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Bill Needham

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Billneedham

Bill Needham (born January 12, 1932, in Kirkland Lake, Ontario) is a retired Canadian defenceman and coach.

He turned pro with the Grand Rapids Rockets of the International Hockey League (IHL) in 1952-53. He bounced around the minor pros for five seasons before joining the Cleveland Barons of the American Hockey League in 1957-58.

Needham became a regular and a fan favourite with the Barons. He played there for 14 seasons and over 1000 games. In 1967-68 he won the Eddie Shore Award as best defenceman.

In 1971-72 Needham joined the Toledo Hornets of the IHL as a player-coach and his last year as a player. In the next season he returned to Cleveland to coach the brand-new Cleveland Crusaders of the World Hockey Association for two seasons.

In 1974-75 Needham was the coach of the Roanoke Valley Rebels of the Southern Hockey League.

He is currently a scout for the Sarnia Sting.

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