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Top 5 Joe Moments, #5: Gordie Howe returns to Detroit for 1980 NHL All-Star game

The NHL All-Star game is usually awful. It’s a game of slow-paced, low effort hockey, where fans mostly long for the NHL regular season to come back. It’s kind of fun to see everyone on one rink, but remembering international hockey sort of pushes that idea out of your brain.

What the All-Star game is good for is setting the stage for cool moments. Take, for example, John Scott’s MVP award in last season’s rendition, Wayne Gretzky’s four goals or Mario Lemieux’s six points.

But in terms of pure nostalgia, Gordie Howe returning to Detroit for his final All-Star game in 1980 takes the cake as likely the coolest homecoming we’ll see for a long, long time at one of these events.

The video below sets the scenes.

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There’s not too much to be said about an epic moment, but I’m sure those who were lucky enough to see it either in person or on TV won’t soon forget it.

Howe, as you know, was well on his way to his 1850 NHL points by the time this All-Star game came around, and was in his last NHL season, his only one with the Hartford Whalers.

The game was the stadium’s first All-Star game, in its inaugural season. Surprisingly, it would also be its last.

That season, he scored 15 goals and 26 assists over 80 games. That points-per-game total would rank him 6th amongst current Red Wings.

Gordie Howe, you will be missed.