The Detroit Red Wings broke the news.
A 23-time NHL All Star, Howe led Detroit to four Stanley Cup titles before retiring in 1980 as the all-time leader in career goals and points.
CAREER OF A LEGEND
* His arrival to the NHL led the Detroit Red Wings to their most successful decade in franchise history, capturing four Stanley Cup championships in the 1950s (1950, 1952, 1954, 1955).
* Won the NHL's Art Ross Trophy as the league's top scorer six times (1951-54, 1957, 1963), the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's most valuable player (MVP) six times (1952, 1953, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1963).
* Holds record for most NHL games played (1,767), most goals by a right winger (801), most consecutive NHL 20 goal seasons (22), most NHL All-Star appearances (23).
* First retired in 1971 after 25 seasons with the Red Wings but joined the Houston Aeros of the World Hockey Association in 1973 where he played alongside two of his sons, Mark and Marty.
Gordie Howe in the black and white era
Image credit: Imago
* At the age of 46, recorded 100 points, led Houston to the first of back-to-back WHA championships and was named the league MVP.
* Went on to skate in six seasons in the WHA - four with Houston and two with the New England Whalers - before one final NHL and professional season with the Hartford Whalers in 1979-80.
* Still holds record as the oldest player in the NHL, playing his final game at age 52 years and 11 days.
* Howe left professional hockey as the NHL's all-time leading scorer with 1,850 points. Including his six seasons in the WHA, Howe amassed a combined 2,589 points.