Although certainly not a household name, defenseman Bart Crashley carved out a decent professional hockey career from 1965 to 1978 with a variety of teams in various leagues.
As a junior, Crashley patrolled the defense for the Hamilton Red Wings of the OHA for three years before making the jump to the NHL with the parent Detroit Red Wings. He played his first NHL game at the age of 19. Most of the following year was spent in the minors with the Memphis Wings of the CPHL.
In 1967-68, the year of expansion, Crashley appeared in 57 games for the Wings, scoring two goals and 16 points. Although he was deemed a solid defender, he had trouble maintaining a roster spot and was relegated to the minors for most of the next four years.
It was the birth of the rival WHA which gave players like Crashley another opportunity at earning bigger money in an elite league, billed as being an equal to the NHL. Although the New York Islanders had also selected him in the NHL expansion draft, Crashley opted to sign with the Los Angeles Sharks in 1972-73. He had the season of his life, playing in 70 games, scoring 18 goals and 27 assists for 45 points. The 18 goals were the most scored by any defenseman that year in the WHA. He returned the following year and contributed 30 points.
Crashley was thankful for the opportunity the WHA had given him, but he still had a strong desire to play in the NHL. With the expansion of 1974, Crashley returned to play for the Kansas City Scouts after the New York Islanders traded his rights to the Scouts in a deal that included Bob Bourne. He was in a Scouts' uniform for 27 games before being traded back to the Detroit Red Wings where he began his career.
Once again, things did not pan out for Crashley in Detroit and he was part of a huge trade which saw Marcel Dionne and him traded to the Los Angeles Kings for Terry Harper, Dan Maloney, and the Kings' second-round draft pick. Crashley played in just four games with the L.A. Kings in 1975-76, his last stop in the NHL. He retired from professional hockey after the 1977-78 season with the Binghamton Dusters of the AHL.
Crashley played a total of six NHL seasons, appearing in 140 games, scoring seven goals and 36 assists for 50 points. After retiring, Crashley turned his attention to coaching and until recently had served as an assistant with the OHL's Guelph Storm.