Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Les Binkley
Much like the legendary Johnny Bower, netminder Les Binkley spent considerable time in the minor leagues before debuting in the NHL in his thirties. Although he did not have a Hall of Fame career, Binkley enjoyed five solid years with the Pittsburgh Penguins before joining the Ottawa Nationals and Toronto Toros of the WHA.

Binkley played junior with the Galt Black Hawks and Kitchener Greenshirts. He then spent the 1954-55 season playing senior hockey with the Walkerton Capitals and the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen before turning pro. The affable backstopper played in four different leagues and was a popular competitor in each one of them. Highlights of this stage of his career included leading the Eastern League in wins in 1957 and 1958 and notching three 30-win seasons for the AHL's Cleveland Barons in the 1960s. He was the winner of the Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award as the AHL's top rookie in 1962 and was presented the Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award four years later for allowing the fewest goals in the league.

Binkley was the first number-one goaltender in the history of the Pittsburgh Penguins. He played 104 games during the club's first two years and later tutored youngsters like Jim Rutherford and Al Smith. In 1972-73 he sought a new challenge with the Ottawa Nationals of the WHA and remained with the franchise when it relocated to Toronto the next season. Although his minutes played were down, Binkley was a solid veteran presence on the club. He retired in 1976 after playing most of the year in the North American League with the Buffalo Norsemen.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP W L T SO Avg GP W L T SO Avg
1949-50 Owen Sound Mintos ON-Jr.B
1950-51 Owen Sound Mintos ON-Jr.B
1950-51 Owen Sound Mercurys Al-Cup 1 0 1 0 0 8.00
1951-52 Galt Black Hawks OHA-Jr. 47 31 13 2 4 3.84 3 0 3 0 0 5.05
1952-53 Galt Black Hawks OHA-Jr. 55 27 25 3 1 3.87 11 0 4.64
1953-54 Galt Black Hawks OHA-Jr. 54 20 33 1 0 4.63
1953-54 Kitchener Greenshirts OHA-Jr. 4 2 2 0 0 4.25 4 1 3 0 0 4.00
1954-55 Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen OHA-Sr. 3 0 4.00
1954-55 Walkerton Capitols ON-Sr.B
1955-56 Fort Wayne Komets IHL 3 1 2 0 0 4.33
1955-56 Balt.<196>Charlotte Clippers EHL 59 21 37 1 0 5.11
1956-57 Charlotte Clippers EHL 64 50 13 1 0 3.79 13 8 5 0 2 2.69
1957-58 Charlotte Clippers EHL 64 38 25 1 0 3.70 12 5 7 0 1 3.83
1958-59 Toledo Mercurys IHL 52 1 3.97
1958-59 Cleveland Barons AHL 1 0 1 0 0 3.00
1959-60 Toledo/St. Louis Mercurys IHL 67 28 35 4 2 4.39
1960-61 Toledo Mercurys IHL 1 1 0 0 1 0.00
1960-61 Cleveland Barons AHL 8 4 1 1 0 1.47 4 0 4 0 0 4.50
1961-62 Cleveland Barons AHL 60 31 26 3 5 3.02 3 1 2 0 0 2.99
1962-63 Cleveland Barons AHL 63 28 27 7 4 3.22 7 4 3 0 1 3.14
1963-64 Cleveland Barons AHL 65 34 27 3 3 2.77
1964-65 Cleveland Barons AHL 40 14 23 2 0 3.91
1965-66 Cleveland Barons AHL 66 34 30 2 2 2.93 12 8 4 0 1 2.33
1966-67 San Diego Gulls WHL 55 15 36 2 1 3.56
1967-68 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 54 20 24 10 6 2.88
1968-69 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 50 10 31 8 0 3.29
1969-70 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 27 10 13 1 3 3.21 7 5 2 0 2.10
1970-71 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 34 11 11 10 2 2.86
1971-72 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 31 7 15 5 0 3.51
1972-73 Ottawa Nationals WHA 30 10 17 1 0 3.72 4 1 3 0 0 4.57
1973-74 Toronto Toros WHA 27 14 9 1 1 3.27 5 2 2 0 0 5.60
1974-75 Toronto Toros WHA 17 6 4 0 0 3.65 1 0 1 0 0 5.08
1975-76 Toronto Toros WHA 7 0 6 0 0 5.73
1975-76 Buffalo Norsemen NAPro 24 11 8 0 0 4.27
NHL Totals 196 58 94 34 11 3.12 7 5 2 0 2.10


EHL Second All-Star Team (1957)
Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award (Rookie of the Year - AHL) (1962)
AHL Second All-Star Team (1964, 1966)
Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award (fewest goals against - AHL) (1966)
WHL Second All-Star Team (1967)
Signed by Cleveland (AHL) as assistant trainer and practice goaltender, September, 1957. Traded to San Diego (WHL) by Cleveland (AHL) for cash, September, 1966. Traded to Pittsburgh by San Diego (WHL) for cash, October, 1967. Selected by Ontario-Ottawa (WHA) in 1972 WHA General Player Draft, February 12, 1972. Transferred to Toronto (WHA) after Ottawa (WHA) franchise relocated, May, 1973.
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