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Hall of Famer Howell, Rangers Icon, Dies at 86


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Harry Howell, the Hall of Fame defenseman who played the most games in New York Rangers' history, has died. He was 86.


Howell died Saturday night. He had been living at an assisted care facility near his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario.


Known for his smart, steady play, "Harry the Horse" won the Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman in 1966-67. He finished with 94 goals and 324 assists in the NHL and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1979. He had seven goals and 36 assists in 170 games in the WHA.





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I didn't realize that he played into 1969. Given that I was 10 at the time, I guess that could explain it. Read that he was 'booed' out of Captaincy but remained with the Rangers for another 10 years. Doing so tells me a lot about his strong character. RIP Harry.
I remember him well. For the mid-to-late 60s period, Howell was the dean of the D-corps. The elder statesman, he shepherded the development of fixtures Jim Nielson, Arnie Brown, Rod Seiling, and later, Brad Park. And glad to know, Frank, there's somebody here even older than I am. (Although not by much!)


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I got interested in the Rangers during the first year of expansion, 1967-68. The first two players names that I learned were Giacomin and Howell, as they were the ones called by the play by play guy on TV the most often. That's because relatively late in his Rangers career, Howell logged the most ice time of anyone. They sold him because he had back problems, but he played on for an incredibly long period after that. If the Rangers had not foolishly let two similar HOF defensive stalwarts, Allan Stanley and Bill Gadsby, get run out of town in the fifties, those guys and Howell would have made for a playoff team every year and a cup somewhere along the way. Alas, they were such a poorly managed team until the Cat took over in 1964.
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Been following the NYR since 1954... Worsley, Bower, Bathgate, Prentice, Popein, Howell, Stanley, Gadsby, Fontinato, Evans, and many, many more. Those were the days. .50 cents & a G.O.card got you in @ the " old " garden on 8th ave. Side balcony; non-reserved. Ushers were Pinkertons. Knicks played on Sunday afternoon; Rangers on Sunday nite. Basketball court laid down over the ice. Went to the Giants games in the afternoon, then straight to MSG.
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