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Hall of Famer Howell, Rangers' games leader, dies at 86

Harry Howell Harry Howell | Photo: AP.

March 10, 2019 06:22 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — 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.

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A seven-time All-Star, Howell played 1,160 games for the Rangers from 1952-69 and had his No. 3 retired by the team.

"One of the most iconic players in franchise history, Harry's Hall of Fame accomplishments on the ice were exceeded only by the tremendous gentleman he was off the ice," Rangers President Glen Sather said in a statement. "I was privileged to have worked with Harry for over a decade in both Edmonton and New York and treasure our memories together."

Howell also played in the NHL for the Oakland/California Golden Seals and Los Angeles before finishing in the World Hockey Association with single seasons with New York/New Jersey, San Diego and Calgary.

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.

Howell was a player-coach with New York-New Jersey and San Diego in the WHA and had an 11-game stint behind the bench in the NHL with the Minnesota North Stars. He also scouted for Edmonton.

"The National Hockey League mourns the passing of legendary defenseman, consummate professional, and Hockey Hall of Famer Harry Howell," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.

Howell helped the Guelph Biltmores wins the 1952 Memorial Cup junior championship.

The NHL said Howell's wife, Marilyn, died last month.

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Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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