DETROIT (CBS NEWS) — Gordie Howe, the rough-and-tumble Canadian farm boy whose boundless blend of talent and toughness made him the NHL’s quintessential star during a career that lasted into his 50s, died Friday, CBS News has confirmed. The man forever known as “Mr. Hockey” was 88.

Son Murray Howe texted The Associated Press: “Mr Hockey left peacefully, beautifully, and w no regrets.”

Howe shattered records, threw elbows and helped the Detroit Red Wings win four Stanley Cups, becoming an idol to Wayne Gretzky and countless other Canadians while also helping the sport attract American fans.

The San Jose Sharks tweeted out a photo of Howe wearing a Sharks jersey in tribute to the hockey great.

His final NHL season came at age 52 when Gretzky was a rookie – a fitting symmetry since Howe was the league’s most prolific scorer until the “Great One” broke his career marks for goals and points.