Fandom

Ice Hockey Wiki

Bill Masterton

54,196pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Talk0 Share

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.

Bill Masterton
Billmasterton
Position Centre
Height
Weight
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
185 lb (84 kg)
Teams Minnesota North Stars
Nationality Flag of the United States & Flag of Canada
Born August 13, 1938,
Winnipeg, MB, CAN
Died January 15, 1968 (age 29),
Minneapolis, MN, USA
Pro Career 1967 – 1968


William "Bill" Masterton (August 13, 1938 – January 15, 1968) was a Canadian centre in the National Hockey League (NHL). Masterton died from an injury he suffered during a game. Along with Howie Morenz, Masterton is one of only two players in NHL history to be killed as a direct result of an on-ice incident during a game.

Early life and careerEdit

Masterton first began playing hockey with the St. Boniface Canadiens in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League in 1956-57.

A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Masterton was signed by the Montreal Canadiens soon after he came out of the University of Denver in 1961, where he was an All-American. He bounced around the minor leagues before retiring in 1963 in order to work for the Honeywell Corporation in Minneapolis and played as an amateur for the United States National team (Masterton became an American citizen in 1967). The North Stars picked him up before their inaugural season in 1967. He scored the first goal in North Stars history on October 11, 1967.

DeathEdit

On January 13, 1968, four minutes into a game against the Oakland Seals at the Met Center, Masterton was carrying the puck into the Seals' zone. Shortly after completing a pass to teammate Wayne Connelly, he was checked by Oakland's Larry Cahan and Ron Harris and fell backwards onto the ice head-first. The force of the back of his head hitting the ice caused blood to gush from his mouth and nose. Before Masterton lost consciousness, a teammate who rushed to his aid heard him murmur, "Never again. Never again."

Masterton sustained a massive brain hemorrhage that damaged the pons. The injury was so severe that doctors were unable to perform surgery, and Masterton died two days later without ever regaining consciousness.

His death would result in more intense lobbying for hockey players to wear helmets, which were uncommon in North American professional hockey at that time. Helmets were mandated beginning 1979 for players entering the NHL in that season onward.

Masterton's #19 jersey has never been worn again by any player on the North Stars/Stars franchise, and it was officially retired in 1987, six years before the North Stars left Minnesota for Dallas.

The Bill Masterton Trophy is named in his honor. The trophy is awarded for dedication, sportsmanship, and perseverance.

Bill Masterton attended Miles MacDonell Collegiate in Winnipeg, where he was the male athlete of the year at the school in 1955. In 1968, his family created a scholarship in his honour for MacDonell students.

Career StatisticsEdit

    Regular Season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1955-56 St. Boniface Canadiens MJHL 22 23 26 49 16 4 4 1 5 2
Memorial Cup -- -- -- -- -- 6 3 6 9 2
1956-57 St. Boniface Canadiens MJHL 30 23 30 53 16 7 8 10 18 2
1957-58 Denver Pioneers (see note) 1st Year -- -- -- -- --
1958-59 Denver Pioneers NCAA 23 21 28 49 6
1959-60 Denver Pioneers WCHA 34 21 46 67 2
1960-61 Denver Pioneers WCHA 32 24 56 80 4
1961-62 Hull-Ottawa Canadiens EPHL 65 31 35 66 18 12 0 4 4 0
1962-63 Cleveland Barons AHL 72 27 55 82 12 7 4 5 9 2
1964-65 Rochester Mustangs USHL -- -- -- -- --
St. Paul Steers USHL
1965-66 St. Paul Steers USHL 30 27 40 67 6
1966-67 United States National Team USHL 23 10 29 39 4
1967-68 Minnesota North Stars NHL 38 4 8 12 4 -- -- -- -- --
NHL Totals 38 4 8 12 4 -- -- -- -- --

Note: Freshmen were not allowed to play on the varsity team.

Awards & Achievements Edit

  • Turnbull Cup Manitoba Junior Hockey League Championship (1956)
  • WCHA First All-Star Team (1960 & 1961)
  • NCAA West First All-American Team (1960 & 1961)
  • National Collegiate Athletic Association Championship (1960 & 1961)
  • NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team (1961)
  • NCAA Championship Tournament MVP (1961)
  • Eastern Professional Hockey League Championship (1962)
  • “Honoured Member” of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame

External linksEdit

Also on Fandom

Random Wiki