William Edward "Bill" McCreary Sr. - Born December 2, 1934 in Sundridge, Ontario is a former National Hockey League left winger, coach and general manager.
McCreary 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 also played for the Toronto Marlboros in the 1953 Memorial Cup playoffs.
McCreary began his pro career dressing for a handful of games in New York while toiling chiefly in the AHL with the Providence Reds, and the WHL Saskatoon Quakers and Edmonton Flyers. 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, helping the Knights win the 1964 Central Professional Hockey League / CPHL championship as a player/coach. He played 2 seasons with the Houston Apollos (1965-67). 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.
McCreary turned to coaching full time after retiring, leading the Denver Spurs to the 1972 Lester Patrick Cup championship, as Western Hockey League / WHL winners.
McCreary then coached the NHL Vancouver Canucks for the first half of the 1973–74 season and then became general manager of the California Golden Seals in 1974–75. Although the Seals were performing fairly well, a dispute with coach Marshall Johnston led to his firing of Johnston and going behind the bench himself for the remainder of the season. He hired Jack Evans as coach the following year. The team moved to Cleveland and became the Cleveland Barons. Yet, the club struggled and McCreary was fired as general manager.