I remember hearing the legendary stories about hockey great Gordie Howe when I was a child. New England was ecstatic to have a hockey team, the Hartford Whalers, let alone the greatest hockey player of all time being on the team.

Gordie may have built his legend as a Detroit Redwing, but Connecticut treated him and his family as New England royalty. In the short time he was there, Howe made a huge impact.

The 86 year old suffered a major stroke on Sunday and the family has been updating his legion of fans regularly. It sounds as though, even though he has significant right side weakness, that he is on the road to recovery.

If anyone can bounce back it is Mr. Hockey.

To delve into the history of Gordie Howe and his career in both the NHL and WHA, take a look at his website.

Meanwhile, here are some Gordie Howe fast facts:

1. He was one of only a handful ambidextrous players.

2. He made his NHL debut in 1946 and played hockey through 1980.

3. He once played in a WHA all star game with a very young Wayne Gretsky.

4. In 1950, during the playoffs, he suffered a skull fracture, but even that couldn't stop him from breaking records the very next season.

5. In 1997, Howe played in one game for IHL team the Detroit Vipers and became the only player in hockey history to play at professional level in 6 different decades.

Speedy recovery Mr. Hockey and thanks!