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Breaking Angles: New York Ranger and NHL Star Harry Howell Passed Away at 86

One month after the death of his wife, Harry Howell left this mortal coil on March 10th.

Breaking Angles: New York Ranger and NHL Star Harry Howell Passed Away at 86


Estimated Reading Time: 1 Minutes

This NHL season has been marked by a lot of loss. From former commissioners to star players young and old, we’ve lost many heroes in our community. Now we’ve added Harry “The Horse” Howell to that list.

Howell died at 86-years-old on the evening of March 8, 2019. He passed at the assisted living facility he was residing in near Hamilton, Ontario, his hometown. His wife of 64 years, Marilyn, predeceased him by one month.

Howell was one of the star defensemen of the New York Rangers for seventeen of his twenty twos years as an NHL player. His other teams were the Los Angeles Kings and the Oakland/California Golden Seals. He holds the record for most games played in a Rangers jersey with 1,160 games. A seven time All-Star, a Norris trophy winner and a Hall of Fame inductee, Howell is a memory of old time hockey. Competing in a legendary field with stars like Bobby Orr and Jacques LaPierre, he set himself apart when possible and led the Rangers defensive core. He exemplified steady, smart defensive play and didn’t use his body alone to dominate despite his large stature.

On the other side of the bench, he had a storied career. He coached the Minnesota North Stars for 11 games. He served as a scout for the Edmonton Oilers and won his Stanley Cup with them in 1990. In the WHA, AHL and OHL, Howell played and coached for a number of teams. All told, Howell scored 101 goals and 360 assists in his twenty five years active as a professional hockey player.

Beloved and admired, Howell watched his prized number 3 be retired in 2009 at Madison Square Garden by the New York Rangers. He will surely be missed in the Big Apple and all over the NHL, remembered fondly for a winning smile, special grace and smart hockey. Rest in Peace, Howell. Every young defensive player looks up to you for making the position a star maker.

Sarah Jane, Sarah, or SJ-depending on the source-is a director, educator, theatre artist and now, sports blogger. She lives in Queens with her darling, not-so-sports-fan boyfriend. She played ice hockey growing up for the NJ Quarry Cats and various other teams. Being team captain her last two seasons is the most important achievement of her life to date. She proudly also was about a quarter of the size of her opponents and often led her team in both penalty minutes and enthusiasm. She's a Pittsburgh Penguins and Steelers fan (thanks, Momma!) and a New York Yankees fan (thanks, Poppa?) and was given zero choice on all three of these teams. Other hobbies include reading non-fiction books, cooking, and being spunky. Check in with her for all your greater hockey needs!

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