2005 Inductees

Bill Best

The Bests were a sports-minded family and their father, Allison would take the kids to the rink nearly every day, so it was inevitable that Bill would develop as a hockey player. It quickly became apparent that Bill had unusual talent. In his very first year in hockey, 1963-64, he was awarded the Most Valuable Squirt Trophy.

In 1967-68, as a PeeWee player, he won the Sportsmanship Trophy.

In his first year in Bantam, he played on the Berwick Combines. In his second year, he left Berwick hockey to play for two teams: the West Kings District High School team and the Kentville Wildcats. The West Kings team went on to win the 1969-70 Nova Scotia Provincial Men's High School Hockey Championship (the only year that West Kings has ever won the title) and the Kentville Wildcats went on to win the 1969-70 Maritime Bantam Championship. Bill was also named West Kings Male Intermediate Athlete of the Year. His speed earned him the nickname "The Roadrunner".

Bill played for the Maritime Junior "A" Halifax Atlantics in 1970-71. His talent became well known. He was drafted to play in 1971-72 with the Ontario Major Junior "A" St. Catharines Blackhawks. He won the Trophy for the Most Underrated Player on the St. Catharines team.

In 1972-73, he played for the Laurentian University Voyagers. In 1972, while with the Voyagers, Bill also had the privilege of playing against Russia's Moscow Selects.

He returned to the Ontario Major Junior "A" League with the Sudbury Wolves in 1973-74. He was described in a newspaper account as "an aggressive left-winger who is fast, has a good shot and is not adverse to going into the corners for the puck". Throughout his hockey career, Bill was known as a strong penalty-killer and a player who was "not afraid to drop the gloves".

During 4 years of university and junior hockey, Bill earned a B.Sc. with high distinction. As he told a newspaper reporter, "I'd like to be a veterinarian some day. First I want to play pro hockey but when I get to a level that I know I won't be able to succeed, then I will quit."

In 1974, Bill was drafted in the 6th round of the NHL Draft by the Boston Bruins. He attended the Boston Bruins' training camp in 1974. The coach was Don Cherry and fellow players included Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Wayne Cashman, Johnny Bucyk, Carol Vadnais, and Terry O'Riley. In 1974-75, he played for two of the farm teams of the Boston Bruins, the Dayton Gems of the IHL and the Rochester Americans of the AHL. While with the Dayton Gems, they made it to the IHL Semi Finals.

Bill had a lot of success in hockey and, after it was over, he also achieved his longtime ambition to become a veterinarian.

Inducted June 2005