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Gordie Howe got some nice birthday presents from the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday, including a sweater with his rookie number and a new leather team jacket. ((Jerry S. Mendoza/Associated Press))

When Gordie Howe signed his first contract with the Detroit Red Wings in 1946, the one thing he insisted be included was a leather team jacket.

He got another one on Sunday afternoon, 62 years after the first.

The Wings celebrated the Hall of Famer's 80th birthday one day early by presenting him with a framed No. 17 jersey (his number as a rookie before the switch to the iconic No. 9), a 48-inch high-definition television and a new jacket.

That ceremony was held prior to Detroit's 1-0 overtime victory over the visiting Nashville Predators.

Known as Mr. Hockey, Howe played with the Wings from 1946 to 1971 before retiring for two seasons, obviously too early.

With the formation of the World Hockey Association, Howe went on to play six seasons with the Houston Aeros and New England Whalers alongside his sons Mark and Marty. When the Whalers came to the NHL in 1979, Howe finished out his career with a final year.

He scored 801 NHL goals, second only to Wayne Gretzky, and 1,850 points, third behind Gretzky and Mark Messier.