Skip to main content

Bill Shill

Bill Shill was a once promising Toronto Maple Leafs prospect that the let slip through their fingers.

In 1944 there was no internet or television, so information hardly flowed fast at all back then. The Leafs thought they could sneak another, unnamed prospect on their reserve list, but that meant dropping another one for a mandatory 48 hour period.

The Leafs removed Shill from their list, only to be shocked that the Boston Bruins had found out and snatched him up. It seems that Boston scout Harold "Baldy" Cotton found out and immediately made the move.

It looked like a promising move for the Bruins.

His very first game was something to never forget. Because of a visa papers delay at the Canada/USA border, Shill did not arrive at his first Bruins game until the second period. No worries. He quickly put on his skates, joined his new teammates and scored a spectacular goal. The only problem was he crashed into the goal posts - in those days the posts were solidly built into the building and did not move at all - and required five stitches to close the gash on his ankle.

In his first seven games he scored four goals and five points. But then the military called. World War II was raging and there was more important things than hockey on the line. Shill was off to serve his country with the navy. He was stationed first in Toronto and then in Newfoundland.

Shill did not return to the Bruins until 1945-46. Playing on the “Sprout line” together with Don Gallinger and Bep Guidolin, Shill had two injury plagued seasons with the Bruins before disappearing to the minor leagues.

His best years in the minors were spent with the Vancouver Canucks of the old PCHL in the early 1950s. He also played for the East York Lyndhursts who infamously lost to the upstart Soviets ad the 1954 World Championships.


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M