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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.
Read the original article at Philly.com
There’s a lot of excitement brewing in this city for the sports fans. We have experienced some down-time over the last year with all four teams failing to make the playoffs. Eh, it is what it is. But I see a lot of good things happening, starting with the Flyers (of course).
Training camp is only six weeks away and Flyers have made two good moves:
1. Bringing in Lecavalier. I refer to him as “the great move.” The best way to describe how I see this turning out is comparing Lecavalier’s foreseen impact to the role Jagr played when he was with Philly; a strong, well-rounded player that has been around the block. Lecavalier is a good playmaker and he’s going to help the team tremendously.
2. Bringing Emery back in goal. And what a wonderful story, too. Emery went from having hip replacement surgery to working his way back up to the NHL after playing in the minor leagues for two years. What Emery did last year was incredible and he’s a great goalie.
We have two strong goaltenders now; Emery at the age of 30 and Mason at the age of 25. They are not competing against each other. They are working as a team and helping each other. We got a couple defensemen, I think Paul Holmgren did a wonderful job and I think the team will perform well.
In addition to this, the organization brought Hextall back, who has had so many brilliant years in Philly, among other places throughout his career in the NHL, of course. Hextall has obviously been great as a player, but he’s done an outstanding job as an assistant general manager in Los Angeles. He is bringing a lot of wisdom back with him, and I think it was a wise move by the Flyers. I have faith that Hextall will aid this organization by continuing to make quality draft picks, trades, and ultimately, build a winning team.
A forecast for this upcoming season? Hard to predict, especially with last season being so short. I believe, to be successful in any sport, you have to prepare. The Flyers, among the rest of the teams in National Hockey League, weren’t able to prepare as they should have last year with the lockout. This year, we have training camp, the whole team is together and there are a few new personnel, and I have high expectations for this team, even being in a tough division.
After the amnesty of Bryzgalov and Briere, Holmgren managed to keep the nucleus of this young team alive, instead of blowing the team up approaching the trade deadline. Holmgren kept it together. You have to take notice when you have a good base. You don’t want to disrupt the symmetry. You buy the players out for the main reason that it doesn’t go against the cap. The cap came down from 72 million to 64 million this year, and we will see what happens as the team continues to improve.
I know everyone is anxious to see what the Eagles have in store for us this season. Chip Kelly; good Irish guy, packing a whole new level of excitement coming to Philadelphia this fall. Never met the guy, but just by looking at him and the way he’s running his ship, he just seems like a good friend that I’ve never met.
The Eagles are a great franchise run by a great ownership team. But right now, we are in the dark. The “unknown” can be very exciting, but very frustrating, as well. I look at the Eagles and focus on the positive things that come with a new coach, new philosophy, and a fresh start.
Everyone is excited. Guess what? Part of the “unknown” is understanding that you could wake up in the morning to beautiful, sunny skies, or you could wake up to rain clouds and thunderstorms. The Flyers and the Eagles have a positive “unknown” that is creating all kinds of excitement and energy, which we haven’t seen in a while in the Delaware Valley. We haven’t had to face the unknown in recent years, especially with the Eagles. Andy Reid is a man who has undoubtedly accomplished so much and provided the fans with so many winning years of football with the Eagles. But after all of this time, it became predictable, and the unknown had faded away. We knew what Reid was going to give us, and it was simply time for a change. And now, no one truly knows how this upcoming season is going to play out, but the majority of the fans feel good about it, even if they don’t want to admit it. Chip Kelly is bringing in a fresh, exciting, new style of football. I think they’ll have a 9-7 year.
The Phillies have had a heck of a run. They employ great management, players, and they have done a tremendous job with Citizens Bank Park and selling out games. I believe they’re number three in the league for spending money on salaries. But the scary part about the Phillies’ “unknown” has been the injuries. Halladay and Howard are two MAJOR players missing from that team. Utley was out at one point, so was Ruiz. At that point, the pressure rests on the younger players to step up to the plate (literally and figuratively) and prove their place on the team. It’s scary, questionable, and nerve-wracking to watch this team struggle while missing some major talent that makes this team successful. But they’ll be back.
Finally, the 76ers are in the middle of a rebuilding stage. Most people have chosen to stand on the negative side of things, considering we still don’t have a coach. But I applaud the organization for not running and making snap-decisions on a coach just because they need one. They need to make sure the right decision is made for the long-term good of the team. I think we owe it to ownership to at least be patient and see what they come up with. In basketball, if you are fortunate enough to get a stand-out player on your team through the lottery, then you will be able to build a cast around him and hopefully have a solid run for years to come. All we can do is hope that there is a light at the end of this tunnel.
Fred Shero has finally been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. What an honor! It’s a beautiful thing. Personally, I feel he should have been in there a long time ago, but that’s neither here nor there. He’s in now, he belongs there and that’s all that counts. I have so many great memories, qualities and stories that I could share about my coach, but I’ve selected a couple of my favorites to give my readers.
Let me paint the picture of Fred Shero from my perspective. When I got traded back to the Flyers from Toronto and I met Freddy for the first time, we clicked instantly. I liked that he would look at you directly in the eyes when he would talk to you, and he made a statement that will stick with me forever: “I don’t know anything about goaltending. You’re on your own.” And I loved it.
That’s the way Freddy was with all the players, you know. We had a system defensively. We had four different ways to come out, depending how the opposite team would forecheck us. Not to mention, we had four different ways to practice these plays, every possible scenario, and we very seldom made mistakes. That was 90% of our success.
Offensively, we also had a system to move in across the blue line, but within that system, Freddy would allow you to break away and create a two-on-one scenario if you had the chance. We had the green light to do this, which was really respected by the players. So, we played within the team, we played within the system, but he allowed you to be the individual that got you into the National Hockey League to begin with.
Freddy was repetitious. He held much value in practice. Sometimes, we would get bored of doing the same drills and tasks over and over, but that was because once we got good at it, we wanted to move on. But Freddy made sure we kept on so we were ready for any situation and we would know how to handle it. I had so much confidence in our players that I could have taken my gloves off and rested behind the net until the play started to evolve. We had two wingers coming back deep; we had the centers coming in deep, so we were confident that you could pass the puck to either one, depending on the forecheck. We were just solid.
Freddy was always behind his players and always spoke well of his players. You see a lot of coaches today that are very vocal publicly about their players, but if Freddy had a problem, it was never in front of other teammates or the media, but always in his office, one-on-one. It would eliminate you from looking foolish in front of your team.
Freddy was fifteen years ahead of the game, one of his many identifying markers in the game of hockey. The first year we won the Cup in 1974 against the Bruins, honestly, the Bruins should have won in four games. They had Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito and all those guys, who were awesome players. But Orr was the catalyst on that team. All the teams would say “keep the puck away from Orr,” but they obviously were not very successful. Freddy came along and said, “Shoot the puck in his corner, make him skate, and take him while he’s skating,” specifically because no one would touch him. Freddy had people up in the press box, and if you decided to stick check Orr as opposed to body checking him, Freddy would fine you $100 every time. He wanted you to put your body into Orr. Instead of staying away from Orr like every other team in the NHL, Freddy wanted us to face him. So at the end of each game, and definitely by the end of the series, Orr was tired. And that is how we beat the Bruins and won the Stanley Cup.
During the second stint in the Stanley Cup Finals that we won against Buffalo in 1975, the Sabres had center Gilbert Perreault, who was in the same league as Bobby Orr — just a tremendous, powerful skater, very intelligent and an all-around good hockey player. Freddy knew Perreault was a playmaker, so he told our forwards and defenseman to force him to go across the blue line from the left side. Then, force him to go all the way across to the right side, without touching him, making him a “right-winger” and consequently, out of place. Each player was then forced to spread out and move toward a corner, and he just couldn’t shoot. As soon as that play would develop, we started checking, and nobody was open to receive Perrault’s passes. Shero had the ability to recognize Perrault’s strength and ultimately strip it from him.
I’ve been asked if there were any team rules off the ice that Freddy would enforce, and rule number one, was not to talk about it. So I won’t talk about it.
In the summer of 1975, Freddy stayed at my cabin next to my summer home in Wildwood, New Jersey, after we won the Cups. He stayed at my place the entire duration of the summer with his wife and two sons, one of which is Rejean Shero, who is currently the general manager for the Pittsburgh Penguins. A dock protruded from the home into the bay about 30 feet, covered on the end with a canopy, and Freddy would sit there and read books with his beautiful dog, a big, white German Shepherd.
One day, the boys said they wanted to go fishing, and I had my boat behind the house, of course. We went tuna fishing, about 60 miles out, but Freddy wasn’t feeling well so he went below deck to lie down. I asked the kids what they wanted to do, and they took a vote. They said “let’s keep on fishing!” Finally, I went down below to check on Freddy and ask how he was doing, and very calmly, he put one finger on the center of his glasses, slid them up the bridge of his nose, and he said, “Not very good.” And that’s when I told him, “All those stop-and-starts you make me do, now we’re even.” He had no reaction, the same demeanor he sported when we played. That’s just the way he was.
Sadly, Freddy left us in 1990, 23 years ago. It goes by so fast. And then today, look at the beautiful things that are happening. Freddy’s son, Rejean Shero, got voted as the GM of the year, and Freddy got inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. What a beautiful story.
Share this with people simply for the fact that if you keep moving on in life, more beautiful things will continue to happen. But most of all, I’m grateful that I got to play under the direction of Fred Shero, an incredible coach, family man, friend, and most importantly, an incredible person. And I could not be more proud that he has finally been awarded this great achievement.
I am making myself available for readers to submit their questions pertaining to sports/life/current events/relationships/etc., to Bernie@legendssportsmarketing.com. Submit your questions and I may randomly choose yours to be the subject of my next article!
My April 1st article is now up on Philly.com.
You wake up in the morning, on the wrong side of the bed. You are in a rotten mood. You get in your car, you turn on the radio, and all they are playing on your favorite station is some crappy music. You change the channel, but it’s a commercial. Some guy cuts you off. You hit every single red light on your way to your destination and you are forced to pump the breaks.
And it goes on and on and on.
So now, you find yourself bitching about all of the bad things that are happening to you, and your day just keeps getting worse.
Congratulations, you’ve figured out the easiest way to build up anxiety.
Be grateful that you have a roof over your head. Be grateful that you have a bed. Be grateful you have food. Be grateful that you have a car that runs, and if it doesn’t, be grateful to have friends that will help you fix it. Be grateful that you can see the road in front of you. Be grateful that you can hear that crappy music. Be grateful that you have a chance to “pump the brakes,” slow down, and take a look at your surroundings. Be grateful that you can read this article. Be grateful that you have your health.
And most importantly, be grateful that you woke up this morning. It is the little things like this that you may forget, because your mind is focused on something you lack.
I preach the law of attraction every day, and being grateful is a great way to attract good things and open up new doors in life. A lot of people are going to read this and think, “Well, what the f*#k am I grateful for?”
There’s always something positive you can relate to. Gratitude is a great step towards positive thinking and living in the now, and you can change the negative outlook that has you cursing every thing in existence while you’re on your way to work in the morning.
Do you know what I’m grateful for today?
For starters, there are few (real) people in this city that can say they have a statue built for them, including William Penn, Doctor J, Kate Smith, Gary Dornhoefer, and Mike Schmidt; but these statues can’t talk. They definitely send a message and have a meaning to each individual Philadelphia sports fan. But this new statue of Bobby Clarke and I, means more than just 400 lbs of bronze dropped in front of XFINITY Live!
This is an award, an accomplishment.
Having said that, I’m grateful that six more teams came into the National Hockey League in the expansion draft of 1967. I’m grateful that Philadelphia was one of them. I’m grateful that I played here in Philadelphia. I’m grateful to have had the ownership of Ed Snider. I’m grateful for the GM, Keith Allen. I’m grateful for Fred Shero. I’m grateful for the great team we had, and I’m grateful for, last but certainly not least, the greatest fans in the world.
All of those pieces formed a puzzle, and the unveiling of this statue has added another piece.
When you look back at my journey, it wasn’t always uphill. I wasn’t always at the top of the mountain. Many times, I crawled in the swamp. And while I was in that swamp, I never thought that someday a statue would be standing in one of the most prominent spots in the city of Philadelphia, right in the middle of all the action.
The beauty about dreaming is that it creates other opportunities that you don’t even know exist. The most famous statue in Philadelphia – up until this past Saturday – was the Rocky Statue, who just so happened to be a fictional character from a movie.
When the Flyers organization called to notify me about the new statue about a year ago, I thought about how this statue very well could be Philadelphia’s real “Rocky.”
And looking back, this is the reward that I never expected, the reward of having a purpose and reaching it. When you live this lifestyle, things and people will come into your life that you don’t even know exist. This statue is one of those things.
Ten years from now, one hundred years from now, that statue is still going to be in the center of all the action. Generations and generations of sports fans – fans that haven’t even been born yet – will walk by, touch it, and Clarke and I will just be standing there, watching all of the fans pile into each stadium.
It is a great honor and an incredible feeling.
When Freddy said, “We win tonight, we walk together forever,” he wasn’t just addressing the players. He was addressing the entire city, the whole Delaware Valley, and as a family, we get to share this special moment. I look at this statue as a representation of the Delaware Valley and the support we received from its inhabitants. It’s not about me and Clarke, it’s about the whole tri-state area.
The statue depicts the picture of the very first cup that we won in 1974.
In today’s world, the Stanley Cup is presented to the captain and he skates with it around the arena. But the most amazing thing about this statue is that Bobby Clarke said to me, right after Clarence Campbell presented the cup to him, “Grab the Cup. Let’s skate.”
He wanted me with him. That was not predetermined. It was spontaneous. He did not skate around with the Cup by himself like the captains today. It was a very special moment, and I think it shows the bond we had among the players and the city.
That is why 40 years later, people still relate to us. It wasn’t just the team that won; the whole city won that Cup. I don’t look at the statue as me and Clarke holding the Cup, I look at it as the powerful family we created with the Flyers organization and the city of Philadelphia.
People can stop by, touch it, and truly believe that they own a piece of it because they are a part of it. That is what the statue truly means.
I am honored and grateful that this moment will now be standing in the center of Philadelphia for hundreds of years to come.
Click here to be redirected to the original article.
I am making myself available for readers to submit their questions pertaining to sports/life/current events/relationships/etc., to Bernie@legendssportsmarketing.com. Submit your questions and I may randomly choose yours to be the subject of my next article!
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- Autographed, full-size, 1974-1975 replica goalie mask that I wore during my back to back Stanley Cup Championships and during the 2012 Winter Classic. This mask is the staple of all things Parent and sells online for $150.
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Thank you to Comcast-Spectacor and the Philadelphia Flyers. Looking forward to seeing the statue first hand! Read the press release from the Philadelphia Flyers below:
Comcast-Spectacor will unveil a new seven-foot tall bronze statue commemorating one of the most iconic moments in Philadelphia Flyers history during a free, open-to-the-public ceremony at XFINITY Live! on Saturday, March 30 beginning at 11 a.m. The unveiling of the new statue also marks the one-year anniversary of Philly’s newest and most exciting dining and entertainment complex, XFINITY Live!
This new 400-pound statue represents the Flyers greatest achievement in their history – winning back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships on May 19, 1974 and May 27, 1975. The new statue features then team captain Bob Clarke and goaltender Bernie Parent hoisting the Stanley Cup.
Fans are encouraged to attend a ceremony to unveil the statue in front of the Broad Street Bullies Pub at XFINITY Live! on Saturday, March 30 at 11 a.m.
The name of the statue, chosen by Flyers fans, will be announced at this ceremony. Fans are encouraged to cast their vote for one of the following statue names – Victory, The Cup, Broad Street Bullies, Flyers Champions or Walk Together Forever.
Clarke and Parent will attend the ceremony, as will team Chairman Ed Snider and Team President Peter Luukko.
Designed by STATUES.COM, the statue was custom created and built by a talented sculpting and fabrication team who specializes in statue manufacturing. The team included Lead Production Manager Vasilios Karpos, Lead Foundry Manager Ken Donnelly, artisan foundry refining by Miguel Cardoso and Yanni Trastsis, silicone mold construction by Karpos and Trastis and clay sculpting construction by Virgil Oirtle and Karpos. Sculpting began from scratch using fine artistic clays based off of the famed photo as a direct reference to create detailed accuracy of not only that moment in time but of both players portraiture, uniforms and the Stanley Cup itself.
After the seven-foot tall model was completed and approved, a silicone mold was constructed followed by highly skilled bronze foundry work, finishing the over 400 lbs. bronze monument. The entire process took almost nine months to complete and all work was proudly produced, created and constructed in the United States.
The studio that the statue was created in is located in Salt Lake City, Utah and is a Certified Made in USA company operating since 1995.
Click here to see the original article and to vote for the name of the statue!
I’ll see you all this Saturday!