Sunday, December 15, 2013

Signature Sundays - Broad Street Bullies

This Sunday I'm showcasing some autographs from the 'Broad Street Bullies' Flyers teams of the 1970s, courtesy of (surprise, surprise) 2012-13 Panini Classics Signatures. 

After winning the Cup in '73-74, the Flyers did what good champions do, went out and improved their team even further.  Philadelphia pretty much stole Reggie Leach from the Golden Seals, and would win the Stanley Cup again in '74-75 with him in the lineup.  His best year would come the following season though, when Reg would score a career high 61 goals and 91 points, before going on an absolute tear in the playoffs. Leach would score a best-ever by any player 19 goals in a single playoff run in 1975-76 (a mark matched only once since, by Jari Kurri).  His performance was so impressive that he was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP despite the fact that Philadelphia lost to Montreal in the finals.  Reggie is a member of the Philadelphia Flyers Hall of Fame.

Ed Van Impe was picked up by the Flyers when he was inexplicably left unprotected in the expansion draft by the Chicago Blackhawks (he had just finished runner-up for the Calder Trophy to some guy named Bobby Orr).  He would go on to play over 8 seasons with Philadelphia, serving as team captain a good portion of that time.  While he wouldn't be described as flashy, Ed was a rock on the blue line who played a physical game, and specialized in clearing the crease and blocking opponents' shots.  Ed was a member of both Stanley Cup Champion teams of the era and, like Reggie Leach, is a member of the Flyers Hall of Fame.

Orest Kindrachuk was a third line center for most of his Flyers career, and was a member of both Stanley Cup Champion teams as well (the first being his rookie season).  I have to commend Orest, whose parents were Ukrainian immigrants to Canada, on his penmanship.  That right there is how you sign a hockey card.

Next up is Kindrachuk's linemate, The Hammer.  I have wanted a Schultz autograph for a long time, and I absolutely love this one.  The photo is great, and like Orest Kindrachuk, Dave has a really  nice signature.  Panini chose a great photograph of one of the game's first enforcers (Schultz still holds the record for PIM in a season, as a matter of fact).  He was a member of both Cup teams as well, and recorded 222 penalty minutes in just those two playoff runs alone!

Finally, the lone Hall-of-Famer in today's post, Bill Barber.  Bill was a member of both Cup teams, but unlike the other guys in today's post he never played for any other franchise.  His 420 career regular season goals are the most ever by a Philadelphia Flyer, and he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1990.

I was always so impressed by Barber as a kid, because even though he had played his final game before I became a fan, he was elected to the Hall of Fame just after I began collecting, and there were a couple of Hall of Fame subset cards in some of the junk wax sets at the time.  The internet wasn't then what it is today, and it just wasn't easy to pull up stats and photographs as a little kid, so seeing an older photo like this mixed in with my pack was really exciting.
So there you have it, five Philadelphia Flyers with 9 Stanley Cups between them!  This makes 64 autographs and counting for me from the 2012-13 Classics Signatures set...

1 comment:

Sean said...

Definitely agree with your penmanship comment. Actually all of those signatures were nice (minus Ed van Impe)!! Good post, I enjoyed the histry lesson. Funny, I thought of the same junk Score card when I saw the name Bill Barber.

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