For ten years, Bill Sutherland played in the minors trying to make it to the NHL. He played on six different teams and five different leagues. In only his second season as a junior, he led the MJHL playoffs in goals, assists, and points in 1954 and the IHL in goals in 1957-58. Sutherland finally made his NHL debut, with the Canadiens, in the 1963 Stanley Cup playoffs.
In the off-season, he was traded to Quebec of the AHL where he played for four seasons. When Philadelphia bought the team, Sutherland went along and found himself in the NHL. Sutherland was the first to score a goal for the Flyers' franchise and the first to score a goal in the Philadelphia Spectrum. He was claimed by the North Stars in the off-seasons Intra-League Draft, only to be claimed by the Leafs the same day. Sutherland spent the majority of the 1968-69 season with Toronto before being dealt back to Philadelphia late in the season.
Sutherland was on the move once again in 1970-71, this time to the Blues, and then one last time the next year, heading to Detroit where he finished his NHL playing career. The WHA came calling in 1972 and Sutherland played with Bobby Hull and the Winnipeg Jets for two seasons before hanging up his skates in 1973-74.
After a few years of doing TV and radio, the Jets came calling once again in 1979, this time looking to Sutherland as an assistant coach. He joined the team as they debuted in the NHL and took over the head-coaching job toward the end of the season. Sutherland lasted 29 games into the next year before being replaced after the Jets got off to a rough start.