He played for St. Lawrence University from 1958 to 1961. He then played for five years in the minor pros until retiring in 1965.
Slater became the coach of the newly-formed Los Angeles Sharks of the World Hockey Association (WHA) in 1972. He stayed there for two years and in 1975-76 moved to the Cincinnati Stingers for two years. In his four years in the WHA his teams had a record of 116-130-12.
In 1977 Slater was named as coach of the Colgate University team. He remeained there for fifteen years. amassing a record of 250-180-23. In 1989-90 he was named as NCAA Coach of the Year as his team went all the way to losing the 1990 Frozen Four final game.
Slater died in 1991 of a stroke.