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Garry Robert Charles Howatt
After playing major junior with the Flin Flon Bombers, Howatt started his National Hockey League career with the New York Islanders in 1972. He also played for the New Jersey Devils and Hartford Whalers. He retired after the 1984 season. Howatt was known for his toughness and, due to his small size, had the nickname "Toy Tiger."
Howatt enjoyed his greatest popularity with the Islanders, remaining on the team from their first season, through their formative years of steady improvement, right through to their first two Stanley Cups in 1980 and 1981. Howatt was a great fan favorite and to this day remains near and dear to the hearts of nostalgic fans of the great Islander teams of the 1970s and 1980s. Fans loved Howatt for his scrappy, energetic style of play and, most of all, his willingness to stand up to the giant enforcers of his generation. Howatt was just 5'9" and weighed 170, giving away height, weight and reach to just about anybody he fought. Even when Howatt lost a fight, he would skate away with his characteristic grin that would delight fans. For this reason, the fans established a Garry Howatt-Bob Nystrom (a fellow NY Islanders pugilist) booster club, called the Dynamic Duo Fan Club, that was active throughout the 1970s.
When he left the Islanders in 1981, Howatt held the Islanders' career penalty-minutes record (1,466) and career playoffs penalty-minutes record (279). Both records were later broken. With the Hartford Whalers, Howatt scored a career-high 50 points and was offered a long-term contract and the team's captaincy. However, in his words, "bad advice from some former teammates" led him to request a trade to New Jersey where, after squabbling with the team's management, he played only sporadically before ending his career with the Maine Mariners of the AHL.
On a personal note, Howatt suffered from epilepsy and was recognized by the epilepsy community for his grittyness by being awarded the National Epileptic Foundation Man of the Year for 1974.
He played in 720 NHL games (all but 86 with the Islanders), and scored 112 goals and 156 assists with 1836 penalty minutes. He also played in 87 playoff games, with 12 goals and 14 assists and 289 penalty minutes.
|Flin Flon Bombers||WCHL||36||24||35||59||109||7||4||1||5||30|
|1972-73||New York Islanders||NHL||8||0||1||1||18||--||--||--||--||--|
|New Haven Nighthawks||AHL||65||22||27||49||157||--||--||--||--||--|
|1973-74||New York Islanders||NHL||78||6||11||17||204||--||--||--||--||--|
|1974-75||New York Islanders||NHL||77||18||30||48||121||17||3||3||6||59|
|1975-76||New York Islanders||NHL||80||21||13||34||197||13||5||5||10||23|
|1976-77||New York Islanders||NHL||70||13||15||28||182||12||1||1||2||28|
|1977-78||New York Islanders||NHL||61||7||12||19||146||7||0||1||1||62|
|1978-79||New York Islanders||NHL||75||16||12||28||205||9||0||1||1||18|
|1979-80||New York Islanders||NHL||77||8||11||19||219||21||3||1||4||84|
|1980-81||New York Islanders||NHL||70||4||15||19||174||8||0||2||2||15|
|1982-83||New Jersey Devils||NHL||38||1||4||5||114||--||--||--||--||--|
|1983-84||New Jersey Devils||NHL||6||0||0||0||14||--||--||--||--||--|
- Traded to Hartford by NY Islanders for Hartford's 5th round choice (Bob Caulfield) in 1983 Entry Draft, October 2, 1981.
- Traded to New Jersey by Hartford with Rick Meagher for Merlin Malinowski and the rights to Scott Fusco, October 15, 1982.
Awards & AchievementsEdit
- British Columbia Junior Hockey League Championship (1971)
- Stanley Cup National Hockey League Championship (1980 & 1981)
- Calder Cup American Hockey League Championship (1984)