At Left Wing for your Philadelphia Flyers...#7...Bill Barber!
William Charles Barber was born July 7, 1952 in the small town of Callander in Northern Ontario. Drafted seventh overall in the first round of the 1972 amateur draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. Bill spent only 11 games in the AHL with the Richmond Robins, the Flyers affiliate at the time. He was called into NHL action when a knee injury sidelined Flyers winger 'Cowboy' Bill Flett. Barber never looked back, scoring 30 goals and 34 assists in his rookie campaign and finishing second in voting for the Calder Trophy.
A natural center, he was converted to Left Wing by then coach Fred Shero. Shero saw Barber's good hands and natural scoring ability and decided it would be better to place him on the Left Wing with blossoming young star, Bobby Clarke, rather than have him play at center on the fourth line. The move proved to be a good one.
Barber would play 12 seasons with the Orange and Black, never scoring less than 20 goals in a season. His best year came in 1975-76 when he tallied 50 goals along with 62 assists. 1976 would provide another highlight in Barber's career. During the 1976 Canada Cup with Canada down to Czechoslovakia, Barber would score the tying goal sending the game into an overtime that Canada would eventually win.
Bill Barber, an integral part of the Flyers famed 35 game unbeaten streak during the 1979-80 season, was named to the NHL All Star 1st Team in 1976, and to the 2nd Team in 1979 and 1981. He would captain the Flyers from 1981-1983. Barber would be forced to retire after the 1984-85 season following an unsuccessful return from reconstructive knee surgery. He would soon after make the transition from player to coach spending 4 years as an assistant with the Flyers before taking over as Head Coach of the Flyer's AHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms. Barber would eventually lead the Phantoms to their first Calder Cup in 1998. He would be hired as Head Coach of the Flyers in December 2000. Barber won the Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL's top coach following the 2000-01 season. Barber would continue as coach of the Flyers until April of 2002.
Barber would then leave the Flyers organization to become Director of Player Personel for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2002, a position he held through October of 2008. Barber had his name added to the Stanley Cup a 3rd time while with the Lightning following their Stanley Cup Championship in 2004. Bill would leave Tampa Bay in October 2008, returning to the Flyers as a scouting consultant.
Bill Barber's #7 was retired by the Philadelphia Flyers on October 7, 1990.
Bill Barber was inducted into the NHL Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990.
#7...Bill Barber...Your Philadelphia Flyers All-Time 1st Team Left Wing...