NHL hockey legend Gordie Howe suffered a serious stroke on Sunday.  

The 86-year-old Howe, known as "Mr. Hockey" to many, is resting at his daughter's home in Lubbock, Texas, where the stroke occurred.

The Detroit News quoted Howe's son, Dr. Murray Howe, as saying Howe is having trouble speaking and has lost some function on one side of his body. 

'He knows who he is. He knows the people around him. But it is very difficult for him to get up and walk around.' - Gordie Howe's son, Dr. Murray Howe

"The right side of his body is very, very weak," said Dr. Howe. "He's unable to stand without help. He's able to speak, but very, very difficult to speak. 

"He knows who he is. He knows the people around him. But it is very difficult for him to get up and walk around. So he is pretty much confined to his bed right now. So we're just trying to keep him comfortable, and that's our goal." 

On Tuesday night, Howe's daughter Cathy told the Associated Press that her father had lost some use of his right arm and right leg.

"We'll just see what each day brings," she said. "He's tough. He's not giving up."

Howe's daughter said his speech is slurred, but he's been looking at family pictures and pictures from his playing days, and he's able to recognize and identify people he played with. His three sons were on the way there to see him.

Howe underwent spinal surgery this summer, but had returned to fairly good health prior to the stroke. 

"Since that time, which is maybe eight weeks or so, ago, maybe 10, he's been doing great," Dr. Howe said. He's been walking at least a mile a day, and he was essentially pain free and doing well, up until this past Sunday."

Murray Howe said last year his father was still strong but was struggling a bit with short-term memory loss. The senior Howe also suffers from a form of dementia.

Howe hails from Floral, Sask., and grew up in Saskatoon.

He retired in 1980 as the NHL leader in career goals (801) and career points (1850) — both records were later broken by Wayne Gretzky — but Howe always maintained that his string of 20-straight seasons as one of the league's top-five scorers was the true measure of his Hall of Fame career.

With one shift for the Detroit Vipers in the International Hockey League in 1997, he played professionally in a sixth decade at the age of 69.

4-time Cup champion

Howe played 25 seasons with Detroit, winning four Stanley Cups, six Hart Trophies as the NHL's most valuable player and six Art Ross Trophies as the league's leading scorer.

He debuted with the Red Wings in 1946 at the age of 18 and quickly became a leader on the team. Howe and teammates Sid Abel and Ted Lindsay became known as the Production Line thanks to their hard-nosed style of play.

The term Gordie Howe hat trick — when a player scores a goal, records an assist and gets in a fight in one game — is named after him.

After a brief retirement in 1971, Howe returned to the ice as a member of the World Hockey Association's Houston Aeros, joining his sons Mark and Marty.

In 1977, the three Howes moved to the WHA's New England Whalers. When the league folded in 1979 the newly named Hartford Whalers joined the NHL with the Howes in tow.

At 51 years old, Howe played all 80 games of the 1979-80 NHL season with the Whalers, helping them to the playoffs with 15 goals.

For fans who would like to send cards or letters of support to Gordie, they can do so by sending them to:

Gordie Howe
c/o Texas Trailer Corral
12207 HWY 87
Lubbock, TX 79423

With files from CBCSports.ca/The Associated Press