By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
The Philadelphia Flyers’ were starting to establish themselves as a threat to the NHL during the 1970’s. The nickname Broad Street Bullies was earned and two Stanley Cups were won, and the foundation of the Flyers reputation that lives on to this day was born.
So many players played a role for the Flyers during their heyday that cutting it down to five is hard, but below are the top 5 best Flyers of the 1970’s.
Number 5- Dave Schultz
The man leading the charge during the Bullies era, “The Hammer” was one of the best enforcers in NHL history. Schultz still holds the record for most penalty minutes in a season at 472, a record almost guaranteed to never be broken. The Hammer wasn’t only an enforcer, he could also chip in offensively, recording 20 goals and 36 points in 1973-74. In fact, he registered 20 or more points in each of his four seasons with the Flyers.
Number 4- Rick MacLeish
MacLeish’s first full season in Philly was during the 1972-73 season and it also happened to be his breakout campaign. Recording 50 goals in a single season (the first Flyer to do so) while hitting the 100-point mark for the first and only time in his career. While he didn’t reach the centennial mark again, he regularly put up 70 point seasons. MacLeish also led the Flyers in playoff scoring during both of their Cup wins, finishing second for the Conn Smythe both years behind Bernie Parent.
Number 3- Bill Barber
Bill Barber played his full 12-year career in Philadelphia. recording at least 20 goals every year, managing 50 goals and 112 points during the 1975-76 season, he is best remembered for his offensive prowess. Barber found himself on a line with Bobby Clarke and Reggie Leach collectively known as the LBC line. Barber still sits atop the Flyers record books in goals (420) and second in points (883), both may never be broken.
Number 2- Bernie Parent
Originally taken by the Flyers in the 1967 expansion draft, it wasn’t until his second stint in orange and black that solidified him as one of the greatest Flyers of all-time. Returning via trade to Philly during the summer of 1973, no one could have predicted the impact that Parent would have on the team. Earning 24 regular season shutouts combined during the 1974 and 1975 seasons, he topped that off with a combined six during the Flyers Stanley Cup winning playoff runs. Winning the Conn Smythe and Vezina Trophy both Cup-winning seasons. Parent was putting up amazing numbers well before his time and that ultimately led to his number “1” being retired by the Flyers organization, only one of five numbers retired.
Number 1- Bobby Clarke
Clarke broke into the scene during the 1969-70 season as a rookie and finished fourth on the team in scoring with 46 points. He quickly took the leadership role with the Flyers, recording three 100-plus point seasons between 1972 and 1976, Captaining the team to the franchise’s only two Stanley Cups. Playing 773 games of his franchise-best 1144 games, as well as 868 points of his number one all-time 1210 during the 1970’s, Clarke earned his role as the greatest Flyer in history.
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