|Birth Day:||March 31, 1928|
|Death Date:||Jun 10, 2016 (age 88)|
However, following his personal best 103-point season, conflict arose with the Red Wings after Howe discovered he was just the third-highest paid player on the team with a $45,000 salary. While team owner Bruce Norris increased Howe's salary to $100,000, he blamed Howe's wife, Colleen, for the demand. Howe remained with the club for two more seasons, but after 25 years, a chronic wrist problem forced him to retire after the 1970–71 season and he took a job in the Red Wings front office. At the beginning of 1972, he was offered the job as first head coach of the New York Islanders, but declined it. By the end of his NHL career, Howe had won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player six times: 1952, 1953, 1957, 1958, 1960 and 1963 – at that time the most of any player, and as of 2019 second only to Gretzky's nine. He also finished second or third in the voting for the Hart a further six times. Howe was named to the NHL's First All-Star Team 12 times and to the Second All-Star Team eight times.
Howe's brawn and physical play inspired the coining of the "Gordie Howe hat-trick"—a goal, an assist and a fight—which is now a standard part of hockey's vocabulary. Ironically, Howe himself only achieved his namesake hat-trick twice in his long career, both in the early 1950s, because few players dared to fight him after Howe soundly defeated New York Rangers enforcer Lou Fontinato at Madison Square Garden in 1959. (For comparison, the current leader in Gordie Howe hat-tricks, Rick Tocchet, achieved the feat 18 times in his career.) However, Howe was known for being a well-mannered and trusting person off the ice who never questioned the salary the Detroit Red Wings owners paid him. When it became public knowledge Howe had scored more than 600 goals for the organization before it reluctantly offered to pay him over $40,000, his linemate, Ted Lindsay, began a campaign to establish a player's association to unite for fair wages against the NHL owners. This would be the nucleus of the movement that became the National Hockey League Players' Association.