Bill McCreary Sr.

William Edward McCreary Sr. (December 2, 1934 – November 25, 2019) was a National Hockey League left winger, coach and general manager.

Bill McCreary Sr.
Born (1934-12-02)December 2, 1934
Sundridge, Ontario, Canada
Died November 25, 2019(2019-11-25) (aged 84)
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight 172 lb (78 kg; 12 st 4 lb)
Position Left Wing
Shot Left
Played for New York Rangers
Detroit Red Wings
Montreal Canadiens
St. Louis Blues
Playing career 19531971

Early life

McCreary was born in Sundridge, Ontario.


During his pro career, McCreary played for the New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens and the St. Louis Blues. He later coached the Vancouver Canucks for the first half of the 1973–74 season and then became general manager of the California Golden Seals in 1974–75. Although the Seals were performing fairly well, a dispute with coach Marshall Johnston led to his firing of Johnston and going behind the bench himself for the remainder of the season. He hired Jack Evans as coach the following year. The team moved to Cleveland and became the Cleveland Barons. Yet, the club struggled and McCreary was fired as general manager.

He was the elder brother of Keith McCreary, also an NHL left winger. His son Bill McCreary Jr. played 12 games in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1980–81 season. He is also the brother-in-law of Ron Attwell.

McCreary died on November 25, 2019.[1]

Awards and achievements

  • WHL Prairie Division Second All-Star Team (1957)
  • CPHL First All-Star Team (1964, 1966)

Coaching record

TeamYearRegular seasonPost season
St. Louis Blues1971–72 246144(67)3rd in West(interim coach)
Vancouver Canucks1973–74 419257(59)7th in East(fired)
California Golden Seals1974–75 328204(51)4th in AdamsMissed playoffs
NHL Total97235915


Preceded by
Marshall Johnston
Head coach of the California Golden Seals
Succeeded by
Jack Evans
Preceded by
Sid Abel
Head coach of the St. Louis Blues
Succeeded by
Al Arbour
Preceded by
Vic Stasiuk
Head coach of the Vancouver Canucks
Succeeded by
Phil Maloney
Preceded by
Fred Glover
General Manager of the California Golden Seals / Cleveand Barons
Succeeded by
Harry Howell
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