Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Bill Fairbairn
Right-winger Bill Fairbairn was an exemplary two-way forward who played 658 career games with three different teams. He recorded four-20 goal seasons in his career and was best known for staying with his check and introducing his man to the boards whenever possible.

The native of Brandon, Manitoba starred for the home town Wheat Kings in junior. He scored 254 points in his last two seasons and earned the nickname "Bulldog" for his tenacity on the ice. During the 1966-67 season Fairbairn formed one of the top lines in junior hockey with Juha Widing and Erv Zeimer. He was the property of the New York Rangers and spent two years with the CHL's Omaha Knights where he adjusted well to the rigors of the pro game. Fairbairn was placed on the league's second all-star team in 1969 and earned a one game look with the parent club that same year.

In 1969-70 Fairbairn impressed as a rookie with 23 goals and 56 points. Originally slated to be a checker, the industrious forward replaced the injured Bob Nevin on a line with Dave Balon and Walt Tkaczuk. The "Bulldog Line" was so proficient that Nevin was relocated to another slot when his health returned. The Rangers nominated Fairbairn for the Calder trophy and he went on to finish runner-up to Chicago's Tony Esposito. Fairbairn remained a regular on the team for over six years and helped the Blueshirts reach the Stanley Cup finals in 1972. His finest season came in 1972-73 when he scored 30 goals and formed a superb line with Tkaczuk and rookie Steve Vickers.

Early in the 1976-77, Fairbairn was traded along with defenceman Nick Beverley to the Minnesota North Stars for Bill Goldsworthy. He scored 29 points in 51 games for the Stars but was placed on waivers early the next season and claimed by the St. Louis Blues. Fairbairn played well during the last 60 games of the 1977-78 season and was the Blues' nominee for the Lady Byng trophy. The writing was on the wall at the start of the next season and the veteran retired five games into the 1978-79 schedule.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1963-64 Brandon Bobcats MAHA
1963-64 Brandon Wheat Kings MJHL 4 1 1 2 2
1963-64 Brandon Wheat Kings M-Cup 2 1 0 1 0
1964-65 Brandon Wheat Kings SJHL 55 28 31 59 26 9 6 5 11 11
1965-66 Brandon Wheat Kings SJHL 60 36 76 112 94 11 5 12 17 6
1966-67 Brandon Wheat Kings CMJHL 55 60 82 142 75 13 12 18 30 33
1966-67 Omaha Knights CPHL 3 0 0 0 2
1966-67 Port Arthur Marrs M-Cup 5 3 4 7 4
1967-68 Omaha Knights CPHL 70 23 33 56 46
1968-69 New York Rangers NHL 1 0 0 0 0 -1
1968-69 Omaha Knights CHL 68 28 47 75 62 7 3 6 9 9
1969-70 New York Rangers NHL 76 23 33 56 23 +24 6 0 1 1 10
1970-71 New York Rangers NHL 56 7 23 30 32 -4 4 0 0 0 0
1971-72 New York Rangers NHL 78 22 37 59 53 +36 16 5 7 12 11
1972-73 New York Rangers NHL 78 30 33 63 23 +36 10 1 8 9 2
1973-74 New York Rangers NHL 78 18 44 62 12 +11 13 3 5 8 6
1974-75 New York Rangers NHL 80 24 37 61 10 +13 3 4 0 4 13
1975-76 New York Rangers NHL 80 13 15 28 8 -14
1976-77 New York Rangers NHL 9 1 2 3 0 +1
1976-77 Minnesota North Stars NHL 51 9 20 29 2 -1 2 0 1 1 0
1977-78 Minnesota North Stars NHL 6 0 1 1 0 -1
1977-78 St. Louis Blues NHL 60 14 16 30 10 -23
1978-79 St. Louis Blues NHL 5 1 0 1 0 -2
NHL Totals 658 162 261 423 173 54 13 22 35 42


CHL Second All-Star Team (1969) Loaned to Port Arthur (TBJHL) by Brandon (MJHL) for Memorial Cup playoffs, March, 1967. Traded to Minnesota by NY Rangers with Nick Beverley for Bill Goldsworthy, November 11, 1976. Claimed on waivers by St. Louis from Minnesota, October 24, 1977.