Connect with us

Philadelphia Flyers

Carchidi Column: Thoughts on Broad St. Bullies, Camp, Boosh



The Philadelphia Flyers' Bernie Parent, Bobby Clarke with the Stanley Cup ini1975.
Bernie Parent (left), Bobby Clarke (right) and the rest of the 1974 Stanley Cup champion Flyers will be honored this season. Photo: AP.

Some random thoughts on the Flyers as we get closer to the main training camp, which will have players on the ice starting Thursday:

The Philadelphia Flyers are planning a big celebration in late January to honor the 50-year anniversary of their first Stanley Cup championship. Earlier that month, the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association is also going to celebrate the achievement at its annual banquet.

Bravo to both organizations.

Yet, some fans are actually complaining that the Flyers look too much into the past and not enough into the future.

My response: Go watch another sport.

You can honor the past and look to the future at the same time. They are not related.

The 1973-74 Flyers, led by Bernie Parent and Bobby Clarke, erased the doom and gloom that permeated Philadelphia and its sports teams. Heading into that season, Philly was known as the City of Losers.

If you’re too young to remember, here’s a crash course on the Philadelphia sports scene before the Flyers’ epic 1973-74 season: The 76ers were coming off the most embarrassing season (9-73 record) in NBA history. The Eagles were trying to rebound from a 2-11-1 season, their fewest wins since 1940. The Phillies? They were headed to their third straight last-place finish.

So no one should feel they are shortchanging the future by saluting arguably the greatest accomplishment in Philadelphia sports history, an accomplishment that spread to the city’s other teams in the years that followed, an accomplishment that astounded the NHL because the Flyers were in just their seventh season of existence when they shocked the mighty Boston Bruins.

Unpretentious Group

Director/writer Jeff Hare and I are working on a TV series on the Bullies, and I want to publicly thank the players for their time and accessibility.

Despite their fame, those guys are so unpretentious and down to earth. Maybe it’s because they became great communicators in the 1970s with their face-to-face interactions with the media — long before some players hid behind their social-media platforms.

Conversely, I tried a few times to interview a Flyers rookie (his name isn’t important) this summer who is going to battle for a spot on the team.

I’m still waiting for him to return the call through the team’s PR channels.

It should be pointed out that most of the current Flyers are great with the media, but I do see a growing trend of athletes in all sports — especially the younger players — who only want to make statements on social media.

That’s sad. That takes away from the fun of the lively give-and-take with the media that was there during the Bullies days — and still takes place in conversations with them today, especially when Joe “The Mouth That Roared” Watson is involved. (Is there a better storyteller who played in the NHL than Joe? I think not.)

Rookie Watch

Rookie camp is underway, and from here, right winger Tyson Foerster and defenseman Emil Andrae are the two youngsters with the best chance to make the big-league roster.

Unless he stumbles badly. Foerster looks like a lock.

“I know a lot of things can happen, but I’m not expecting him back in the Valley,” Lehigh Valley Phantoms coach Ian Laperriere said after rookie camp opened Thursday.

And don’t sleep on hard-working winger Elliot Desnoyers, who has a lot of people in the front office in his corner.

The Philadelphia Flyers need new blood. They need to show this rebuild is for real, so here’s hoping lots of rookies make the roster.

Brian Boucher was named Jim Jackson’s sidekick for Flyers TV broadcasts. Two words: Great hire.

Boosh was always a “tell it like it is” guy as a player and as a national broadcaster. He replaces Keith Jones, the Flyers’ new president and a man who also didn’t hide the truth during his broadcast career.

In a classy gesture, the Flyers will honor the late, great Jay Greenberg at some point this season, probably early in the year.

Jay Greenberg Press Row is a fitting tribute to a man who chronicled the team at the Bulletin and Daily News for numerous years, and later went into the Hockey Hall of Fame. No one had more passion or insight on the Flyers.

He was a “database of the Flyers,” Paul Holmgren, a former player, coach, general manager and president of the team, once said. “He knew stories inside the game.”

PHN: Mark Recchi Going into Flyers’ Hall of Fame

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Nice article, Sam. Very true how the players were more accessible in the past. Both for the journalists and the fans. I can remember waiting for autographs outside “the tunnel” at the Spectrum where the visitors bus would park. There’s no access like that (that I know of) now. I know it is a different day and age, so players and their families probably require a bit more security now.
I’m with you on Andrae and Foerster, and it would be great to see Desnoyers surprise and earn a spot.
On an unrelated note, I never knew Ed Snider held up security from going to ice level when the Flyers were up 1-0 late in the 3rd period of their Stanley Cup clinching game vs the Bruins with the “superstition” he didn’t want to cause any bad luck. Your interview on Philly Pressbox Radio when you talked about trying to get on the ice (but you were too late by the time you got to ice level) with some of your friends was great. Love those kinds of stories.

Samuel Carchidi

Thanks for the kind words, Steve. I also never knew about Snider not wanting security down there until Lou Scheinfeld told me that a few months ago. Ed was very superstitious and figured if he told security to surround the glass at the end of the game that, well, Boston would find a way to win. 🙂

JT Puck

HI, Sam.

You brought up some good points in your column, as the team will commemorate the 50th Anniversary of its first Cup Win this year.

From my perspective, being a fan who witnessed their first Cup Victory, I don’t mind acknowledging the past, and recognizing the team’s achievements 50 years ago. I do have a problem with ‘living’ in the past, and am currently living thru this once-proud team becoming a non-factor in the Philly sports scene.

Much of this team’s die-hard fan-base has taken your advice, and are watching other sports (while attending them also).

The League has evolved over the years, and has changed with the times, but the Flyers haven’t. Why is there such a reluctance to change?

One Example: They knew the salary-cap was going to be an issue to deal with before the 2006 season was underway…,and did nothing to educate themselves on it. Something’s very wrong when ex-Eagles President Joe Banner offered his services (for free) to then-GM Bob Clarke on how the salary-cap works…and Clarke didn’t even bother to contact him. He had other plans, as he resigned in Oct/Nov 2006.  

 I won’t comment on the changes that have unfolded since May, but it’s not a vote of confidence seeing the 3-Kings (who are largely guilty for the current state that this franchise is in) settling in as Advisors, when we were being fed lines that they were on their way out, and wouldn’t be playing an active role in the daily operations…which I find hard to believe.

All along, they were never held responsible for their (in) actions. Giving them jobs as Advisors? A cowardly move. The Team didn’t have the fortitude to do what needed to be done.

But…that’s all in the past.

Best wishes on the success of your TV Series with Mr. Jeff Hare.


Samuel Carchidi

Thanks for taking the time to write and sharing your thoughts, JT. I agree that management let the Flyers down for more than a decade and has not done well for most of the salary-cap era. That said, the management team that’s now in place seems to be on the right track. Time will tell.


Great article and writing.
It will be a special event honoring Jay Greenberg…always loved his writing back in the day when he was covering the Flyers and the other hockey venues.
Two years now since he left us…..may he RIP.

Copyright © 2020 National Hockey Now and Philadelphia Hockey Now. In no way affiliated with the Philadelphia Flyers or the National Hockey League.