Monday

Bill Speer

In the 1970s the Philadelphia Flyers had star player Bill Barber, but the Boston Bruins countered with Bill The Barber.

Stay-at-home defenseman Bill Speer was a barber by trade, learning from his father who cut hair for 42 years. In addition to his defensive zone responsibilities, he also cut teammates hair in the dressing room! Hence the nickname: "The Lindsay Clipper."

Born and raised in Lindsay, Ontario, he owned his own three-chair barber shop the corner of William and Kent even while playing in the NHL. "Frank Speer's Barber Shop" was originally his father's business.

Bill Speer may have been good with the shears, but he was also good on the ice. He was a standout junior player with St. Catherines. He spent a lot of time in the minor leagues as a pro, but he did play in 130 NHL contests with the Penguins and Bruins.

His best season was undoubtedly 1969-70 when he helped the Bruins capture the Stanley Cup. He even scored a goal in the playoffs. That was a rarity for Speer. He scored only 6 career NHL goals.

Speer continued to play pro hockey throughout the 1970s, mostly in the minors and late in his career with the WHA. He retired back to Lindsay in 1975.

He was 5'11" tall and played at well over 200lbs, once tipping the scales of 240lbs. His fitness level may have kept in the minors more than he should have been, as he was a solid blue line citizen with a good first pass. He also became a noted shot blocker.

Speer died far too young in February 1989. He was riding a snowmobile that fell through thin ice.

9 comments:

Drama Queen 8:37 AM  

Bill is one of my uncles! R.I.P Uncle Bill!

Anonymous,  6:09 PM  

one must remember when a player came thru the ranks in thease years there where only six teams, so the ahl ( minors ) where a main stay for alot of hall of fame players,also a blue liners job in them days gave them very little chance to score goals and where more relied to set up goals with assists and bill shure had alot of them thru out his pro career.

Anonymous,  4:25 PM  

I saw Bill play with the Bruins during the 1969-1970 season. He was a fan favorite and a solid hockey player. My son give me a Bruins hockey book for Christmas and the first thing I did was look up his name. I know he died too young, but a lot of Bruins fans still remember him with fond memories.

Anonymous,  12:11 PM  

Never forgot the match up of Speer
against Gilbert. It seemed everytime
Gilbert was on the ice he faced Speer on a rush, and always lost.
After the first game Gilbert was not a factor and Speer played a major role in the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup. Good Bless Billy Speer
and the 1970 Bruins.

Anonymous,  4:33 PM  

i will never never forget BILL SPEAR his checking was my favrite part of game he was very underrated

James Adrian 5:29 AM  

Devastating hip check.

Anonymous,  10:12 AM  

Do you remember what number he played in Boston ?

Louis Savlen 10:43 AM  

He wore #24, just before Terry "Taz" O'Reilly took the number and later retired it.

Anonymous,  9:30 PM  

I believe his nickname was "The Destroyer"

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