Bill Goldsworthy

William Alfred Goldsworthy (August 24, 1944 – March 29, 1996) was a professional ice hockey right winger who played for three teams in the National Hockey League for 14 seasons between 1964 and 1978, mostly with the Minnesota North Stars.

Bill Goldsworthy
Goldsworthy in 1976
Born (1944-08-24)August 24, 1944
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Died March 29, 1996(1996-03-29) (aged 51)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shot Right
Played for Boston Bruins
Minnesota North Stars
New York Rangers
Indianapolis Racers (WHA)
Edmonton Oilers (WHA)
National team  Canada
Playing career 19641979

Playing career

Signed by the Boston Bruins of the NHL as a teenager, Goldsworthy played his junior days with the Bruins' Ontario Hockey Association affiliate Niagara Falls Flyers, a powerful team with future NHL stars Derek Sanderson, Bernie Parent, Jean Pronovost, Don Marcotte, Doug Favell and Rosaire Paiement among numerous others. Even with such a strong squad, Goldsworthy finished second and third in team scoring his final two seasons with the club, en route to a Memorial Cup finals appearance in 1963 and winning it outright in 1965 in a series marked by brawls and suspensions. The latter season saw Goldsworthy's NHL debut, playing two scoreless games with the Bruins.

With big league jobs tight in the days of the Original Six, Goldsworthy served a minor league apprenticeship the next two seasons, playing with the Oklahoma City Blazers of the Central Hockey League and the Buffalo Bisons of the American Hockey League between occasional callups to Boston.

As it did with many other players, league expansion in 1967 gave Goldsworthy a full-time spot in the NHL. Drafted in the midrounds by the Minnesota North Stars, he became an immediate starter, showing his promise in the playoffs in Minnesota's debut season, scoring eight goals and fifteen points in fourteen games as the North Stars came within a game of reaching the Stanley Cup finals. His true break-out season came in 1970, when he scored 36 goals to begin a stretch where, teamed with skilled playmakers such as Dennis Hextall and Jude Drouin, he scored thirty or more goals in five of the next six seasons to become the North Stars' first great scoring star.

His best offensive season was the 1974 season, when he set career highs in goals with 48 and points with 74, which saw him just missing a nomination to the Second All-Star Team at right wing. He cemented his popularity with Minnesota fans with the "Goldy Shuffle," a celebration Goldsworthy performed after each goal at home. Named team captain in 1975 after Ted Harris' trade, Goldsworthy served in that capacity for two seasons.

By 1976, the North Stars were in a rebuilding mode, having failed to make the playoffs in three years. In a decline due to an alcoholism problem which would become chronic, Goldsworthy was dealt to the New York Rangers. Early the next season, his skills in a sharp decline, he was the first NHL player traded outright to a World Hockey Association squad, the Indianapolis Racers. He was further dealt to the Edmonton Oilers for the 1979 season, where he played 17 games to finish out his playing career.

International play

Goldsworthy was a part of Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series, but played in only three games, scoring a goal and an assist.


Goldsworthy played 771 career NHL games, scoring 283 goals and 258 assists for 541 points, and added 18 goals and 19 assists in 40 playoff games. The North Stars retired his jersey number 8 on February 15, 1992.

After his retirement, Goldsworthy went into coaching, most notably for the San Antonio Iguanas of the CHL.

Bill Goldsworthy died in 1996 of complications from AIDS, the first professional hockey player publicly known to have the disease.[1] He was diagnosed in November 1994, and told the St. Paul Pioneer Press in 1995 that his health problems stemmed from drinking and promiscuity.[2] He was buried in Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis.[3]

Goldsworthy was the first Canadian player from Team Canada 1972 to pass away.

Goldsworthy is survived by daughter, Tammy Lynn (b. ~1969), and son, William Sean (b. ~1972).

Awards and achievements

  • Played in four NHL All-Star Games (1970, 1972, 1974, 1976).
  • Retired as the leading goal and point scorer for the North Stars franchise.
  • Was the first player for an expansion team to score 200 and 250 goals.[4]
  • Currently eighth in career points for the Minnesota/Dallas franchise and fifth in career goals.

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1962–63Niagara Falls FlyersOHA-Jr.50711187191238
1962–63Niagara Falls FlyersM-Cup16371039
1963–64Niagara Falls FlyersOHA-Jr.562147689140334
1964–65Niagara Falls FlyersOHA-Jr.54282755164115111626
1964–65Boston BruinsNHL20000
1964–65Niagara Falls FlyersM-Cup131171837
1965–66Oklahoma City BlazersCPHL222576521014
1965–66Boston BruinsNHL133146
1966–67Oklahoma City BlazersCPHL1141514
1966–67Buffalo BisonsAHL229112042
1966–67Boston BruinsNHL1835821
1967–68Minnesota North StarsNHL681419336814871512
1968–69Memphis South StarsCHL64046
1968–69Minnesota North StarsNHL68141024110
1969–70Minnesota North StarsNHL753629658964376
1970–71Minnesota North StarsNHL773431658572466
1971–72Minnesota North StarsNHL783131625972356
1972–73Minnesota North StarsNHL752733609762240
1973–74Minnesota North StarsNHL7448267473
1974–75Minnesota North StarsNHL7137357277
1975–76Minnesota North StarsNHL6824224647
1976–77Minnesota North StarsNHL162356
1976–77New York RangersNHL6110122243
1977–78New York RangersNHL701112
1977–78New Haven NighthawksAHL41234
1977–78Indianapolis RacersWHA328101810
1978–79Edmonton OilersWHA1742614411211
NHL totals 771 283 258 541 793 40 18 19 37 30


Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
1972 Canada SS 3 1 1 2 4

Coaching record

TeamYearRegular seasonPost season
Indianapolis Racers1977–78 298201(17)8th in WHAMissed playoffs


Preceded by
Ted Harris
Minnesota North Stars captain
Succeeded by
Bill Hogaboam
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