Gordie Howe, middle, better known as "Mr. Hockey," is one of the greatest hockey players of all time. He played from 1946 until 1980, retiring at the age of 52. In 1997, Howe, almost 70 years old, signed a one-game contract with the Detroit Vipers of the International Hockey League, becoming the only player in hockey history to play in six different decades at the professional level. He played with the New England Whalers and Hartford Whalers from 1977 to 1980. His #9 jersey was retired by the Hartford Whalers in 1981. Howe holds the record for most games played in the NHL with 1,767. Pictured: The New England Whalers' Gordie Howe pokes an airborne puck away from the Quebec Nordiques' Bob Fitchner, left, and Gary Lariviere, right , during the first period of Sunday night's game at the Springfield Civic Center.
JOSEPH CANNATA, JR. / HARTFORD COURANT