Family Says NHL Gordie Howe's Health Failing After Stroke

Hockey legend Gordie Howe suffered a stroke Sunday, resulting in a loss of movement in his right side and slurred speech.
Posted at 7:01 PM, Oct 29, 2014

Hockey legend Gordie Howe is reportedly in failing health after having a serious stroke Sunday in Lubbock, Texas. 

Howe's family confirmed the news to multiple outlets Monday. ESPN, citing a family member, reports Howe has lost movement in much of his right side and his speech is slurred. 

WDIV"The 86-year-old is now resting with his family in Texas. Howe's children say that he's having trouble speaking, but he does recognize them all."

One of Howe's three sons, Murray Howe, was pessimistic about his father's recovery, telling the Detroit Free Press"I feel like this is his final lap around the rink. I'm guessing that he's not going to recover ... but then again, he's about as strong as they get. If anybody can do it he can."

Howe, nicknamed Mr. Hockey, played for the Detroit Red Wings for 25 years. He retired in 1971 but stayed active in other hockey leagues. He later returned to the NHL for a final season with the Hartford Whalers in 1979 and played his final game at age 52, making him the oldest player in NHL history. 

Howe underwent spinal surgery over the summer but had recovered well enough to walk up to a mile, according to his family. The Free Press reports Howe also has dementia and has been experiencing ministrokes, which doctors expected to get worse.

Howe is a 23-time NHL all-star, a four-time Stanley Cup champion, a six-time MVP award winner and six-time leader in points scored in an NHL season. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972. He holds records for the most games played in the NHL, most games for a single franchise, and is second, behind Wayne Gretzky, in most NHL goals scored in a career. 

This video includes images from Getty Images.