Archive for Flyers Nostalgia

Seasons’ Greetings : Philadelphia Flyers Pound Tesla Pardubice


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VLADIMIR MARTINEC (left) of Tesla Pardubice, already a three-time titlist at the annual IIHF World Championships with the national team of Czechoslovakia, and OREST KINDRACHUK of the Philadelphia Flyers, a two-time Stanley Cup champion undrafted from the Saskatoon Blades, faced-off against one another on Broad Street in South Philly to celebrate Boxing Day in 1977.
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Perhaps traveling TESLA PARDUBICE ate and drank entirely too much on Christmas Day. Or maybe the host PHILADELPHIA FLYERS were all fired up on account of the Czechoslovak Ice Hockey Federation’s earlier threat to not contest this particular game. Whatever the case at the sold-out Spectrum in South Philly, it was the Broad Street Bullies who flexed their collective muscle by scoring five unanswered goals in the final forty minutes to thoroughly demolish their guests 6-1.

The Czechoslovakia elite league ice hockey outfit from Pardubice that was sponsored by the state-controlled electronics conglomerate, TESLA, had arrived in the City of Brotherly Love looking to accomplish what the famous Soviet team, Moscow’s Central Sports club of the Red Army, could not two years earlier. According to the communist authorities, the name Tesla stood for “TEchnika SLAboprouda” and this translated to “low voltage technology”. Much like their Warsaw Pact constituents, though, the Tesla Pardubice attempt to upend the recent two-time Stanley Cup titlist short-circuited spectacularly.

The visitors were actually the beneficiaries for three of the four minor penalties whistled in the first twenty minutes but could not penetrate the uncompromising Flyers defense and collect a power play goal. With such glorious opportunities having been wasted, OREST KINDRACHUK was content to grab the lead on Philadelphia’s behalf at the 15:47 of the opening period. Tesla Pardubice did pull level with just five seconds to play before the first intermission when star right wing VLADIMIR MARTINEC set up the goal by long-time national team linemate BOHUSLAV STASTNY.

But the Flyers had yet to launch the real holiday fireworks in earnest.

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Canada captain BOBBY CLARKE of the Philadelphia Flyers, the diabetic but three-time winner of the Hart Trophy as the Most Valuable Player in the National Hockey League, and Czechoslovakia left wing BOHUSLAV STASTNY (12) of Tesla Pardubice are separated by the linesman during the inaugural Canada Cup tournament contested in the fall of 1976.
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Philadelphia, literally right after killing off yet another penalty, landed a crippling one-two combination halfway through the second stanza. Third-year pro MEL BRIDGMAN, the first player selected overall at the 1975 National Hockey League Draft who was well on his way to recording a career-high 208 penalty minutes for the 1977/78 campaign, found the back of the net first with a little help from former University of Minnesota tough guy PAUL HOLMGREN at 9:43. And then REGGIE “the Rifle” LEACH, who had featured with Philadelphia Flyers linemates BOBBY CLARKE and BILL BARBER for the title-winning host nation at the historic 1976 Canada Cup, seriously stunned Tesla Pardubice with a second strike just 53 seconds later.

The goal by Bridgman actually provoked a change in netminders — for the Philadelphia Flyers, that is. Starter WAYNE STEPHENSON, the 32-year-old journeyman who had earlier represented Canada at the 1968 Winter Olympic Games in France, gave way to the legendary veteran BERNIE PARENT, the two-time Vezina Trophy winner who would keep the Flyers’ sheet clean for the remainder of the contest. Meanwhile, no relief for the beleagured Tesla Pardubice goalie JIRI CRHA, the 27-year-old silver medalist at the 1976 Winter Olympic Games in Austria, would be forthcoming.

Up to the point that Philadelphia made its goaltending switch, the visitors’ second period attack had been virtually non-existant. Stephenson had handled but a single shot before departing almost ten minutes in and the appearance of Parent did little to rally the touring Czechoslovaks. Indeed, Tesla Pardubice could generate only five more shots-on-goal before the second intermission manifested itself.

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JIRI CRHA appeared in a dozen contests at five major international tournaments for Czechoslovakia prior to taking unauthorized leave of Tesla Pardubice at the conclusion of the 1978/79 campaign. After three and a half seasons of North American professional hockey in the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, the native of Pardubice returned to Europe and signed with 2.Bundesliga club SV Bayreuth in West Germany. Crha backstopped that club to the second division title in his first year (1983/84) and then transferred to EHC Freiburg, where the Czechoslovak again helped his team earn promotion to the top flight in 1988.
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The Flyers excitedly circled their end of the rink before the final period just the same as any self-respecting shark with fresh blood in the water would. Philadelphia were about to outshoot overwhelmed Tesla Pardubice 17-5 in the final frame and seriously began to enjoy themselves following a second goal from Kindrachuk only three minutes in. The Czechoslovaks were finally floored for good by still another lightning-fast combination when BOB “Hound Dog” KELLY and Bridgman both scored goals while assisting on each other’s just sixteen seconds apart with approximately six minutes remaining.

Roughly fifteen months may have passed since the Philadelphia Flyers had traded DAVE “the Hammer” SCHULTZ traded to the Los Angeles Kings for a pair of draft picks, but visiting club Tesla Pardubice, nevertheless, still took a veritable pounding in its historic, first-ever meeting with an NHL team.

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NHL Money Talks, Czechoslovak Protest Walks


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The highly-skilled — if not, by contemporary standards, expensive — VACLAV NEDOMANSKY, shown here skating for the Detroit Red Wings in the National Hockey League, scored 63 goals in 65 games on his last seven major international tournament appearances prior to a historic defection in the summer of 1974 and remains forever the all-time leading goal-scorer in the history of the Czechoslovakia national team with 163 goals from 220 matches.
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Less than two weeks before visiting Soviet club Dynamo Moscow made its historic appearance in North America, the Eastern Bloc refugee and Maine Mariners “rookie” defenseman RUDY TAJCNAR found himself at the center of a budding controversy that threatened to short-circuit another international series entirely.

POLDI KLADNO and TESLA PARDUBICE, two of the top clubs in the domestic elite league standings of reigning two-time defending world champion CZECHOSLOVAKIA for the 1976/77 season, were preparing to cross the Atlantic Ocean and face off against National Hockey League opponents for the very first time ever. Roughly a week prior to Christmas in 1977, however, the Czechoslovak Ice Hockey Federation sent a telegram to the NHL offices in Montreal to announce that the scheduled matches with the Detroit Red Wings and the Philadelphia Flyers would not be contested. Both the Flyers and Red Wings each now employed one former Czechoslovakia national team member who had later fled the Iron Curtain and this was found to be unacceptable.

Detroit Red Wings center VACLAV NEDOMANSKY had actually bolted more than three years earlier after being named the Best Forward at the 1974 IIHF World Championships. The by-now 33-year-old, one-time Slovan Bratislava superstar was a recent newcomer to the established NHL, though, having been originally signed to a five-year contract worth $ 750,000 by the Toronto Toros of the upstart World Hockey Association. But the WHA’s Toros, who had since moved south to the United States and become the Birmingham Bulls, could no longer afford the salary of “Big Ned” and on November 18, 1977, offloaded the Czechoslovakian goal-scoring machine onto the books of the NHL’s Red Wings in one of ice hockey’s most spectacular fire sales ever conducted.

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Despite arriving from Switzerland well after the American Hockey League season had already started and later missing even a bit more time through injury, Olympic bronze medalist RUDY TACJNAR from Czechoslovakia still finished second among defenseman on the 1977/78 Calder Cup champion Maine Mariners with 39 points (7 go 32 as) from 63 games.
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Exactly one day before Nedomansky was dealt to the Motor City club, the Philadelphia Flyers were adding a bronze medalist from the 1972 Sapporo Winter Games of their own to the roster of a successful expansion organization which had already won the prestigous Stanley Cup in both 1974 and 1975. Tajcnar was also a Slovan Bratislava product and had originally signed to play the 1977/78 season in Switzerland with HC Ambri Piotta immediately after his defection but was quickly subdued by the standard 18-month suspension automatically issued by the International Ice Hockey Federation at that time. And so the Flyers were able to ink the 29-year-old and initially assigned the Olympic blueliner to their American Hockey League affiliate.

JOHN A. ZIEGLER, JR., had only taken office as the fourth president (and first American chief executive ever) in the long history of the National Hockey League to start the 1977/78 season but was in no mood to be bullied by the political agenda of any communist state-controlled ice hockey authorities.

The incoming NHL leader made his position crystal clear — the entire international exhibition series would be called off if both Poldi Kladno and Tesla Pardubice could not commit to skating in every one of the scheduled eight matches. There could be no other way for the C.I.H.F. to collect the coveted hard western currency all Eastern Bloc countries were always so eager to get their hands on at every opportunity. And $ 200,000 U.S. dollars could buy a considerable number of Koho sticks, the preferred choice of a good many Czechoslovak players that was actually manufactured in Finland.

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Czechoslovakia center VACLAV NEDOMANSKY (14) of Slovan Bratislava, who later had seasons of 38 and 35 goals playing for the Detroit Red Wings in the National Hockey League despite his advanced age and a horrible supporting cast, hopes to apply pressure to a host nation defenseman looking to clear a puck from potential danger during the 1974 IIHF World Championships in Helsinki, Finland.
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The Czechoslovak Ice Hockey Federation soon caved and quickly fired off another to Ziegler only a few days before Christmas, itself — both Poldi Kladno and Tesla Pardubice were now formally in the proper frame of mind to forgive the western imperialist North American professional clubs of any and all horse thievery and, at present, sufficently set to appear for all eight historic exhibition matches against NHL outfits.

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Flyers – 2010 : Lift-Off For Ville Leino

Philadelphia Flyers forward VILLE LEINO (22) of Finland sees his shot blocked by the New Jersey Devils' Canadian Olympic goaltender MARTIN BRODEUR (30) at the Wachovia Center on South Broad Street in late March. (Matt Slocum/AP)

Philadelphia Flyers forward VILLE LEINO (22) of Finland sees his shot blocked by the New Jersey Devils' Canadian Olympic goaltender MARTIN BRODEUR (30) at the Wachovia Center on South Broad Street in late March. (Matt Slocum/AP)

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The Philadelphia Flyers’ decision to acquire Finnish forward VILLE LEINO looks more astute with every passing day.

With two more assists in Game Six of the Stanley Cup finals against the Chicago Black Hawks, the 26 year-old left wing finished with seven goals and 21 points from 19 playoff games. The point total left Leino tied with former Minnesota North Stars right wing DINO CICCARELLI as the highest-scoring rookie in NHL playoff history. Ciccarelli, however, lit the lamp 14 times for the North Stars in 1981 and remains the all-time rookie goal-scoring leader for the post season.

Leino, to review, was a virtual donation to the Philadelphia Flyers from the Detroit Red Wings.
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VILLE LEINO, a native of Savonlinna who made his senior elite domestic debut as a 19-year-old with Ilves Tampere, scored 28 goals in 55 games for Jokerit Helsinki (above) his final season in Finland’s SM-Liiga before crossing the Atlantic Ocean in the summer of 2008 to sign with the Detroit Red Wings. (www.mtv3.fi photo)
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Leino spent most of his first professional season in North America with the Grand Rapids Griffins (57 ga, 15 go 31 as, 46 pts) in the American Hockey League.

Leino was later elevated to Detroit in the National Hockey League and put up fine numbers with five goals and nine points in 13 regular season games, as well. After competing for the Griffins in the AHL playoffs (10 ga, 3 go 10 as, 13 pts), the Finn returned to the Red Wings and appeared in seven NHL playoff games (0 go 2 as) for Detroit, too.

The luckless Leino and Detroit advanced to the Stanley Cup finals in 2009 before falling to the Pittsburgh Penquins.
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Ville Leino finds the net in the National Hockey League against the San Jose Sharks. (Ankur Dholakia/The Detroit News)
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Leino made the Red Wings to start the 2009-10 NHL season but managed just four goals and seven points in 42 games for Detroit.

The return of Swedish Olympic forward JOHAN FRANZEN forced the Red Wings to make a move with Leino in order to clear room on the NHL roster.

Fearing that Leino would not clear waivers in order to be eligible for assignment to Grand Rapids in the AHL, Detroit dealt the Finn to the Philadelphia Flyers for Norwegian Olympic defenseman OLE KRISTIAN TOLLEFSEN and a fifth round draft pick in early February just before the start of the 2010 Vancouver Games.
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Finnish forward VILLE LEINO (22) of the Philadelphia Flyers attempts to leave ANDREW LADD (16) of the Chicago Blackhawks behind in Game Six of the 2010 Stanley Cup finals at the Wachovia Center on South Broad Street in Philadelphia. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)
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The Flyers may have had little reason to expect such a burst of form from Leino in the playoffs; the Finn registered just two goals and two assists for Philadelphia in 13 regular season contests.

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73-74 Flyers : Shero Had The Strategy

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FRED “The Fog” SHERO was the coach of the Philadelphia Flyers for seven seasons in the 1970s. Although his Flyers teams were noted for their aggressive, if not outright violent, play – the fact was Shero was a keen student and great admirer of the skillful and far-less physical ice hockey played in the Soviet Union. Indeed, Shero, who was born in Winnipeg in 1925, was the son of immigrants who hade previously fled Russia to avoid religious persecution. (Sports Illustrated/CNN photo)
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It was the coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, FRED “The Fog” SHERO, who concocted the strategy for Game Six of the 1974 Stanley Cup finals against the Boston Bruins at the Spectrum on South Broad Street.

Many teams in the BOBBY ORR Era deliberately chose to try and keep the puck away from the Boston Bruins’ side of the ice while on attack. While Orr was a revolutionary and record-setting offensive superstar, it is often forgotten that the eight-time Norris Trophy winner was also an outstanding defender in his own end, as well. And, the two-time Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP) winner, a solid 200 pounds, was not afraid to drop the gloves, if necessary, either.

With the Philadelphia Flyers just one victory away from the very first Stanley Cup in franchise history, the Flyers coach settled on a rather different approach with respect to the Boston Bruins’ All-Star defenseman.
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Philadelphia Flyers captain BOBBY CLARKE (16) and ANDRE “Moose” DUPONT (6), a defenseman deep in the offensive zone, double-team Boston Bruins Hall of Fame defenseman BOBBY ORR (4) at the Spectrum in Philadelphia during the decisive Game Six of the 1974 Stanley Cup finals. (Bobby Orr.net/Getty Images)
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It was not uncommon for the influential Bobby Orr to play as much as 40 minutes a night for the Boston Bruins at that time.

So, Shero had his Flyers intentionally dump the puck into Orr’s side of the defensive zone and then chase after it furiously. The idea was to create the opportunity to hit the Bruins’ offensive genius as often as possible so as to physically wear down Boston’s quarterback. To stymie the Boston superstar before the chance to embark on a hallmark end-to-end rush with the puck ever developed.

The notorious Broad Street Bullies were the perfect team to undertake such an assigned task.
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Two blueliners, Orr (4) and Dupont (6), bump shoulders at the Boston Garden during the 1974 Stanley Cup finals. (Bobby Orr.net/Getty Images)
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The Philadelphia Flyers did not fail to harass and hit Bobby Orr at every opportunity in Game Six of the 1974 Stanley Cup finals.

The move paid early dividends as the Boston superstar and Philadelphia captain BOBBY CLARKE had a confrontation at the fourteen minute mark of the first period and were both sent to the sin bin. Orr, who had throw a glove at Clarke, drew an extra penalty. Shorlty thereafter, RICK MACLEISH deflected a shot by defenseman ANDRE DUPONT on the ensuing power play for what would be the only goal of the game.

Then, with a little less than two and a half minutes minutes remaining and the clock winding down on Boston’s Cup aspirations, an absolutely exhausted Orr, who skated 35 minutes in the decisive Game Six, was assessed another penalty for hauling down Clarke from behind.

And with that, the Cup effectively passed to the Philadelphia Flyers.
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Flyers coach FRED “The Fog” SHERO at the Philadelphia bench points demonstratively in the direction of DAVE “The Hammer” SCHULTZ (8) during the 1973-74 National Hockey League season at the Spectrum on South Broad Street. (John D. Hanlon/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

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73-74 Flyers : Cup Finals Fight Card

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Philadelphia Flyers resident traffic cop DAVE SCHULTZ (8) clotheslines Boston Bruins winger WAYNE CASHMAN (12) in Game Five of the 1974 Stanley Cup finals at the storied Boston Garden. These same two would drop the gloves later in the game. (John D. Hanlon/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wk-yDkB_rqA

“DAVE SCHULTZ VS TERRY O’REILLY FIGHT”
(incorrect date listed)
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1974 Stanley Cup finals
Fight Card

Game One (Boston Garden)
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Phil # 2 ED VAN IMPE vs Bos # 12 WAYNE CASHMAN

Game Two (Boston Garden)
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Phil # 8 DAVE SCHULTZ vs Bos # 24 TERRY O’REILLY
Phil # 26 OREST KINDRACHUK vs Bos # 11 ANDRE SAVARD
Phil # 11 DON SALESKI vs Bos # 11 ANDRE SAVARD

Game Four (The Spectrum)
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Bos # 24 TERRY O’REILLY vs Phil # 8 DAVE SCHULTZ
Bos # 11 ANDRE SAVARD vs Phil # 26 OREST KINDRACHUK
Bos # 12 WAYNE CASHMAN vs Phil # 20 JIMMY WATSON

Game Five (Boston Garden)
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Phil # 8 DAVE SCHULTZ vs Bos # 10 CAROL VADNAIS
Phil # 8 DAVE SCHULTZ vs Bos # 12 WAYNE CASHMAN
Phil # 6 ANDRE DUPONT vs Bos # 24 TERRY O’REILLY
Phil # 20 JIMMY WATSON vs Bos # 11 ANDRE SAVARD
Phil # 27 BRUCE COWICK vs Bos # 10 CAROL VADNAIS
Phil # 3 TOM BLADON vs Bos # 18 RICH LEDUC

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“OREST KINDRACHUK VS ANDRE SAVARD MAY 9 1974″

“DON SALESKI VS ANDRE SAVARD”

“ANDRE SAVARD VS OREST KINDRACHUK”

“DAVE SCHULTZ VS CAROL VADNAIS”

“ANDRE DUPONT vs TERRY O’REILLY”

“JIMMY WATSON VS ANDRE SAVARD”

“BRUCE COWICK VS CAROL VADNAIS”

“TOM BLADON VS RICHARD LEDUC”

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DAVE SCHULTZ proudly shows off the asset that was most desired by the Philadelphia Flyers — his right fist — when the winger was promoted from the National Hockey League club’s farm team, the Richmond Robins of the American Hockey League, to start the 1972-73 season.
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Boston Bruins wing WAYNE CASHMAN (12) is escorted to the penalty box by the linesman after his fight with Philadelphia Flyers enforcer DAVE “The Hammer” SCHULTZ in Game Five of the 1974 Stanley Cup finals at the Boston Garden. (NHLFightclub.com photo)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?=JRUmhl13zI0&feature=related

“DAVE SCHULTZ VS WAYNE CASHMAN”

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73-74 : Beginning Of The End For Bobby Orr

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Boston Bruins defenseman BOBBY ORR (4), a three-time Hart Trophy winner, is chased by Philadelphia Flyers center BOBBY CLARKE (16), who also won honors as National Hockey League Most Valuable Player on three occasions, in Game Five of the 1974 Stanley Cup finals at the Boston Garden. The Bruins defeated the Flyers 5-1 to draw within one game of evening the series heading back to the Spectrum in Philadelphia. (John D. Hanlon/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)
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Sadly, the 1974 Stanley Cup finals would prove to be the last appearance on professional hockey’s most prestigous stage for the Boston Bruins’ revolutionary superstar rearguard, BOBBY ORR.

Indeed the story of Orr’s spectacular National Hockey League career was as much about combating injuries as it was collecting trophies — it will never be known what may have occurred had Orr been able to operate with structurally sound knees over the course of an entire, full-length career.
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A familiar sight for fans of the era across North America watching on television, the defenseman BOBBY ORR (4) of the Boston Bruins pushes the puck up ice. Graced with exceptional speed and the agility of a feline, Orr completely changed the game of hockey forever with his rink-length rushes, precision passing and goal-scoring ability. By the mid-1970s, in complete copy-cat fashion, all hockey teams were in search of a skillful rearguard to “quarterback” the offensive attack.
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Yet another knee operation and subsequent rehabilitation forced Bobby Orr to cede his certain place on Team Canada for the historic 1972 Summit Series with the national team of the Soviet Union.

After missing the opening of the 1972-73 NHL season, Orr recovered sufficiently to continue a streak of four consecutive campaigns of 100 points or more with 29 goals and 72 assists in just 63 games for the Boston Bruins.

The following year, all seemed to have returned to normal as Orr finished second in the scoring race with 32 goals and 122 points as the Bruins barreled their way into a third Stanley Cup final in four seasons.
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Canada defenseman BOBBY ORR (4) behind the net with the puck during what was a magnificent performance by the perennial National Hockey League All-Star at the inaugural Canada Cup in 1976. Orr led the tournament with seven assists and tied with two other players for tops on nine points as host nation Canada captured the title. For what would be his last major on-ice achievement, Orr was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1976 Canada Cup. (Hockey Hall of Fame photo)
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Orr would rebound from the disappointment of defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup finals to re-establish his NHL record for defensemen with 46 goals in 80 games during the 1974-75 schedule. Orr also ended as the league’s top scorer with 135 points to collect his second-career Art Ross Trophy, as well. And, as if on autopilot, Orr earned an 8th successive Norris Trophy as the circuit’s outstanding defender.

Disaster struck the Boston Bruins in the 1975 NHL playoffs, however. After hammering the Chicago Black Hawks 8-2 in the opening game of the best-of-three preliminary round series, the Bruins proceeded to drop the next two contests and bounce out of the competition unceremoniously.

Absolute tragedy for both Bobby Orr and the Boston Bruins on September 22, 1975, although it was not immediately apparent on that day the superstar injured his knee still one more time during training camp. Orr would actually attempt to tough it out but only made it ten games into the regular season before, once again, undergoing surgery.
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Hall of Fame defenseman BOBBY ORR (4) dons the sweater for the Chicago Black Hawks with goaltender TONY ESPOSITO, the brother or Orr’s long-time Boston Bruins teammate, Phil, in the background. (Bobby Orr Collection photo)
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In a move that sparks controversy in many quarters to this day, Orr left the Boston Bruins to sign a free agent contract worth a reported $ 3 million dollars over five years with the Chicago Black Hawks in June of 1976.

Orr managed just 20 games for Chicago that first 1976-77 season before knee trouble once again knocked Orr out of action; after just six more NHL games at the beginning of the 1978-79 campaign, Orr decided he could no longer compete adequately and called it quits. The more than dozen surgeries had taken their toll.

The National Hockey League waived its mandatory three-year waiting limit for the Hockey Hall Of Fame and, thus, at the age of 31, Bobby Orr was enshrined in the summer of 1979.

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73-74 Flyers : The Catalyst From Clarke – Game Two OT Goal

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Philadelphia Flyers captain BOBBY CLARKE, who captured the prestigous Hart Trophy as the Most Valuable Player in all the National Hockey League for the 1972-73 season, receives instructions from head coach FRED SHERO at the bench during the 1974 Stanley Cup playoffs. (Heinz Kluetmeier/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images photo)
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Many hockey historians point to the overtime of Game Two for the pivotal moment of the 1974 STANLEY CUP FINALS contested by the BOSTON BRUINS and the PHILADELPHIA FLYERS.

The “Big Bad” Bruins entered the ’74 Cup final as heavy favorites to claim a third National Hockey League title in four seasons. Hall of Fame blueliner BOBBY ORR’s goal with just 22 remaining in Game One merely heightened expectations. Plus, history was not on the side of the Philadelphia Flyers.

No expansion team had, since the league doubled in 1967, lifted Lord Stanley’s cherished Cup.

Moreover, the Philadelphia Flyers, victorious on their first-ever journey to Boston during the 1967-68 campaign, had since failed to win in 19 successive games (17 losses) at the historic Boston Garden.
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Boston Bruins winger GREGG SHEPPARD (19) faces-off with Philadelphia Flyers captain BOBBY CLARKE (16) during the 1974 Stanley Cup finals at the Spectrum on South Broad Street. Clarke finished fifth in NHL scoring during the 1973-74 regular season with 87 points (35 goals) in 77 games. (John D. Hanlon/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)
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The Flyers’ 3-2 victory over the Bruins at the venerable Garden in overtime of Game Two changed everything; it injected the entire Philadelphia squad, already instilled with a strong work-ethic and a tremendous desire to win, with the sincere belief that Boston, could, indeed, be defeated any time, any place, anywhere.
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Boston Bruins goaltender GILLES GILBERT can only watch as BOBBY CLARKE (16) jumps for joy as his second goal of the game at 12:01 of overtime has given the Philadelphia Flyers a critical 3-2 triumph in Game Two of the 1974 Stanley Cup finals. Flyers bad boy DAVE SCHULTZ (8) celebrates as the Bruins’ cadre of CAROL VADNAIS (10), TERRY O’REILLY (24) and DALLAS SMITH (20) are left to commiserate. (Bettmann/CORBIS photo)
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The Bruins goalie Gilbert had actually made a splendid, sprawling initial save on Clarke, who had controlled a puck backhanded towards the Boston goal from Flyers winger BILL “Cowboy” FLETT all alone in the slot.

But Clarke corralled the rebound on the forehand, however, and wristed the puck past the would-be emergency netminder TERRY O’REILLY for what will always remain one of the, if not the most important goal in the history of the Philadelphia Flyers franchise.

CLARKE’s OVERTIME GOAL ON YOU TUBE
“1974 Stanley Cup Finals – Game Two Clarke OT Goal”

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73-74 : Orr, Esposito And Big Bad Bruins

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Well before the hockey world heard of WAYNE GRETZKY, PAUL COFFEY and the EDMONTON OILERS — there was the irresistible force of BOBBY ORR, PHIL ESPOSITO and the “BIG BAD” BOSTON BRUINS.

The National Hockey League had hosted teams that could score goals before. The circuit had seen squads stocked with large players in the past. The NHL had never before in its considerable history, however, had ever had a club with so many big, physically-imposing skaters scoring goals at such a record pace.

The arrival of the revolutionary defenseman Orr (6’0″ 200 lb) from the Canadian junior ranks and the addition of forwards Esposito (6’1″ 205 lb), KEN HODGE (6’2″ 214 lb) and JOHN MCKENZIE from the Chicago Black Hawks in a summer of 1967 blockbuster deal laid a solid foundation for the Beantown skaters who would ascend to NHL supremacy with Stanley Cup titles in 1970 and 1972.
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Boston Bruins right wing KEN HODGE (8), who was born in Birmingham, England, at the end of the Second World War, scored a career high 50 goals during the 1973-74 NHL season.
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The Boston Bruins became the first team in National Hockey League history to surpass 300 goals scored for a single season and also established a new standard with 1,297 penalty minutes in 1968-69.

The Bruins absolutely annihilated their own record with 399 goals two years later. The next-highest goal-scoring team that season, the eventual Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens, finished more than one hundred goals behind Boston’s haul. While Esposito did establish a new individual NHL record with 76 goals in 1970-71, the overwhelming strength of the Bruins was best exemplified by the fact ten Boston players totaled 20 goals or more, as well — another NHL record.
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Boston Bruins forward WAYNE CASHMAN (12) corrects a Montreal Canadiens player who has gotten out of line at the fabled Boston Garden in historic Beantown. Cashman came up through the Boston farm system and, playing on the Bruins’ top line with Esposito and Hodge, put together a streak of four consecutive seasons with 20 + goals and 100 + penalty minutes beginning with the 1970-71 season.
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By the time the 1974 Stanley Cup finals arrived, the Boston Bruins had led the National Hockey League in goal-scoring for an astonishing seven straight seasons. The 349 goals scored during the regular season was the second-highest total in NHL history. No less than four Boston skaters (as had been the case in the record-setting season of 70-71) occupied the top four spots on the NHL scoring chart :

68 goals 77 assists 145 points — Phil ESPOSITO
32 goals 90 assists 122 points — Bobby ORR
50 goals 55 assists 105 points — Ken HODGE
30 goals 59 assists 89 points —- Wayne CASHMAN

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To the left, center PHIL ESPOSITO (7) and defenseman DALLAS SMITH (20) sandwich defenseman BOBBY ORR (4) as wingers WAYNE CASHMAN (12) and KEN HODGE (8) celebrate on the right after Orr’s goal with just 22 seconds remaining in the game gave the Boston Bruins a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in the opening game of the 1974 Stanley Cup finals at the Boston Garden. (Bettmann/CORBIS photo)

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73-74 Flyers : Parent The Missing Piece

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Hall of Fame center PHIL ESPOSITO (7) of the Boston Bruins is held at bay by Philadelphia Flyers defenseman TOM BLADON (3) as Hall of Fame goaltender BERNIE PARENT deals with the puck at the Boston Garden in the 1974 Stanley Cup finals.
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The key to the City of Brotherly Love’s first-ever Stanley Cup championship in 1974 was already playing his professional hockey in the city of Philadelphia the season prior to the historic triumph — just not for the Flyers at the Spectrum on South Broad Street.
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BERNIE PARENT became the very first National Hockey League player to sign with the fledgling World Hockey Association when the Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender inked a deal worth a reported $ 750,000 over five years (plus a house, boat and car) with the Miami Screaming Eagles in the February of 1972.

Parent was estimated to have been making $ 40,000 per year with the Maple Leafs.

The city of Miami had no suitable hockey arena and the owner, HERB MARTIN, having splashed out lavishly on players such as DEREK SANDERSON and JOHN MCKENZIE of the 1972 Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins, soon moved the team to the city of Philadelphia.

Sanderson stole the spotlight and became the world’s highest-paid professional athlete with a five-year, $ 2.65 million dollar contract which surpassed that of even Brazilian World Cup soccer star PELE; the aging McKenzie reportedly signed for $ 300,000 over three years to be the player-coach.

Martin’s pucksters were re-branded the Blazers and played out of the Philadelphia Convention Hall and Civic Center, which is located on the edge of the University of Pennsylvania just southwest of historic Franklin Field in center city, for the World Hockey Association’s first season the winter of 1972-73.
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Parent fashioned the # 00 jersey and played 63 games (3.61 avg) with a record of 33 wins and 28 losses for the Blazers operating out of the Civic Center in Philadelphia that inaugural WHA season.
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In large part due Parent’s work in in the high-scoring league, the Blazers managed a third place finish (38 wins 40 losses) in the WHA’s Eastern Division despite a season-long variety of off-ice distractions.

The very first game at the Civic Center had to be canceled and rescheduled when the Zamboni went hay-wire and put a hole in the ice; the over-paid Sanderson would split the team and pocket a controversial $ 1 million dollar severance check after just eight games.

Parent, finally, packed it in during the first round of the playoffs in a pay dispute as the Blazers were swept out four games to none by the Cleveland Crusaders and GERRY CHEEVERS, the goaltender for the Boston Bruins’ title-winning teams of 1970 and 1972.

Parent, however, had no intention of returning to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who retained his NHL rights.
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On the south side of Philadelphia, the Flyers were well aware of the situation with Parent and the Blazers in center city.

In mid-May of 1973, the Flyers offered their first round draft pick in that summer’s NHL draft plus future considerations (which became goaltender DOUG FAVELL in July of that year) to the Maple Leafs in return for the rights to Parent as well as Toronto’s 2nd round choice in the 1973 NHL draft.

Parent, of course, had originally been traded by the Philadelphia Flyers to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the blockbuster deal involving forward MIKE WALTON in February of 1971.
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Hall of Fame goaltender BERNIE PARENT covers the puck for the Philadelphia Flyers with forwards FRED STANFIELD (11) and TERRY O’REILLY (24) on the doorstep for Boston Bruins at the Spectrum on South Broad Street in the 1974 Stanley Cup finals.

Parent won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the league playoff MVP his first year back in the NHL after a year of exile in the WHA.

Parent posted a career-best 1.89 goals-against-average while playing an astounding 73 of the Flyers’ 78 games during the regular season of 1973-74 and added the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender that year for Philadelphia, as well.

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73-74 Flyers : MacLeish’s Magic Marker

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Philadelphia Flyers forward RICK MACLEISH (19) tips the point shot of the not-pictured ANDRE DUPONT past Boston Bruins goaltender GILLES GILBERT for a power play goal at 14:48 of the first period in Game Six of the 1974 Stanley Cup finals.
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RICK MACLEISH scored 381 goals (849 games), playoffs included, over the course of twelve seasons as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers in the National Hockey League.

The most significant, to be certain, came on May 19, 1974, as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Boston Bruins 1-0 in Game Six of the Stanley Cup finals at the Spectrum on Broad Street and captured the first NHL championship in club history.

MacLeish, the second-line center behind BOBBY CLARKE throughout his career in Philadelphia, led all playoff scorers with both 13 goals and 22 points in 17 post-season contests for the Flyers in 1974.
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MacLeish celebrates as Hall of Fame defenseman BOBBY ORR (4) observes the puck in the net of the Boston Bruins during the 1974 Stanley Cup finals.
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Ironically enough, Rick MacLeish was originally a # 1 pick of the Boston Bruins having been selected from Peterborough Petes fourth overall at the 1970 NHL draft.

In February of his rookie 1970-71 season, MacLeish, who was playing for the Oklahoma City Blazers of the old Central Hockey League, was bundled together with spare part DANNY SCHOCK and sent to Philadelphia in exchange for goal-scoring forward MIKE WALTON, who had been acquired by the Flyers from the Toronto Maple Leafs earlier in that same day.

Schock, a former first round pick of the Boston Bruins (1968, # 12 overall), played 14 games (1 go 2 as, 0 pim) for the Flyers that spring and then never saw the NHL again.

“Shaky” Walton would contest 154 NHL games (56 go 55 as, 111 pts, 92 pim) with the Bruins before bolting to the rival World Hockey Association to start the 1973-74 campaign; the veteran forward accepted an offer from the Minnesota Fighting Saints worth a reported $ 450,000 over three years.

While the Boston Bruins marched to their third Stanley Cup finals appearance in four years, Walton led the WHA in scoring for the season with 117 points (57 goals) in Minnesota.

MacLeish, meanwhile, would skate in three NHL All-Star Games (1976, 1977, 1980) and play in four Stanley Cup finals for the Philadelphia Flyers.
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MacLeish skating in the late 1970s for the Philadelphia Flyers at the Specturm against the Detroit Red Wings — the NHL team for whom MacLeish finished his career. (Bettmann/CORBIS photo)
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Rick MacLeish was first traded away by the Philadelphia Flyers in the summer of 1981 in the blockbuster deal with the Hartford Whalers.

Philadelphia packaged MacLeish, minor league forward DON GILLEN, defenseman BLAKE WESLEY as well the Flyers’ 1st, 2nd and 3rd round draft picks in the 1982 NHL draft for the Whalers and received forward RAY ALLISON, defenseman FRED ARTHUR and Hartford’s 1st and 3rd round draft picks in the 1983 NHL draft in return.

For the Flyers, the 1983 first round draft pick turned out to be center RON SUTTER; the third round selection would yield veteran Czechoslovakia international defenseman MIROSLAV DVORAK of Motor Ceske Budejovice.

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