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Hamilton native and Hockey Hall of Famer Harry Howell dies at 86

Former New York Rangers Andy Bathgate, right, and Harry Howell wave to fans after their numbers were retired in a ceremony before an NHL hockey game between the Rangers and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009, at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Former New York Rangers Andy Bathgate, right, and Harry Howell wave to fans after their numbers were retired in a ceremony before an NHL hockey game between the Rangers and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009, at Madison Square Garden in New York. AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Hockey Hall of Famer Harry Howell has died at age 86.

The Hamilton native passed away Saturday night. He played 21 seasons in the National Hockey League as a defenceman with the New York Rangers, Oakland Seals/California Golden Seals and Los Angeles Kings from 1952 to 1973.

Hockey Hall of Famer and pioneer Ted Lindsay dies at 93

Hockey Hall of Famer and pioneer Ted Lindsay dies at 93
Hockey Hall of Famer and pioneer Ted Lindsay dies at 93

Howell, who was known for his defensive prowess, won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenceman in 1966-67 when he scored 12 goals and added 28 assists with the Rangers. He was named New York’s most valuable player in 1964.

In 1,411 career games, the seven-time all-star amassed 418 points (94 goals, 324 assists) and 1,298 penalty minutes. Howell recorded three goals and three assists in 38 career playoff games but never won a Stanley Cup.

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He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979 along with Bobby Orr, Henri Richard and former Canadian Amateur Hockey Association president Gordon Juckes.

New York retired Howell’s No. 3 in a ceremony at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 22, 2009. Only nine other players in franchise history, including Mark Messier, Brian Leetch and Andy Bathgate, have received the honour.

In 2014, the City of Hamilton renamed North Wentworth Arena near Hwy 5 and Hwy 6 Harry Howell Arena.

Howell’s wife, Marilyn, died just three weeks ago. They had been married for 64 years.

Howell’s death comes just five days after the passing of fellow Hockey Hall of Fame member Ted Lindsay.