Bill Sweeney (ice hockey)
January 30, 1937|
Guelph, ON, CAN
|Died||March 21, 1991(aged 54)|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Weight||165 lb (75 kg; 11 st 11 lb)|
|Played for||New York Rangers
Springfield Indians (AHL)
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, for whom he played nine seasons in all 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.
Sweeney led the OHA in scoring while playing for the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters in 1956–57, then followed that up 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 would come 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 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 would be the following season with the Rochester Americans of the AHL, in which he played ten games without a point. Sweeney's final organized hockey action came 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.
- 1956–57 - Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy
- 1957–58 - Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award
- 1960–61 - John B. Sollenberger Trophy
- 1961–62 - John B. Sollenberger Trophy
- 1962–63 - John B. Sollenberger Trophy
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.