Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/26/10 at 10:33 AM ET
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Gordie Howe retired from the NHL in 1980 as the all-time leading scorer with 801 goals and 1,850 points. He led many other statistical categories but one he surely didn’t lead is the unofficial one that came to bear his name, “the Gordie Howe Hat Trick,” which is a goal, an assist and a fight in the same game.
We’ll never know for sure because no one kept that statistic until The Hockey News started in 1996. For awhile, the leader was current Tampa Bay Lightning coach Rick Tocchet—like Howe, a rugged customer with good hockey skills.
Then Tocchet was overtaken by Brendan Shanahan, who retired earlier this year to become NHL Vice President of Hockey and Business Development. According to the weekly’s records, Shanahan had 17 Gordie Howe Hat Tricks. The “honor” took Shanahan by surprise.
“I’d never heard of it until I’d had quite a few of them,” said Shanahan, whose NHL career began in 1987. “It didn’t get media attention until four or five years ago. They started counting in my 10th year. One list had me at nine and then they went back and counted and found more. No teammate ever mentioned it to me until my last one….”
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