Harry Howell (ice hockey)

Henry Vernon Howell (December 28, 1932 – March 9, 2019) was a Canadian professional hockey player and longtime star for the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League.

Harry Howell
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1979
Howell with the New York Rangers.
Born (1932-12-28)December 28, 1932
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Died March 9, 2019(2019-03-09) (aged 86)
Ancaster, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Left
Played for New York Rangers
Oakland Seals
Los Angeles Kings
New York Golden Blades
New Jersey Knights
San Diego Mariners
Calgary Cowboys
Playing career 19521976

Early life

He was born in Hamilton, Ontario and died on March 9, 2019 at the age of 86.[1]. He attended GCVI (Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute), in Guelph, Ontario.


A stalwart, stay at home defenceman, in 1967 Howell was the last player in the pre-expansion era to win the Norris Trophy,[2] and famously said that he was glad he won the trophy then, because Bobby Orr (who finished second that year) would "own" the Norris for some time to come (as it turned out, Orr would win the trophy for the next eight seasons).[3]

Howell's playing weight was 195 and he stood 6 foot 1 inches tall. He played seventeen years wearing number 3 for the Rangers[4] then he played another eight years in professional hockey; two with Oakland/California Seals, three with the Los Angeles Kings, and one each with three World Hockey Association (WHA) teams: New York Golden Blades/New Jersey Knights (1973–74 WHA season), San Diego Mariners (1974–75), and ending his playing career with the Calgary Cowboys (1975–76).[5]

Howell first moved into team management while still a player. After just seven games with the New York Golden Blades, Howell was elevated to player-coach when the team was moved and became the New Jersey Knights for the remainder of the season. At the end of that season, the Knights moved and became the San Diego Mariners, with Howell still performing double duty as player-coach. Howell was strictly a player during his season with the Calgary Cowboys.

Howell played 1411 NHL games and 170 WHA games, scoring 101 goals and 360 assists for 461 points.[6]

He was named a First Team All-Star in 1967, and played in All-Star Games in 1954, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968 and 1970. When he left the NHL, Howell had played more games as a defenseman than anyone else, and remains sixth in all time games played as a defenseman. He also holds the record for most games played for New York Rangers: 1,160.[7]

After retiring as a player, Howell became General Manager of the Cleveland Barons for the 1977–78 NHL season. The Barons were in dire financial circumstances, and merged with the equally challenged Minnesota North Stars at the end of that season. Howell became head coach of the merged Minnesota North Stars for the 1978–79 season.

Howell was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979.[8]

In 1990, he finally won the Stanley Cup as a member of the Edmonton Oilers where he served as a scout.[9]

Howell's #3, along with Andy Bathgate's #9, was retired by the New York Rangers during a special ceremony prior to the February 22, 2009 match versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.[10][11]

Also in 2009, Howell was ranked No. 10 on the all-time list of New York Rangers in the book 100 Ranger Greats (John Wiley & Sons. On March 9, 2019 Howell Passed away.

Awards and achievements

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1951–52Guelph BiltmoresOHA511720370
1951–52Cincinnati MohawksAHL10000
1952–53Guelph BiltmoresOHA52240
1952–53New York RangersNHL67381146
1953–54New York RangersNHL67791658
1954–55New York RangersNHL702141687
1955–56New York RangersNHL70315187750114
1956–57New York RangersNHL65210127051016
1957–58New York RangersNHL7047116261018
1958–59New York RangersNHL7041014101
1959–60New York RangersNHL67761358
1960–61New York RangersNHL707101762
1961–62New York RangersNHL66615218960118
1962–63New York RangersNHL705202555
1963–64New York RangersNHL705313675
1964–65New York RangersNHL682202263
1965–66New York RangersNHL704293392
1966–67New York RangersNHL701228405440004
1967–68New York RangersNHL74524296261010
1968–69New York RangersNHL5647113620000
1969–70Oakland SealsNHL55416205240112
1970–71California Golden SealsNHL2809914
1970–71Los Angeles KingsNHL1838114
1971–72Los Angeles KingsNHL771171853
1972–73Los Angeles KingsNHL734111528
1973–74New York Golden Blades/Jersey KnightsWHA653232624
1974–75San Diego MarinersWHA744101428510110
1975–76Calgary CowboysWHA31033620002
NHL totals 1411 94 324 418 1298 38 3 3 6 32

NHL/WHA Coaching record

TeamYearRegular seasonPost season
New Jersey Knights (WHA)1973–74 5826302(54)6th in EastMissed playoffs
San Diego Mariners (WHA)1974–75 7843314902nd in WestLost in Semi-Finals
Minnesota North Stars (NHL)1978–79 11362(8)4th in Adams(resigned)

See also


Preceded by
Jacques Laperrière
Winner of the Norris Trophy
Succeeded by
Bobby Orr
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Don Raleigh
New York Rangers captain
Succeeded by
George Sullivan
Preceded by
Bill McCreary, Sr.
General Manager of the Cleveland Barons
Succeeded by
Position abolished
Preceded by
Lou Nanne
Head coach of the Minnesota North Stars
Succeeded by
Glen Sonmor
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