Centre Earl Ingarfield was a consistent centre who possessed good speed and a decent shot. He was respected wherever he played for his work ethic and dedication to team play.
The native of Lethbridge, Alberta starred in the WCJHL for the hometown Native Sons. He played five years of junior and led the league in goals scored in each of his last two seasons. Ingarfield's pro career got off to a bright start with three strong years with the Saskatoon Quakers and Winnipeg Warriors.
In 1958-59 the crafty forward played sparingly as a rookie for the New York Rangers. He began the 1959-60 season in the NHL but was sent down to Cleveland of the AHL after 20 games. The next year began a run of seven seasons as a full time member of the Blueshirts. During this time he often formed an effective forward unit with Andy Bathgate and Dean Prentice. Following the 1961-62 season he was the recipient of the team's Player's Player Award.
Ingarfield suffered a blow to his ego when he was traded to Montreal and then promptly placed on the unprotected list at the Inter-League Draft. At least his old team, the Rangers, put in a claim and utilized him for two more seasons. Eventually the Rangers were looking at youngsters, notably Jean Ratelle, and Ingarfield was deemed expendable and left unprotected in the Expansion Draft. He was claimed by the Pittsburgh Penguins and joined his ex-linemate Bathgate in adding leadership and offense to the young squad. Ingarfield scored 37 points despite losing nearly 30 games to a knee injury, the first serious mishap of his career.
In 1968-69 he was acquired by the Oakland Seals and remained there until retiring in 1971. His best season on the West Coast was 1969-70 when he scored 45 points in 54 games. After retiring, Ingarfield accepted the head coaching position of the Regina Pats of the WCJHL. He stayed just a year because the separation from his family in Lethbridge was too great a strain at this stage of his life. In 1972 was offered a scouting position with the expansion New York Islanders that allowed him to be based from home.
Halfway through the 1972-73 season Phil Goyette was fired as head coach and Ingarfield was persuaded to take the coaching reigns for the remainder of the schedule. The team struggled in the standings but appeared to play with more heart under Ingarfield. He was offered the full-time job as head coach of the club but he turned it down to stay in Alberta. Ingarfield went back to scouting for two more years and was instrumental in bringing Bryan Trottier to the Island.
Ingarfield left scouting when he purchased the junior Lethbridge Broncos and became the team's coach and assistant general manager. He carried on for over two years before leaving hockey temporarily to become the sales manager of a local radio station. Ingarfield resumed his scouting responsibilities for the Islanders in 1982 and focused on the three major junior leagues, U.S. high schools and colleges and his son Earl Jr. when he played for the Calgary Flamed and Detroit Red Wings.