My father played hockey in his teens, on rock-hard New Hampshire ice, and he continued playing until he was 80, and he would have continued playing had he not lost a battle in front of the net a dozen years ago, fallen backward, hit his head, and lost consciousness. His doctor told him to quit the game — to quit the battles.
One of the many ways “Mr. Hockey” Gordie Howe (1928-2016) was honored during his astounding 33-season on-ice professional career is with the Hart Trophy (since 1961 given as the Hart Memorial Trophy).
The award, which Howe won half a dozen times, is awarded each year to the one player in the league who the hockey writers feel contributed most during the regular season to his team – the greatest solo contribution measured in what is undeniably a great team sport.