Left-winger Bill McCreary Sr. was a talented playmaker who spent most of his early playing days as a star in the minors. Following expansion he was given a proper chance to show that he could be a solid NHL player.
The native of Sundridge, Ontario was a junior star with the New York Rangers-sponsored Guelph Biltmores. In 1952, he helped the team win the Memorial Cup and accumulated 143 goals in four years with them. McCreary began his pro career dressing for a handful of games in New York while toiling chiefly in the AHL and WHL. After scoring 33 goals for the Edmonton Flyers in 1956-57, he was named to the WHL Prairie division second all-star team.
The young forward's luck did not change after he was picked up by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1956 Intra-League Draft. He became a regular with the Springfield Indians of the AHL and counted at least 50 points three straight years beginning in 1959-60. In October 1962, he was picked up by the Montreal Canadiens and played 14 games that season before returning to the minors.
During the mid-'60s, McCreary was a productive scorer with the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens of the EPHL as well as the CHL's Omaha Knights and Houston Apollos. After recording four straight 20-goal seasons, he was acquired by the St. Louis Blues prior to their inaugural season in 1967-68. The classy forward provided leadership, offense, and penalty killing for four years with the club before retiring in 1971.