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1977-78 Gordie Howe WHA New England Whalers Game Worn Jersey - 1st New England Whalers Jersey - Photo Match Skip Cunningham Letter
Lot #1

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1977-78 Gordie Howe WHA New England Whalers Game Worn Jersey - 1st New England Whalers Jersey - Photo Match  Skip Cunningham Letter
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1977-78 Gordie Howe WHA New England Whalers Game Worn Jersey - 1st New England Whalers Jersey - Photo Match Skip Cunningham Letter
Lot #1

This home white dureen gamer by Cosby was worn by Gordie Howe during the 1977-78 WHA season. Howe began his NHL career in 1946 with the Detroit Red Wings, the franchise he would represent for the next 25 seasons. “Mr. Hockey”, as he would become to be known, later went on to help save the struggling WHA, playing for the Houston Aeros and New England Whalers before returning to the NHL after the fledgling leagues collapse in 1979. Howe spent one final season with the Hartford Whalers in 1979-80, after they merged with the NHL. When discussing the greatest players in the history of the sport, Gordie is included at or near the top of every list. In fact, the two players who often give him a run for his money, Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr, each consider Howe as the greatest to ever play the game!

Howe’s incredible career statistics don’t do him justice, having played for decades at the highest level in a very low scoring environment. Gordie partook in 1767 NHL games and scored a remarkable 801 goals. He added another 1049 assists for 1850 points. Known as the all-time greatest “power forward” the game has ever known, Gordie put his razor sharp elbows and iron fists to work and accumulated 1685 PIMS in the process. Howe’s mantel was filled with hardware that included 6 Art Ross Trophies as the NHL’s leading scorer, 6 Hart Memorial Trophies as the NHL’s MVP and 4 Stanley Cups! Gordie was 21 times voted a 1st or 2nd team NHL All Star, wow!

Gordie’s WHA feats are also most impressive. Gordie dominated the WHA, putting up a couple of 100-point seasons and capturing a couple of 1st Team WHA All Star selections and a WHA MVP Award! Howe brought his teams to 4 Avco Cup Finals in his 6 years in the WHA and skated away with 2 Championships. In 419 WHA games played, Mr. Hockey lit the lamp 174 times and added 334 assists for 508 points to go along with 399 PIMS. Despite missing a season, Howe finished his WHA career as the 7th highest scoring player in league history. Lest we not forget that Gordie achieved all of this between the age of 45 and 51! Sadly, the hockey world mourned as we lost this Hall of Fame legend in the summer of 2016.

Sewn into the collar of this gamer are the Cosby and size tagging. The game wear on this size 50 dureen is solid and consists of several dozen stick and slash marks, board burns on both sleeves and the body, board paint transfer, a couple of un-repaired runs and fine inner pilling that is concentrated heavily at the elbows, to nobodies surprise! Shown above are a number of beautiful photo matches of Howe wearing this exact jersey during the 1977-78 WHA season. The Whalers tackle twill crest with its intricate chain stitched harpoon show heavy wear and wrinkling from washings as do the beloved shoulder whales. The individual two-tone tackle twill lettering that make up Gordie Howe is sewn directly to the upper verso. Best of all is a beautiful silver sharpie signature in the hand of Mr. Hockey himself! It’s been well more than a decade since we first brought this amazing gamer to the hobby via the personal collection of long time Whalers and Hurricanes equipment man, Skip Cunningham. This was Howe’s first gamer as a member of the New England Whalers and is to our knowledge the only home dureen that Gordie wore during his two seasons in New England. This jersey is well documented in publications, media, and newspapers and was also depicted on the back cover of the Gordie Howe Hardcover: My Hockey Memories. Gordie was again magnificent while wearing this jersey during the season that he turned 50 years of age. In 76 regular season games, Howe lit the lamp 34 times and added 62 assists for 96 points to go along with 85 PIMS before leading his team to the Avco Cup Finals for a 4th time! Easily one of the greatest WHA jerseys extant, it is with great pleasure that we offer this important piece of WHA history to the hobby, choice! A signed letter of provenance from Skip Cunningham will also accompany your purchase.