilmour helps Toronto advance to the conference final in 1993 and 1994.

1999: Ottawa Senators goalie Damian Rhodes becomes the first goalie to record a shutout and get a goal in the same game. Rhodes makes 30 saves and is credited with a goal when New Jersey Devils defenceman Lyle Odelein shoots into his own net.

2001: Montreal Canadiens goalie Jose Theodore matches the feat in a 3-0 win over the Islanders. He stops 32 saves and fires the puck into an empty net when New York pulls its goalie.

2002: Ron Francis gets two milestones in the Carolina Hurricanes 6-3 loss to Boston. Francis gets his 500th goal in his 1,000th game with the Whalers/Hurricanes franchise. He joins Gretzky, Howe, Mark Messier and Marcel Dionne as the only NHL players with 500 goals and 1,000 assists.

2012: New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist makes 34 saves, including a Daniel Briere penalty shot in a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. It was the highlight of the 2012 NHL Winter Classic.

2018: Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin becomes the ninth player to get 100 game-winning goals in a 5-4 win over Carolina. It’s also his 22nd overtime goal, which is a record.

Happy Birthday to You

1889: Harry Hyland

1921: Glen Harmon

1940: Gord Labossiere

1952: Robbie Ftorek

1956: Peter Lee

1972: Mattias Norstrom

1977: Brian Boucher

1997: Gabriel Carlsson

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