Bill Flett

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bill Flett
Bill Flett.jpg
Born (1943-07-21)July 21, 1943
Vermilion, AB, CAN
Died July 12, 1999(1999-07-12) (aged 55)
Edmonton, AB, CAN
Height 6 ft 01 in (185 cm)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shot Right
Played for Los Angeles Kings
Philadelphia Flyers
Toronto Maple Leafs
Atlanta Flames
Edmonton Oilers
Playing career 1963–1980

William Mayer "Cowboy" Flett (July 21, 1943 in Vermilion, Alberta – July 12, 1999 in Edmonton, Alberta) was a Canadian professional ice hockey player who played in the National Hockey League for the Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Atlanta Flames and Edmonton Oilers.

Playing career[edit]

Flett began his career with the Melville Millionaires of the SJHL. From 1963 through 1967, he played for various minor league teams. Finally, in 1967, the NHL expanded from six to twelve teams and Flett was drafted by the expansion Los Angeles Kings. In his rookie season, playing on right wing, he scored 26 goals and was named The Sporting News NHL West Division rookie of the year.

Flett was nicknamed "Cowboy" because in addition to being a hockey player, he owned a cattle ranch in Alberta and he was also a rodeo performer. Flett's rodeo career ended when the Los Angeles Kings owner Jack Kent Cooke threatened to fine him $1000 for every rodeo he appeared in. He was well known throughout his career for being one of the few hockey players at the time to sport a full beard, and for being one of the last players to play without a helmet. Not known for his playmaking skill or skating, Flett did posess a booming and heavy slapshot and when paired with the right center who could get him the puck, he was among the league's biggest scoring threats.

Flett scored 24 goals in his sophomore season. His goal production declined significantly in his next two seasons. Fed up with his dwindling production, the Kings traded Flett, along with Eddie Joyal and Ross Lonsberry to the Philadelphia Flyers where he had his best season in 1972–73 with 43 goals. Flett was a member of the Flyers 1974 Stanley Cup champion team. After the season ended, he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs where he reverted to his indifferent play, and as a result, the Leafs put him on waivers. The Atlanta Flames picked him from waivers, and Flett had one last productive year in the NHL when he scored 23 goals in 1975–76. In 1976–77, the Flames sold him to the Edmonton Oilers of the WHA where he contributed nicely to the Oilers offence. When Edmonton joined the NHL, he found he had little left and retired after 20 games. He scouted for the Oilers after that.

In May 1999, Flett entered the hospital due to a gall bladder condition which eventually contributed to liver failure. Flett received a liver transplant; however, his body rejected the transplant. Flett died on July 12, 1999 due to liver failure. He had battled alcoholism for many years and claimed to be sober for "4 or 5 years" after checking into the Betty Ford Clinic in Rancho Mirage in the early 1990s.[1] Flett is survived by his wife Doreen and three sons, Cody, Dean and Shane.

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1960–61 Melville Millionaires SJHL 27 16 2 18 14 7 3 1 4 10
1961–62 Melville Millionaires SJHL 24 8 14 22 44
1962–63 Melville Millionaires SJHL 53 31 54 85 80 18 7 11 18 40
1962–63 Estevan Bruins M-Cup 6 1 1 2 2
1963–64 Rochester Americans AHL 1 0 0 0 0
1963–64 Charlotte Checkers EHL 41 26 21 47 48 3 0 1 1 6
1963–64 Denver Invaders WHL 1 0 0 0 0
1964–65 Tulsa Oilers CPHL 39 8 22 30 58 12 1 2 3 6
1964–65 Victoria Maple Leafs WHL 23 1 7 8 14
1965–66 Tulsa Oilers CPHL 55 23 23 46 0
1966–67 Tulsa Oilers CPHL 62 16 28 44 108
1967–68 Los Angeles Kings NHL 73 26 20 46 97 7 1 2 3 8
1968–69 Los Angeles Kings NHL 72 24 25 49 53 10 3 4 7 11
1969–70 Los Angeles Kings NHL 69 14 18 32 70
1969–70 Springfield Kings AHL 5 2 6 8 6
1970–71 Los Angeles Kings NHL 64 13 24 37 57
1971–72 Los Angeles Kings NHL 45 7 12 19 18
1971–72 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 31 11 10 21 26
1972–73 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 69 43 31 74 53 11 3 4 7 0
1973–74 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 67 17 27 44 51 17 0 6 6 21
1974–75 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 77 15 25 40 38 5 0 0 0 2
1975–76 Atlanta Flames NHL 78 23 17 40 30 2 0 0 0 0
1976–77 Atlanta Flames NHL 24 4 4 8 6
1976–77 Edmonton Oilers WHA 48 34 20 54 20 5 0 2 2 2
1977–78 Edmonton Oilers WHA 74 41 28 69 34
1978–79 Edmonton Oilers WHA 73 28 36 64 14 10 5 2 7 2
1979–80 Edmonton Oilers NHL 20 5 2 7 2
NHL totals 689 202 215 417 501 52 7 16 23 42
WHA totals 195 103 84 187 68 15 5 4 9 4

References[edit]

  • Hockey Stars of 1969 by Stan Fischler
  • The Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1976 by Zander Hollander

External links[edit]