Bob Collyard played professional hockey from 1970-71 to 1982-83. Collyard spent three years with the Philadelphia Firebirds of the NAHL from 1974-75 to 1976-77. During his stay in the North American Hockey League, Bob put up great numbers in each season.
Collyard spent three years playing for Colorado College in the WCHA from 1968-69 to 1970-71. In his first year, he led the league with 31 goals and 48 points over just 25 games. In his first two years, Bob was selected to the NCAA 1st All-American Team.
After just his first year at Colorado College, Collyard was picked by the St. Louis Blues in the seventh round of the 1969 NHL Amateur Draft, 73rd overall. Bob went on to play pro hockey from 1970-71 to 1982-83 in the CHL, NHL, WHL, NAHL, AHL, Germany and IHL.
His National Hockey League experience consists of ten games with the Blues during the 1973-74 season. He was picked up by the Washington Capitals in the 1974 NHL Expansion Draft but never played for the Capitals.
Bob showed off his soft hands in 1972-73, leading the Central Hockey League with 50 assists as a member of the Fort Worth Wings. In his first year in the American Hockey League, 1977-78, with the Philadelphia Firebirds, Collyard finished second in the league with 62 assists, just one behind Joe Hardy of the Binghamton Dusters. That year, he finished fourth in points with 90, eight behind league leader and teammate Gord Brooks.
Over his three years in the NAHL, Collyard scored 118 goals and assisted on 230 for 348 points over 216 regular season games. His playoff numbers were even more impressive with 18 goals and 30 assists for 48 points in 24 games. Most of those playoff numbers came in 1975-76 when the Firebirds won the Lockhart Cup. Bob scored 12 goals and assisted on 25 for 37 points.
In 1974-75, Collyard scored 42 and assisted on 61 for 103 points. He placed fourth in the league for goals, second for assists and tied for third in points. Bob led the Firebirds in all three categories and was named to the NAHL Second All-Star Team.
The following year, 1975-76, Bob’s numbers increased but so did everyone else’s in the NAHL. His 45 goals placed him eighth, his 84 assists were good for second and his 129 points put him in fifth among NAHL scoring leaders. He led Philadelphia in assists and points. As mentioned, he led the way in the playoffs as the Firebirds captured the Lockhart Cup championship. Once again, Collyard was named a Second Team All-Star.
In his final season, 1976-77, Bob’s goal total dropped to 31 but his assists increased to 85 for a total of 116 points. Collyard led the team in assists and finished second in the NAHL. His point total placed him seventh overall. Once again, Bob was a Second Team All-Star.
Collyard carried on as a member of the Philadelphia Firebirds for two more years in the American Hockey League after the demise of the NAHL.
USA National Team
Twice, Bob was a member of the United States contingent at the IIHF World Hockey Championships. In 1978, he scored a goal and assisted on five for six points over ten games. The tournament was held in Prague, Czechoslovakia and the U.S.A. finished sixth out of eight countries. That year, the Soviet Union won gold, Czechoslovakia won silver and Canada took bronze.
In 1979, Collyard played in eight games and scored two goals. The U.S. fell to seventh out of eight teams. The tournament was hosted in Moscow. Once again, the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia took the first two positions with Sweden winning the bronze.