26 September 1952 |
Grand Centre, Alberta, Canada
|Height||175 cm (5 ft 9 in)|
|Weight||77 kg (170 lb; 12 st 2 lb)|
|Played for||New York Islanders
New Jersey Devils
|NHL Draft||144th overall, 1972
New York Islanders
Garry Robert Charles Howatt (born September 26, 1952 in Grand Centre, Alberta) is a retired Canadian ice hockey forward. Howatt was known for his toughness and, due to his small size, had the nickname "Toy Tiger."
Junior & AHL
Howatt played one year in the WCHL with the Flin Flon Bombers in 1971-72. He amassed 79 points in 60 games. That year he was drafted into the NHL by the New York Islanders at the 1972 NHL Amateur Draft. The year after he played with the New Haven Nighthawks of the AHL, getting 49 points in 65 games.
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 fan favourite admired for his scrappy, energetic style of play. 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). In Hartford, 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 he was traded with Rick Meagher for Merlin Malinowski and the rights to Scott Fusco. After squabbling with the Devils's management, he played only sporadically before ending his career with the Maine Mariners of the AHL, where he helped them win a Calder Cup and was there captain.
On January 15, 1983 Howatt (as a member of the New Jersey Devils) and Mickey Volcan (as a member of the Hartford Whalers) became the only active players to officiate an NHL game when a snowstorm prevented a referee and a linesman from reaching the Hartford Civic Center for a game between the Whalers and Devils.
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 later resided in New Jersey, where he owned and operated his own business, Mt. Freedom Golf, which he sold in 2010. Howatt now lives in Arizona with his wife and is still active playing hockey with NHL alumni. He is also active in rodeos throughout Arizona, participating in the Team Roping competitions.