|Birth Day:||August 13, 1938|
|Birth Place:||Winnipeg, Canada|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
He played college hockey at the University of Denver.
Masterton played three seasons in Denver between 1958 and 1961, appearing in a total of 89 games, scoring 66 goals and 196 points in that time. At the time of his graduation, he was the Pioneers' all-time leading point scorer, a record he held for 25 years. He was a two-time NCAA All-American and was twice named to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) All-Star team, earning both awards in 1960 and 1961. Masterton led the WCHA in scoring in 1959–60 with 44 points in conference play, and led Denver to the 1960 NCAA national championship. Masterton served as team captain for 1960–61, and was named the most valuable player of the 1961 national championship as he led Denver to a second consecutive title. The Pioneers finished the season with a 30-1-1 record and were hailed as "the greatest hockey team to ever represent an American college or university."
Turning to professional hockey after graduating with an engineering degree, Masterton signed a contract with the Montreal Canadiens in 1961. Led by Jean Béliveau and Henri Richard, the Canadiens were extremely deep at center, so Masterton was assigned to the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens of the Eastern Professional Hockey League. He had 31 goals and 65 points for Hull-Ottawa, placing him in the top ten in both categories. Masterton was promoted to the Cleveland Barons of the American Hockey League (AHL) for the 1962–63 season, where he led the team with 82 points. He finished as the runner up to Doug Robinson for the Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award as the AHL's top rookie.
After taking a year off from hockey in 1964, Masterton regained his amateur status so that he could play senior hockey in the United States Hockey League. He played two seasons with the St. Paul Steers between 1964 and 1966. Masterton became a naturalized American citizen, allowing him to join the United States National Team in 1966–67. He served as captain on that team and was considered its most valuable player.
The NHL expanded in 1967, doubling from 6 teams to 12. Among the new entries was the Minnesota North Stars. The new team's coach and general manager, Wren Blair, had scouted Masterton while he played with the US Nationals and purchased his NHL playing rights from the Canadiens. Masterton was the first player to sign with Minnesota, agreeing to a two-year contract. He said prior to the start of the 1967–68 season that being able to play in Minnesota was key as he would have been unlikely to consider an offer with any other team.
Few NHL players wore helmets in 1968. According to several of Masterton's teammates, wearing a helmet was frowned upon in the NHL of that era; at least one North Star who wore a helmet during a game was traded after the season. However, Masterton's death sparked an immediate debate on whether their use should be compulsory. Legislators in New York considered a law to make their use mandatory, and the NHL voted on and rejected a rule requiring players wear helmets three times by 1971.
Several awards were named in Masterton's memory. The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy was created in 1968 under the trusteeship of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and is presented annually to the "National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey". The University of Denver Pioneers hockey team named its most valuable player award after him, and his Winnipeg high school, Miles Macdonell Collegiate, presents a scholarship in his name. High schools in Bloomington, where the North Stars played their games, also award scholarships in Masterton's name. The Minnesota North Stars pulled his jersey number 19 out of circulation following his death and formally retired it in 1987. That honour followed the franchise when it relocated south to become the Dallas Stars.
Masterton was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 1985, and named to the NCAA's 50th anniversary team in 1997.
A later analysis by the Toronto Star in 2011 suggested that the "macho" attitude of the NHL in that era, as well as Masterton's aggressive playing style, played a significant role in his death. Coach Wren Blair believed that Masterton was playing through a pre-existing brain hemorrhage. He and the Stars' trainer had noticed Masterton's face was "blood red, almost purple," and were concerned enough that they wanted Masterton checked out by a doctor. However, Masterton brushed it off. Longtime NHL coach John Muckler, who was then the coach of the Stars' second-tier farm team, the Memphis South Stars, believed that Masterton may have suffered a brain injury as early as training camp. During the season, several players and coaches recalled seeing Masterton black out during rushes in practice. Goaltender Cesare Maniago recalled that the night before the fatal hit, Masterton had been complaining of severe migraines that he had had for over a week. They felt it caused what was otherwise viewed as a clean, albeit hard, bodycheck to turn fatal. Toronto neurosurgeon and concussion expert Charles Tator reviewed Masterton's autopsy and opined that Masterton had suffered second-impact syndrome, which occurs when a person suffers a second concussion on top of an earlier, untreated concussion. When this happens, it can cause rapid and often fatal brain swelling.
Bill was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Currently, Bill Masterton is 82 years, 10 months and 0 days old. Bill Masterton will celebrate 83rd birthday on a Friday 13th of August 2021. Below we countdown to Bill Masterton upcoming birthday.