Following the overwhelming success of the 1972 Summit Series between Canada's NHL professionals versus the Soviet Union, a second attempt to catch lightning in a bottle happened in 1974 when the best players of the WHA took on the Soviets.
During 1972, Howe was in retirement and did not participate, while Bobby Hull was blacklisted for having jumped from the NHL to the WHA at the time, but both featured in the 1974 edition. Also, wherever Gordie went, so did Mark and Marty, who where both also on the Team Canada roster.
After starting out with a tie and a 4-1 win, Canada looked to be competitive with the Soviets, but the last six games saw the Soviets win 4 with a pair of ties, giving the Soviets the series 4-1-3.
The 1974 Summit Series would be Howe's only international competition of his career. He would finish fourth in tournament scoring with 3 goals and 7 points in the 8 games of the series.
The original expectation in 1973 was that Gordie, who also signed a four-year contract, would play one year and then move into the team's front office. That was not to be however, as Gordie returned for a second WHA season. While Larry Lund led the club with 108 points, Gordie duplicated his output from the season prior with 99 points while Mark contributed 76 points from the blueline after 79 the year before.
Howe would once again lead the Aeros in scoring in 1975-76 with 102 points, 26 clear of his son Mark and Frank Hughes, but would only place 10th in the scoring race in the now wide-open WHA. Still, the Aeros were a solid all around team and once more led the league in regular season points with 106 points. The gap was narrowed to the rest of the league however, as Winnipeg tied them with 106, coming on one less win, and the Nordiques just two back at 104.
Today's featured jersey is a 1973-74 Houston Aeros Gordie Howe jersey. This classic jersey combines a vintage font running diagonally across the front in the time-honored manner paired with a simple striping pattern topped off with a star on each shoulder proving less is more when it comes to an effective and timeless hockey jersey.
Extra bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a Team Canada 1974 Summit Series Gordie Howe jersey. Oddly, the jerseys worn by the Canadians in 1974 did not have the players names on the back, and instead all read "INTERNATIONAL", unlike the 1972 Team Canada jerseys, which all had "CANADA" rather than the player names.
Today's video section has plenty of great footage and begins with a thoughtful Gordie discussing playing with his sons at the age of 50.