Howson played 2 seasons with the Kingston Canadians of the Ontario Hockey Association, and one more season with the club after they moved to the Ontario Hockey League. In that season, Howson amassed 57 goals, and 140 points in 66 games. That was second in team scoring to Bernie Nicholls, and sixth in league scoring.
Howson would then go on to play one season (1981–82) with the Toledo Goaldiggers of the IHL. He won the Garry F. Longman Memorial Trophy as IHL rookie of the year after scoring 55 goals and 120 points in only 74 games.
Howson then played 146 games over three seasons with the Indianapolis Checkers of the Central Hockey League. It was after his time with the Checkers that Howson split two seasons between the New York Islanders, and their American Hockey League affiliate, the Springfield Indians. He played 8 games in the 1984–85 season, and another 10 in the 1985–86 season. In the total 18 games, he had 5 goals, 3 assists, and 8 points.
Howson first became the GM of the Edmonton Oilers AHL affiliate, the Cape Breton Oilers and then the Hamilton Bulldogs. When Glen Sather left the Edmonton Oilers for the New York Rangers, and the Oilers hired Kevin Lowe, Lowe immediately promoted Howson to the Oilers where he served as assistant GM to from 2002–2007. On June 15, 2007, Howson was named general manager of the Blue Jackets.
|General Manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets|
| Succeeded by|
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