Known for his shaved head, horseshoe mustache and deep voice, Bill Houlder was a positive veteran influence in the Nashville Predators locker room from 1999-2003. In his 302 games, he mentored the likes of Kimmo Timonen, Karlis Skrastins and Mark Eaton from prospects to NHL mainstays.
Originally claimed on waivers from Tampa Bay, Houlder averaged 20-plus minutes a game for three seasons, and going largely unrecognized for his gritty on-ice contributions. Arguably the most memorable moment involving the 6-2, 220-pound blue liner in a Preds uniform was Dec. 30, 2002, when he scored 7:42 into the third period to lift Nashville to a 3-2 victory over Ottawa.
The Thunder Bay, Ontario native played 300 of a possible 301 straight games, finally retiring as a Predator following the 2002-03 season. In 16 National Hockey League seasons, Houlder played 846 career games for seven teams, accumulating 250 points (59g-191a), 44 (8g-36a) of which came as a Predator.