Ross Lonsberry had an outstanding junior career with the Estavan Bruins of the SJHL from 1962 to1966. In his final season, he led the league in scoring with 144 points in only 60 games. But once he left the amateur ranks, his all-star sniper days came to an abrupt end.
As a professional, Lonsberry would adopt a more low-profile style of play where he poured all of his energies into playing a two-way style game, moving up and down his wing. His first stab at the pro ranks was mostly of a minor-league nature. He picked up a handful of games with the Boston Bruins over a three year span but spent most of his time sharpening his game in the AHL and the CHL.
In 1969, the well-stocked Bruins traded the winger to the L.A. Kings where a large vista of ice time opened before his eyes. Lonsberry would never look back to the minors again. With the Kings, he became a solid, 20-goal plus man. But in spite of his offensive success, he found the team's system of play to be disorganized.
Help came in the form of a trade to the Philadelphia Flyers in 1972. Under coach Fred Shero and his well-organized, simple system, Lonsberry's style of play fit like a glove. He brought his strong playmaking skills to a line with Rick MacLeish and Gary Dornhoefer. He also developed excellent checking skills and efficient ability to work the corners. During the club's Stanley Cup success in 1974 and 1975, he was considered to have been the great, unsung hero of their championship days. It has been said that although Bobby Clarke led the team, Lonsberry typified it.
He lasted with the Flyers until 1978. At that time he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins where he put in three more solid campaigns. In 1981, however, his contract was not renewed. With no other offers in the wings, he called it quits.