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August 22, 2015

Don Howse

Don Howse was a rare NHL player from Newfoundland. The Grand Falls native starred on "The Rock" through to the age of 17. That was when he headed to Ontario to play two less-than-spectacular seasons with the Ottawa 67's.

With no seeming interest from the pros, Howse returned to Newfoundland content to carry on as a senior star. He led the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts to the Herder Trophy as senior champions and represented the province in the Allan Cup for Canada's amateur championship.

By 1973 Howse was approached by the Montreal Canadiens. He realized playing for the powerful Canadiens was unlikely, but he had a chance to earn a living playing pro hockey. The Habs American Hockey League farm team was in near by Nova Scotia.

Howse would play six seasons in Nova Scotia with the Voyageurs, or the "Vees" as they were popularly nicknamed. They won the AHL's Calder Cup championship in 1976 and 1977.

Montreal and Howse parted ways in the summer of 1979. Howse ultimately decided to continue on in pro hockey, even though that meant leaving his beloved Canadian maritimes. But he found a new home - if only for a short time - on a different ocean. He enjoyed his time on the Pacific Ocean, and more importantly in the National Hockey League.

Howse played 33 games with the Los Angeles Kings, plus another two in the Stanley Cup playoffs, in the 1979-80 season. He scored twice, including his first NHL goal in a 7-2 win over Toronto.

Howse spent the balance of his two year contract in the minor leagues. Rather than continuing on with the vagabond life, Howse opted to retire as a pro and return to Newfoundland. He would play and coach senior hockey in Stephenville for years.

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