Skip to main content

Hockey Heroes: Bill Goldsworthy

Bill was a hard shooting winger developed in the Boston Bruins junior and minor league system. He played with the Bruins OHA junior team in Niagara Falls and helped the Falls Flyers win the 1965 Memorial Cup.

"Goldy," as he was best known, never really got a chance to play with the Bruins however. He played parts of two injury plagued years with the Bruins but spent most of his time in the minor leagues.
Goldsworthy was the beneficiary of expansion when the NHL grew from 6 to 12 teams. 6 new teams meant approximately 120 news jobs in the NHL, and Goldy wanted to be one of those 120. That process began on June 6, 1967, when he was chosen by the Minnesota North Stars in the expansion draft.

Of all the players, chosen in the expansion draft, it was Goldy who may have had the best career. In Minnesota he developed into a fine goal scorer and became the North Stars first star attraction.

After a modest 14 goal, 33 point season in 68 games, Goldy exploded in the playoffs. In 14 games in the 1968 post season, Goldy led the entire National Hockey League in goals (8) and points (15). He also popularized the "Goldy Shuffle." The Shuffle is a now common routine for celebrating a goal, but it was Goldsworthy who really started it. Bill would lift one leg, and pump the opposite arm in
celebration of goals.

Goldy suffered a setback in 1968-69 season. Critics scoffed that he was a post season fluke and they scoffed more when he struggled through a terrible 1968-69 season. He scored only 14 goals in 68 games, just 6 more than he scored in 14 playoff games the previous spring. He only added 10 assists and was a horrendous -27.

However he silenced his critics in 1969-70 when he rediscovered his touch and scored a whopping 36 goals. And he proved it was no fluke for the next 5 years as he failed to score more than 30 goals only once. He scored a club record of 48 goals in 1973-74 season that stood for eight years before Dino Ciccarelli broke the mark in 1982. He captained the Stars from 1974-1976 and represented the team in 5 different all star games.

While Bill was more of a shooter than a playmaker, he was not a one-trick pony. He could play at both ends of the ice and was known as a solid team player. These all around qualities helped him to be selected on Team Canada's Summit Series roster that defeated the Russians in 1972. Goldy appeared in 3 of the 8 games, scoring 1 goal and 1 assist.

Bill was a very talented player who benefited from lots of playing time with the expansion North Stars. While he never got a chance to play in Boston, one would have to wonder how good Goldy would have been with a team that possessed a more talented supporting cast.

Late in his career the Stars traded their original franchise player to the New York Rangers. By this point in his career Goldy was showing his age and not contributing like he used to. His struggle with alcoholism was also starting to win the battle.

Bill played 68 games with the Rangers before finishing his career with the WHA's Indy Racers and Edmonton Oilers.

With the Stars franchise set to move from Minnesota to Dallas, the North Stars did something nice to remember their past. On February 15th, 1992 Bill's number eight was retired in a memorable ceremony in front of a sell out crowd at Met Center. It was one of the last great memories for North Star fans.

After retiring as a player, Bill moved into coaching. He was coaching the San Antonio Iguanas of the Central Hockey League when he was hospitalized on November 11, 1994. He had been feeling ill for two months, and learned during the stay that he was suffering from AIDS. Bill passed away in a Minneapolis hospital, May 24, 1996 of complications from the disease.

Comments

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