Harry Howell, whose Hall of Fame hockey career included parts of three seasons with the Kings as well as a stint with the California Golden Seals and a season with the San Diego Mariners of the World Hockey Assn., has died. He was 86. The Hockey Hall of Fame, which granted him membership in 1979, announced his death on Sunday.
Howell, a native of Hamilton, Canada, played 1,411 NHL games. Most were with the New York Rangers, who retired his jersey and his No. 3. He won the Norris trophy as the league’s best defenseman in 1966 and then jokingly predicted that no one would win it for a while afterward except Bobby Orr. Howell was correct: Orr won the Norris the next eight seasons in a row and redefined the defenseman’s role in the game.
Howell was traded to the Kings in February 1971. He finished his career with three seasons in the renegade WHA, finally retiring at age 43.
Howell was durable on the ice and was considered among the league’s most gentlemanly and likable players off the ice. Here’s a link to an insightful story about him in his hometown newspaper, the Hamilton Spectator.