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Flyers Wives Carnival
Sunday, January 26th, 2014
Always a great time interacting with the fans!
I even strapped on the skates and let some fans
take a Shot on Goal!
Check out the pictures.
Enjoying a Philadelphia Flyers game with some friends!
Suite level at the Wells Fargo Center
Broad Street Bash
A Celebration of the
Fans & the Teams
When: Saturday, January 25th, 2014, 6-9pm
Where: Xfinity Live! Philadelphia
What: This premier event will honor the 1973-74 and 1974-75 Philadelphia Flyers teams
to celebrate the 40th anniversary of winning the Stanley Cup.
The event will feature an open bar, all-you-can-eat hors d’oeuvres,
and a chance to mingle with legendary Flyers alumni.
Join us in celebrating the 40th Anniversary of winning the Stanley Cup!
We look forward to sharing this special time with our devoted fans.
The 1975 Stanley Cup Finals
The Flyers vs. The Sabres
What a great series!
Read the original article on Philly.com
In 1967, ’68, and ’69, the Philadelphia Flyers held training camp in Quebec City. Traveling for camp removed the players from distractions at home and promoted team-building. At home, it’s easy to focus on your family life, children, social activities, etc. Once you spend a full two weeks with your teammates all day, every day, it starts to make a difference.
We flew out of Philadelphia to Quebec City, a bus picked us up and the whole team was put up in motel rooms. Back then, the rooms were nothing fancy, believe me. It was a room with a bed and a bathroom. That was all you needed. The budget for traveling expenses was obviously not a priority. Not to mention, the average salary of a player was about $16,000.
We were required to practice two times a day, establish familiarity and work out plays with the techniques of each teammate. We worked out in the morning, took a nap in the afternoon, ate lunch, and worked out again.
The toughest part for me was breaking in my new equipment every year; new pads, new skates, new glove. All summer, all I did was fish and enjoy my time off. We didn’t work out in the off-season like the new breed of athletes today. To prepare, I would jog for maybe a week before we left for camp. Getting back on the ice after the time off was difficult. We had to recondition ourselves, get our timing back on point, etc.
But the best part of the whole two week training camp experience was spending time with the boys, having dinner and a few beers. The evenings belonged to us. I was 23 years old and I could go for 24 hours straight.
The first week while in Quebec City, we stayed close to camp, which was typical. We didn’t have cars with us, we had a team bus. So if we wanted to go out to eat, we went out to eat as a team. But the interesting part about spending time up there was that we got to make friends with our fans. They would pick us up and take us out. How ironic. That would never happen today, which is why I think our era continues to bring such joy to the fans. We were just normal, hard-working guys back then, and we’re still normal, hard-working guys now. We were one of you, and you were one of us. We are able to identify with each other.
In sports, collegiate and professional, a lot of pranks and practical jokes are played between teammates. The funniest prank during training camp that I can remember was when Dave Schultz, Bobby Clarke, and I told rookie Bob Kelly we were going Snipe Hunting one night. We coordinated our prank efforts with the local police, and we took Kelly and our guns and flashlights out to a field to begin “the hunt”. As part of our plan, Schultz put ketchup on his leg and wrapped it up ahead of time. We were hiding in a ditch when we “saw people coming,” and we all took off running. It was so dark; you could barely see five feet in front of your face. One of us let a shot off in the air, and Dave ran up next to Kelly and said, “S**t! I’m hit!” The cops caught up with us and took Kelly to jail for a couple hours. We let Kelly believe that he was really being arrested and that Schultz had really gotten shot. The police let him go obviously, but it was so different in those days.
The second week of camp, we started traveling to play exhibition games. We flew to Nova Scotia once to have an inner-squad scrimmage, which also raised money for charity. But we turned this scrimmage into a serious competition. We only had one plane, so there had to be two trips to take us all back to Quebec City. Whoever won the game would fly back first. If you lost the game, you had to wait for the plane to take the winning team first and fly all the way back to Nova Scotia and pick you up at around 2 or 3 a.m. We knew we had to bust our asses because none of us wanted to be sitting around that late for a plane to come back and pick us up while the rest of our teammates were already in bed, because the next day, we had to wake up at 5 a.m. and do it all over again. I’ll be honest; I’ve had to wait for that plane a few times.
As a player, the magic of training camp was the excitement and anticipation of starting each year’s journey to the Stanley Cup. Every year, for the 15 years I played, I said “this could be the year.” 1974 and 1975 were those years. But after that, it’s all about the crowd and the lifestyle that you become accustomed to while playing hockey, at home and on the road. You knew that once training camp came along, the big picture started coming together for the next 8 months.
Flyers training camp starts in two weeks. It’s exciting. Paul made some good moves when he brought Lecavalier, a heck of a playmaker, and Emery, a great addition. We have a good core (and a lot of Frenchmen), and the Flyers will be able to continue to build. Predictions are difficult because injuries always play a big role in sports, but we are definitely a playoff-worthy team and then some.
As a member of the Flyers and NHL Alumni, I still get excited for the season, even though I’m a spectator. The only problem I have as a spectator is there is nothing I can physically do to change the game. As a player, I was a participant and I made it happen. I can’t go out there and save goals for them, but I get just as much anxiety about the outcome of the game.
October 2nd is the first home game against Toronto for the 2013-2014 season. I’ll pull up to the Wells Fargo Center and immediately feel the energy. There are all kinds of expectations and hope flying around that had been put on the backburner since the end of last season.
Whatever problems you have to face are going to disappear when the Wells Fargo Center doors close behind you for the next three hours. Sports allow you to place all of your focus on the present moment.
I’m looking forward to walking into the stadium, shaking hands and meeting with people, visiting the suites, and watching the games in the Cigar Lounge with a couple friends. It will be interesting to see where the season brings us, and it all starts with training camp.