Born: November 29, 1944
Birthplace: Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada
Height: 5'9" Weight: 165 lbs.
Seasons with Buffalo: 1970-71 and 1971-72
Uniform Numbers: 21, 28
|Terry Ball began his professional career playing for the Vancouver Canucks of the Western Hockey League in 1963. He would bounce around the various minor leagues for the eventually ending up with the Quebec Aces of the American Hockey League. Ball's play with Quebec earned him a one game tryout with the team's NHL parent club, the expansion Philadelphia Flyers in the 1967-68 season. While Ball did not earn a roster spot based on that one game's efforts, he did draw the Flyers' attention. Ball returned to Quebec, where he finished out the 1967-68 season, and remained there through the end of the following season.
Ball began the 1969-70 season with the Aces, then got his break when he was called up early in the season. Ball was given a regular shift with the Flyers, where he remained for the rest of the season. In what would be the best NHL season of his career, Ball played 61 games for the Flyers that season, and scored 7 goals and 18 assists. In the off season, Ball was traded by the Flyers to the Pittsburgh Penguins, and assigend to their farm club, the Amarillo Wranglers.
Ball's time with the Wranglers was short lived, as he was again traded, mid-way through the 1970-71 season, this time to the Buffalo Sabres. On January 24, 1971, the Sabres sent defenseman Jean-Guy Lagace to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Terry Ball. Ball would play two games for the Sabres that season, but spent the majority of his time with the Sabres' WHL affiliate, the Salt Lake Golden Eagles.
For the 1971-72 season, the Sabres changed their minor league affiliate, opting to start their own minor league farm club closer to Buffalo. That season, the Sabres began their short-lived affiliation with the Cincinatti Swords of the AHL. Ball was re-assigned to Cincinatti, where he would spend most of the 1971-72 season. Ball did manage to get in another 10 games that year, scoring his only point as a Sabre, an assist.
In the off-season, the Sabres bolstered their questionable defensive corps with the addition of veteran Tim Horton and rookies Jim Schoenfeld and Larry Carriere. It seemed as though Ball would never find a place in the lineup. With the prospect of another season in the minors looming, Ball jumped ship to the World Hockey Association. The WHA was vigorously recruiting from the NHL's ranks, offering big money contracts to anyone who could be persuaded to leave the NHL behind and sign with them. Ball joined defensemen Al Hamilton and Jim Watson and forwards Ron Anderson, Mike Byers and Danny Lawson in the first wave of Sabre players to join the upstart new league.
In his six year WHA career, he played for the Minnesota Fighting Saints, Cleveland Crusaders, Cincinatti Stingers and Birmingham Bulls. In 1977, Ball moved to Finland, where he finished out his professional career playing two seasons with HIFK Helsinki before retiring in 1979.
|Terry Ball as a Philadelphia Flyer circa 1969.|