Monday, June 25, 2007

Marty Howe

Marty Howe is Gordie's other hockey playing son.

Mr. Hockey is also the father of Mark Howe, who carved out his own all star career in the NHL. Marty Howe however was never an all star. Instead he was more of a defensive player with little flair other than his bloodlines.

Marty, Gordie's first born, was not to be underrated though. Being a Howe he was naturally very strong, and actually was recruited by colleges for his football ability, although he never seriously pursued those options. He played an unspectacular form of defense, also spending some time at forward on the famous "Howe line" in the WHA - a line comprising of father and sons. In the WHA he was a serviceable defenseman, twice helping the Houston Aeros capture the Avco Cup championship.

Once the WHA folded he appeared in only 2 full NHL seasons out of 5 pro seasons after 1979. Injuries depleted his seasons and often he was farmed out by the Hartford Whalers. It wasn't until the Boston Bruins acquired his rights in 1982-83 that he played his first full NHL season, playing 78 games, scoring a goal and 12 points. He returned to Hartford in 1983-84, dressing for 69 games. In 1984-85, Howe played his final 19 games in the NHL with the Whalers. The totals on his NHL career were 197 games played, two goals, 29 assists, and 31 points.

Marty loved hockey, which is not surprising considering the family he was born into. He's been a coach in the low minor leagues since the 1990s. In fact at one point while with the Colonial Hockey League's Flint Bulldogs in 1992-93, the team became so depleted by injuries that Marty came out of retirement, and played 3 games himself!

While Marty is not in the same class as his brother Mark, he is not the worst hockey playing son of Gordie Howe. That would probably fall on the shoulders of the youngest sibling Murray. Murray played as a child and recreationally, but his passion was academics. He became a successful doctor.

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