* Was inducted into the Order of Canada
* Won the Calder Trophy for most points by a rookie in the 1946-47 season
* Wrote the book "Howie Meeker’s Hockey Basics" in 1973
Before he was a right-winger in the NHL, an inspirational coach or television sports announcer, Howie Meeker began his hockey career in Kitchener, where he was born.
He played junior hockey with the Kitchener Greenshirts, then moved on to play with Stratford before leaving hockey to join the Canadian Armed Forces. He fought and was injured in World War II, but luckily made a full recovery and was able to resume playing shortly after the war.
Howie joined the Toronto Maple Leafs for the 1946-47 season, setting the record for most goals by a rookie in a single game and winning the Calder Memorial Trophy for rookie of the year. That same season, Howie played in the All-Star game and won his first Stanley Cup.
While he was playing for the Leafs, Howie also undertook another job: he spent three years as a Progressive Conservative MP for the Waterloo South riding.
Howie started and ended his career as a Maple Leaf, then eventually became the coach (1956) and then the general manager (1957).
Following his career with the Leafs, Howie ran hockey schools as summer camps in Canada and the United States. In the 1970s, his lessons were turned into 15-minute educational segments that ran on CBC during hockey season, and covered the basics of the sport. The Literary Review of Canada calls the accompanying book – Howie Meeker’s Hockey Basics (1973) – one of the 100 most important Canadian books.
After an illustrious career spanning the world of hockey, broadcasting and politics, Howie Meeker was inducted into the Order of Canada.
The 88-year-old Kitchener native, who was one of 54 new recipients announced in December 2010 by Gov. Gen. David Johnston, said he is thankful for all the friends he’s made over the years across Canada.
In 1998, following his 30-year career in hockey broadcasting (working with CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada, TSN, CTV and NBC), Howie was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the broadcasters category.