Reusse: Hockey pioneer at Hill and U let his play do the talking

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 22, 2011 - 10:38 AM

Billy Klatt, now in hospice care, starred for the Gophers and Fighting Saints.

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knucklebrainDec. 21, 1110:12 PM

nice story, Patrick. When you write human interest stories, they usually bring out the side of sports that we can all appreciate. While huge money, big TV contracts, and genuine hero worship exists for today's athletes, there was a time when sports were pure fun to play and watch. The story of Klatt brings back the age of innocence. How I wish we could return to that age. Wishful thinking.

ha53hafm63Dec. 22, 11 4:56 AM

I like what you have to say 'KB'. Guys like Billy, "the chief", "maroosch", and many more are why I'm proud to be a Gopher '64 grad. Billy knew why he was on the ice and "got 'er done". My prayers are for him this Christmas.

elmore1Dec. 22, 11 6:14 AM

Great story. I liked watching him with the Gophs and Fighting Saints. The Wild could use a scorer like Klatt.

QUISVIGDec. 22, 11 6:53 AM

Any relation to Trent Klatt?

KevinskoggDec. 22, 11 8:30 AM

So he is the one to blame. Sounds like a good guy though.

voner26Dec. 22, 11 9:06 AM

Remember him well in the 60's. Saw him play against Cathedral. Nice hockey player who knew what to do with the puck. Sorry to here of his illness. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

rjgronesDec. 22, 1112:02 PM

Great article Pat.. I grew up on the eastside back in those days. Though I would go onto Johnson HS, I'll never forget my first Hill hockey game at Aldrich; watching Bobby Young play.. Great memories you bring back to me this morning.. Thank you..

bkimlingerDec. 22, 11 3:59 PM

Thank you Patrick. Great column and photo. I am an east sider and old enough to remember Billy Klatt playing for the U and the Fighting Saints. I am very sorry to hear that he is ill and about to leave us.

moretwoitDec. 27, 11 3:57 PM

I am surprised to read Mike Curran describe Bill Klatt as an average skater. I watched him when I was at the U and I thought he was lightning fast. Klatt played on a line with Pete Fichuk and Gary Gambucci, later replaced by Rick Yurich, and they moved the puck like few others. It was the kind of speed and precision that excited the crowd on every shift. I am very sorry to hear he is gone already.

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