Bill Sweeney (ice hockey)

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William Sweeney (January 30, 1937 – March 21, 1991), was a Canadian professional ice hockey player, most notably for the Springfield Indians of the American Hockey League (AHL), for whom he played nine seasons and is the all-time career leading scorer for the franchise. Sweeney also played four games during the 1959–60 NHL season for the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League.

Bill Sweeney
Born (1937-01-30)January 30, 1937
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Died March 21, 1991(1991-03-21) (aged 54)
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight 165 lb (75 kg; 11 st 11 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Left
Played for New York Rangers
Springfield Indians (AHL)
Playing career 1957–1969

Sweeney led the Ontario Hockey League in scoring while playing for the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters in 1956–57, and followed that up by winning the 1958 AHL rookie of the year award playing for the Providence Reds. Sweeney later won three consecutive Calder Cup championships with the Springfield Indians, also leading the league in scoring three consecutive seasons, an unprecedented and unequalled feat in the AHL as of 2013.

Alcoholism came to dog Sweeney's career and by the time league expansion opened up the NHL in 1967 to promising minor-league scorers, Sweeney's skills were in decline. He remained in the minors, and his rights were sold by Springfield to the Vancouver Canucks of the Western Hockey League early in the 1968 season; he played only 26 more professional hockey games in his career. His final professional action was in the following season with the Rochester Americans of the AHL, in which he played ten games without a point. Sweeney's final organized hockey match was in 1970 with the Ontario senior league Oakville Oaks.


At the time of Sweeney's retirement, he was in the top ten in AHL history in goals (10th), assists (4th) and points (4th). He is, as of 2013, 11th in points, 22nd in goals and 9th in assists.

In the history of the Springfield Indians' franchise, Sweeney is third in goals behind Jim Anderson and Harry Pidhirny, second in points behind Anderson, and first in assists.

Sweeney was also named to the AHL's First All-Star Team in 1960 and 1962, and to the Second All-Star Team in 1961.

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