Hockey legend Gordie Howe is dead at age 88, the Detroit Red Wings confirmed to CBS Detroit Friday. His son, Marty Howe, tells CNN he died Friday morning. Howe, a Hockey Hall of Famer and six-time NHL MVP, had an incredible career that led to his nickname, "Mr. Hockey": He started playing for the Red Wings in 1946 and won four Stanley Cups with them. He retired in 1971, but two years later started playing for the World Hockey Association's Houston Aeros—with his two sons. He retired again in 1980, but in 1997, he played one last time for the IHL's Detroit Vipers. He scored 801 goals during his 26 years in the NHL; his all-time leading scorer record in the NHL was eventually broken by Wayne Gretzky.
Howe suffered a serious stroke in 2014, eventually traveling with his family to Mexico for a stem cell treatment that, they said, helped him recover. But the Los Angeles Times reports he later suffered several other strokes, had also endured spinal surgery, and suffered from dementia over the past few years. Even so, in March, he celebrated his 88th birthday at Joe Louis Arena with an enthusiastic sold-out crowd. "When it comes to who was the best hockey player ever, don’t even go there with me," fellow hockey great Bobby Orr said of Howe in 2003. "There is no question that Gordie is the best of all time." (Read more obituary stories.)