The Hamilton Huskies Hockey Club wish to express their sincere condolences to the family of Harry Howell on his passing. Harry, a Hamilton native, and his wife of 64 years, Marilyn, who recently passed away were well known throughout the city.
Harry will always be remembered for his gentle, caring and humble personality as much as he will be for all his hockey successes.
Howell played 1,411 games in the NHL between 1952-1973. He was awarded the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman during the 1966-1967 season.
He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979.
The City of Hamilton renamed North Wentworth Arena in Flamborough after Harry Howell in 2014.
Howell spent 17 seasons with the New York Rangers. His No. 3 is one of only ten numbers that has been retired by the iconic Original Six franchise.
NHL Hall of Famer Harry Howell dies at 86
By SCOTT RADLEY The Hamilton Spectator
Sun., March 10, 2019
He may have been the greatest hockey player Hamilton has ever produced. Probably was.
He won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenceman. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in a class with Bobby Orr and Rocket Richard. Canada Post put out a stamp of him. His number became one of just 10 retired by the New York Rangers and raised to the rafters of Madison Square Garden.
In this file photo from Sept 22, 2005, NHL Hall of Famer Harry Howell is seen standing in front one of the four rinks at the quad pad arena that was named after him. (HAMILTON SPECTATOR / KAZ NOVAK)
Yet when the news broke that Harry Howell had passed away late Saturday night at 86, nobody talked about his
work on the ice, they all wanted to talk about Harry the man.
“He was a gentleman,” says Dean Prentice, who played with him in junior and was called up to the Rangers the same day as Howell back in 1952. “He was well-liked by everybody and he always had a smile.”
“He was very, very humble,” says longtime Ranger Vic Hadfield. “Almost basically shy. But once you got to know Harry, and it didn’t take very long, he was a wonderful person.”
“He was one of the kindest men I’ve ever met,” says Hall of Famer Brad Park.
The average age of Canadians right now is 41. Howell played his last hockey game 43 years ago. Meaning many never got to see him in action. It’s a shame.
He wasn’t a guy who lifted fans out of their seats with his spectacular end-to-end rushes or scintillating moves. He wasn’t. The most goals he ever scored in a season was 12. Though he did score in his first game on his first shot.
He used to laugh about that one. He was about to leave the ice for a shift change and lofted a lazy backhander toward the Maple Leafs goal. Harry Lumley was screened and didn’t see it coming. The puck plopped over his shoulder into the cage.
Instead, he was a defensive stalwart. Steady, predictable, great in his own end and fearless. He’d block shots at a time when equipment was little more than a rumour. His nickname was Harry the Horse but it could’ve been Harry the Haematoma. Legendary goalie Ed Giacomin once said No. 3 stopped more shots than he did for the New York Rangers.
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