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Strange but True: Gordie Howe's first and only suspension led to referee's resignation

In December 1975, Howe was kicked out of the game for elbowing a referee. That ref then resigned.

HOUSTON — Gordie Howe’s incredible career includes 975 goals, seven MVP trophies and one suspension.

It happened in December 1975. Howe and the Houston Aeros were at The Summit playing Winnipeg when Gordie was whistled for a high-stick.

He was ticked.

While protesting the call, he bumped the official while saying things like, "All these fans didn’t come here to see you." and "Go look at the replay."

Howe then elbowed him.

He was thrown of out of the game, suspended for two games and later fined $1,000.

What’s astonishing is the fact that it was the first time Gordie Howe, or "Mr. Hockey," had been suspended in 29 years as a professional player.

As for the referee? For Ron Asslestine, it was all too much.

“I’m finished," he told The Associated Press. "When the man who’s supposed to be the craftiest who’s ever played the game drives me in the guts, its obvious I’m not the man for the job.”

Asslestine resigned after the game (but later reconsidered and returned to officiating).

The next Howe tried to be "Mister-I-take-full-responsibility."

“One time I did give him an elbow, and you shouldn't do that to an official,” Howe admitted to The Associated Press. “(But) the guy was making awful calls.”

Howe’s first and only suspension leading to a referee's resignation? It’s a strange but true Houston sports story.

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