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Throwback Thursday: The Original Great One(s) Gordie Howe vs Rocket Richard c. 1958-60

October 30, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 2.19.36 PM

Maurice “Rocket” Richard

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 2.19.57 PM

Gordie Howe

On this Throwback Thursday, we have dedicated it to hockey great Gordie Howe, who suffered a serious stroke this week.

While we, like the rest of the world, are praying for Howe, we want to remember the man who WAS hockey before guys like Gretzky and Lemieux came along.

As a result, we have unearthed this film reel we recently converted for the family of the late Richard Maher, who was fortunate to have a prime seat in Detroit’s Olympia more than 50 years ago – and his 8mm film camera.

What makes this game all the more remarkable is that it features Howe playing against the Montreal Canadiens, who featured the only other player of the era capable of matching Howe’s star appeal: Maurice “Rocket” Richard. Both Howe and Richard are wearing Number 9 and have a C on their jerseys, denoting they were the team’s captains that season.

We don’t know the exact year this game took place, but we can narrow it down.

Howe was captain from 1958-62, Richard from 1956-60. So there is really only two seasons the game could have occurred. Also, the scoreboard (analog, of course) shows the game to be 1-1 in the third period.

Unfortunately, historical hockey box scores from that era don’t exist online, but we can guess.

Here are the possible games. The win or loss refers to the Red Wings. The strongest possibilities are in bold.

10/26/58 5-3 loss

12/14/58 6-1 loss

1/4/59 2-2 tie

1/29/59 7-3 loss

2/8/59 3-1 loss

3/10/59 5-5 tie

10/25/59 2-1 loss 

11/26/59 4-2 loss

12/6/59 4-4 tie

12/27/59 3-1 loss

1/28/60 4-2 loss

2/21/60 6-3 loss

10/16/60 6-4 win

11/24/60 3-1 win

12/11/60 5-1 loss

1/15/61 4-4 tie

2/5/61 7-2 win

2/19/61 4-2 loss

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