William J. (Bill) Masterton center for the Minnesota North Stars of the National Hockey League died early today of massive brain injuries sustained Saturday night in a game against Oakland at Metropolitan Sports Center. Masterton 29, succumbed at Fairview Southdale Hostpital 27 hours after he fell heavily and struck the back of his head on the ice during the first period of the Saturday contest. Emergency aid was rendered to Masterton on the ice by Dr. Charles Kelly, one of three Minnesota team physicians and trainers Stan Waylett and Al Scheueman. As soon as he was removed to the dressing room he was placed under the care of four physicians, including Dr. Paul Blake, Minneapolis neuro surgeon. He was rushed to Fairview Southdale by ambulance. A team of five physicians headed by Dr. Lyle French, chief neuro surgeon of University of Minnesota hostpitals, fought to save Masterton, but the former Denver University All American never regained consciousness. A club spokesman said that no operation had been performed. Masterton suffered the injury after he had skated into the Seals zone with the puck in the first period, then back handed a pass to Wayne Connelly, his right wing. Reports by sports writers covering the game conflict on what happened. But, Masterton somehow slipped or had his feet knocked out from under him in a high sticking crowd of players about 25 feet in front of the Oakland goal. Masterton fell backwards, the back of his head slamming against the ice. He was taken from the ice on a strecher, his head bleeding profusely, and was rushed to the hostpital. His parents were summonmed from Winnipeg, and were at his side along with his wife. It was the first playing death in the 51 year history of the National Hockey League. Masterton, a native of Winnipeg, and a resident of Minneapolis is survied by his wife Carol and a son Scott, 3, a daughter Sally 1, his parents Mr. and Mrs. William Masterton of Winnipeg and a brother Robert of San Diego. President Walter Bush said of Bill Masterton's death: "I've lost a person I valued as a friend as well as one of the finest players in our organization. Bill certainly exemplified the type of person I would want my children to become." "The sympathy of the North Stars goes out to Carol Masterton and to all the members of Bill's family." Masterton played junior hockey in Winnipeg and entered Denver University in 1957. He led the Pioneers to the NCAA championship in in 1961, was selected as the most valuable player in the NCAA tournament that year and was named to the All-American team. Masterton turned professional in the fall of 1961 and played two seasons for Montreal farm teams in Hull, Ottawa of the Eastern Professional Hockey League and Cleveland of the American Hockey League. He finished sixth in the AHL scoring at Cleveland. He retired from from professional hockey following the 1962-63 season and earned his masters degree in finance from Denver in 1964. He played amateur hockey and performed for the U.S. National team while employed at Honeywell. Minnesota purchased the rights to his contract form Montreal last June. Masterton and goaltender Carl Wetzel were the first two North Stars to sign contracts. Despite the four year layoff from professional hockey he made the team in training camp and gained a place in the record books when he became the first Minnesota player to score a goal in an NHL game, Oct. 11 in St.Louis. At the time of his death Masterton stood ninth in scoring for the North Stars with four goals and seven assists for 11 points. Funeral services under the direction of O'Halloran and Murphy of St. Paul are pending.