|Position Right Wing|
Name Howie Meeker
Height 1.75 m
Career end 1955
|Played for Toronto Maple Leafs|
Career start 1946
Role Sports announcer
|Born November 4, 1923 (age 92)
Kitchener, ON, CAN (1923-11-04) |
Weight 165 lb (75 kg; 11 st 11 lb)
Party Progressive Conservative Party of Canada
Books Howie Meeker's Hockey basics, L'ABC du hockey, More hockey basics from Howie Meeker
Similar People Ted Kennedy, Wally Stanowski, Bill Barilko, Dick Irvin - Jr, Johnny Bower
Don cherry and howie meeker on sports action commercial 1980s
Howard William Meeker, C.M. (born November 4, 1923) is a former right winger in the National Hockey League, youth coach and educator in ice hockey and television sports announcer as well as a former Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament. He was born in Kitchener, Ontario. Meeker is the last surviving member of the Maple Leafs 1947 Stanley Cup team, the Maple Leaf 1949 Stanley Cup team, and the inaugural NHL All-Star Game.
- Don cherry and howie meeker on sports action commercial 1980s
- Howie meeker
- Playing coaching and general managing career
- Political career
- Hockey camps
- Broadcasting career
- Philanthropic work
- Personal life
- Awards and achievements
Playing, coaching and general managing career
Meeker played his junior hockey with the Kitchener Greenshirts in the Ontario Hockey Association. In 1941–42, Meeker joined the Stratford Kist. In only 13 games, he scored 29 goals and had 45 points to lead all players in points. He played one more year of junior hockey before joining the Canadian Army. Meeker was badly injured during the war, but he made a full recovery. In 1945–46, after World War II had ended, Meeker returned to the OHA and played one season with the Stratford Indians.
In 1946–47, Meeker joined the Toronto Maple Leafs in the National Hockey League. He scored 27 goals and 45 points during his NHL debut and he was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy. Meeker also played in the 1947 NHL All-Star Game and he also tied an NHL record for most goals by a rookie in one game with five goals against the Chicago Black Hawks. Meeker also won his first Stanley Cup with the Leafs that season, the first of three consecutive Stanley Cups. The season, however, would prove Meeker's best as a pro, and he would never again approach that level of scoring.
In 1948–49, Meeker scored 34 points in 58 games and played in the 1948 NHL All-Star Game. He also helped the Leafs win their second consecutive Stanley Cup. Next season, Meeker sustained a collarbone injury that limited him to only 30 games and he did not play a single game in the playoffs as the Leafs took their third consecutive Stanley Cup. In 1950–51, Meeker won his fourth Stanley Cup with the Leafs as they beat the Montreal Canadiens in five games. Meeker would play three more seasons with the Leafs before retiring from the NHL. He continued to play hockey for 15 more years with different senior clubs.
He also coached the Maple Leafs, replacing King Clancy on April 11, 1956, leading the Leafs to a 21–34–15 record. He was promoted to general manager in 1957, but was fired before the start of the 1957–58 season.
Meeker spent two years as a Progressive Conservative MP while playing for the Leafs. In June 1951, Meeker won the federal by-election in the Ontario riding of Waterloo South. He did not seek re-election in the 1953 election.
He later ran hockey schools as summer camps in Canada and the United States. His weekly telecasts based on these camps, Howie Meeker's Hockey School, ran from 1973 to 1977 on CBC Television. The series was produced in St. John's, Newfoundland. It featured boys learning the basic skills about the game: skating, puck control and passing. Meeker's encouragement and delivery were all based on his premise that the game was suffering from poor instruction at the junior levels. He felt the game was not being taught properly so his message was directed at coaches across Canada. He also made vocal and detailed complaints about poor quality hockey equipment for child players, especially concerning protective gear. The television series had 107 fifteen-minute episodes. It was produced and directed by Ron Harrison and/or John Spaulding and aired weekly during the hockey season.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Meeker became known to a new generation of hockey fans as the squeaky-voiced analyst on Hockey Night in Canada. He began analyzing plays in greater depth than previous colour commentators, using the telestrator to demonstrate his points. He also worked on Vancouver Canucks telecasts on BCTV. When TSN gained NHL cable rights in 1987, Meeker joined their broadcast team, where he stayed until retiring in 1998. Meeker popularized the phrase, "Keep your stick on the ice", made during his educational segments on Hockey Night in Canada.
In 2004, Meeker was invited to headline a golf tournament fundraiser to benefit BC Guide Dog Services. Originally intended as a one-off event, it was such a success that the Howie Meeker Golf for Guide Dogs tournament ran on Vancouver Island for four years, and is now held annually in the Metro Vancouver area. From this beginning, Meeker and his wife, Leah, became the Patrons for BC Guide Dog Services, and through their involvement have already helped raise over $350,000 as of December 31, 2010.
He currently lives in Parksville, British Columbia. He was raised in New Hamburg, Ontario.