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10-17-2011, 11:37 AM
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Springfield Indians select Bill Hicke, RW
  • Scored 45, 51, 39 points with the Montreal Canadiens prior to expansion, while seeing limited ice time.
  • Suffer non-hockey related health problems in the middle of his career.
  • Came back to have several good seasons with the Seals post-expansion.
  • 2nd leading goal scorer in Seals history.

Originally Posted by LOH
Bill Hicke was a compact, fleet-footed skater who, as a junior with the Regina Pats, could put the puck in the net in a big way
Originally Posted by Canadiens Official History Site
Named 1958-59’s Rookie of the Year, Hicke captured the league scoring title and split AHL MVP honors with teammate, Rudy Migay. He also had his name engraved on the Stanley Cup, the result of playing his first NHL game with the Canadiens that postseason.

Maurice Richard’s retirement cleared the way for Hicke to take a regular shift. Playing in every game on the Canadiens schedule for the next three seasons, he recorded 135 points on 55 goals and 80 assists, peaking with a 20-goal, 51-point effort in 1961-62.

A solid two-way player who put up more than respectable numbers and played a clean, skilled game, Hicke emerged as a competent, reliable performer but, like most players cursed with a “next big thing” label, was unable to fill the superstar-sized skates the fans had chosen for him.
Originally Posted by Shorthanded - The Untold Story of the Seals
"A dynamic player, he could really score. He shot left-handed and played the right wing, one of the first off-wingers. He was very smart and knew when to break and how to finish. He had lots of charisma" - Ted Hampson

While Hicke never developed into the goalscorer Richard was, he became a respectable NHL wing, reaching the 20-goal mark in his third NHL season... In his first season in Oakland, Hicke led the team in goalscoring with 21 tallies. He was the club's only 20-goal scorer that year... Hicke had the respect of his teammates. Ron Harris called Hicke "one of our leaders on the ice. He was our goalscorer. It's too bad he got sick."

Gary Jarrett remembers his former linemate fondly. "He was a good player - one of the best offensive RWs I played with. He was robust and full of self-confidence and he was an aggressive skater. He had that fire in his eyes when he got in on the goalie from the blueline. He was a bit like Rocket Richard in that regard..."

He was known as a carefree person off the ice. It was a bit upsetting to him that the Seals "had practically no notoreity off the ice... his flamboyant style and carefree attitude did rub some of his teammates the wrong way, especially when his skills started to fade a bit. Doug Roberts remembered that "Hicke was highly skilled, but he didn't take care of himself. I thought he was playing out the string. He was not consistent, especially on the road. He had a lot of skill and we all looked up to him from his days with Montreal."

...Hicke became one of the first NHL players to develop a skin problem known informally as "gunk", that became an epidemic in the league by the mid-70s. Bert Marshall rememberd that Hicke "had a really bad case. It got so bad that he couldn't even practice."

Rookie Tracy Pratt said that Hicke was "an individualist who thought he was a prolific goalscorer." But even Pratt admitted that Hicke "scored clutch goals and provided leadership."

Earl Ingarfield had this to say about Bill Hicke: "He is one of my best friends in hockey and a real character. He was a skilled player and a good person off the ice." For the expansion Seals, Hicke was their first real goalscoring threat and their most colorful offensive player. He left his mark on the memories of hockey fans in the Bay Area.

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