Goldsworthy in 1976
August 24, 1944|
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
March 29, 1996 (aged 51)|
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)|
Minnesota North Stars
New York Rangers
Indianapolis Racers (WHA)
Edmonton Oilers (WHA)
William Alfred Goldsworthy (August 24, 1944 – March 29, 1996) was a professional ice hockey right winger who played for three teams in the National Hockey League for 14 seasons between 1964 and 1978, mostly with the Minnesota North Stars.
Signed by the Boston Bruins of the NHL as a teenager, Goldsworthy played his junior days with the Bruins' Ontario Hockey Association affiliate Niagara Falls Flyers, a powerful team with future NHL stars Derek Sanderson, Bernie Parent, Jean Pronovost, Don Marcotte, Doug Favell and Rosaire Paiement among numerous others. Even with such a strong squad, Goldsworthy finished second and third in team scoring his final two seasons with the club, en route to a Memorial Cup finals appearance in 1963 and winning it outright in 1965 in a series marked by brawls and suspensions. The latter season saw Goldsworthy's NHL debut, playing two scoreless games with the Bruins.
With big league jobs tight in the days of the Original Six, Goldsworthy served a minor league apprenticeship the next two seasons, playing with the Oklahoma City Blazers of the Central Hockey League and the Buffalo Bisons of the American Hockey League between occasional callups to Boston.
As it did with many other players, league expansion in 1967 gave Goldsworthy a full-time spot in the NHL. Drafted in the midrounds by the Minnesota North Stars, he became an immediate starter, showing his promise in the playoffs in Minnesota's debut season, scoring eight goals and fifteen points in fourteen games as the North Stars came within a game of reaching the Stanley Cup finals. His true break-out season came in 1970, when he scored 36 goals to begin a stretch where, teamed with skilled playmakers such as Dennis Hextall and Jude Drouin, he scored thirty or more goals in five of the next six seasons to become the North Stars' first great scoring star.
His best offensive season was the 1974 season, when he set career highs in goals with 48 and points with 74, which saw him just missing a nomination to the Second All-Star Team at right wing. He cemented his popularity with Minnesota fans with the "Goldy Shuffle," a celebration Goldsworthy performed after each goal at home. Named team captain in 1975 after Ted Harris' trade, Goldsworthy served in that capacity for two seasons.
By 1976, the North Stars were in a rebuilding mode, having failed to make the playoffs in three years. In a decline due to an alcoholism problem which would become chronic, Goldsworthy was dealt to the New York Rangers. Early the next season, his skills in a sharp decline, he was the first NHL player traded outright to a World Hockey Association squad, the Indianapolis Racers. He was further dealt to the Edmonton Oilers for the 1979 season, where he played 17 games to finish out his playing career.
Goldsworthy played 771 career NHL games, scoring 283 goals and 258 assists for 541 points, and added 18 goals and 19 assists in 40 playoff games. The North Stars retired his jersey number 8 on February 15, 1992.
After his retirement, Goldsworthy went into coaching, most notably for the San Antonio Iguanas of the CHL.
Bill Goldsworthy died in 1996 of complications from AIDS, the first professional hockey player publicly known to have the disease. He was diagnosed in November 1994, and told the St. Paul Pioneer Press in 1995 that his health problems stemmed from drinking and promiscuity. He was buried in Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis.
Goldsworthy was the first Canadian player from Team Canada 1972 to pass away.
Goldsworthy is survived by daughter, Tammy Lynn (b. ~1969), and son, William Sean (b. ~1972).
Awards and achievements
- Played in four NHL All-Star Games (1970, 1972, 1974, 1976).
- Retired as the leading goal and point scorer for the North Stars franchise.
- Was the first player for an expansion team to score 200 and 250 goals.
- Currently eighth in career points for the Minnesota/Dallas franchise and fifth in career goals.
Regular season and playoffs
|1962–63||Niagara Falls Flyers||OHA-Jr.||50||7||11||18||71||9||1||2||3||8|
|1962–63||Niagara Falls Flyers||M-Cup||—||—||—||—||—||16||3||7||10||39|
|1963–64||Niagara Falls Flyers||OHA-Jr.||56||21||47||68||91||4||0||3||3||4|
|1964–65||Niagara Falls Flyers||OHA-Jr.||54||28||27||55||164||11||5||11||16||26|
|1964–65||Niagara Falls Flyers||M-Cup||—||—||—||—||—||13||11||7||18||37|
|1965–66||Oklahoma City Blazers||CPHL||22||2||5||7||65||2||1||0||1||4|
|1966–67||Oklahoma City Blazers||CPHL||11||4||1||5||14||—||—||—||—||—|
|1967–68||Minnesota North Stars||NHL||68||14||19||33||68||14||8||7||15||12|
|1968–69||Memphis South Stars||CHL||6||4||0||4||6||—||—||—||—||—|
|1968–69||Minnesota North Stars||NHL||68||14||10||24||110||—||—||—||—||—|
|1969–70||Minnesota North Stars||NHL||75||36||29||65||89||6||4||3||7||6|
|1970–71||Minnesota North Stars||NHL||77||34||31||65||85||7||2||4||6||6|
|1971–72||Minnesota North Stars||NHL||78||31||31||62||59||7||2||3||5||6|
|1972–73||Minnesota North Stars||NHL||75||27||33||60||97||6||2||2||4||0|
|1973–74||Minnesota North Stars||NHL||74||48||26||74||73||—||—||—||—||—|
|1974–75||Minnesota North Stars||NHL||71||37||35||72||77||—||—||—||—||—|
|1975–76||Minnesota North Stars||NHL||68||24||22||46||47||—||—||—||—||—|
|1976–77||Minnesota North Stars||NHL||16||2||3||5||6||—||—||—||—||—|
|1976–77||New York Rangers||NHL||61||10||12||22||43||—||—||—||—||—|
|1977–78||New York Rangers||NHL||7||0||1||1||12||—||—||—||—||—|
|1977–78||New Haven Nighthawks||AHL||4||1||2||3||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|Team||Year||Regular season||Post season|
|Indianapolis Racers||1977–78||29||8||20||1||(17)||8th in WHA||Missed playoffs|
- AEGiS-LT: HIV & SPORTS: What Have We Learned? No Golden Years Former North Star Bill Goldsworthy Learned He Had AIDS, Then Drank Himself to Death Archived August 27, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- Bill Goldsworthy, 51, Longtime N.H.L. Star, Dies - New York Times
- Bill Goldsworthy (1944 - 1996) - Find A Grave Memorial
- Dallas Stars - Team - Dallas Stars Team Archived December 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Biographical information and career statistics from NHL.com, or Eliteprospects.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or Legends of Hockey, or The Internet Hockey Database
- One for the Ages: Bill Goldsworthy's 1973-74 Season
| Minnesota North Stars captain