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Carchidi: 50 years later, ’74 Flyers to be saluted at PSWA banquet



The Philadelphia Flyers' Bernie Parent, Bobby Clarke with the Stanley Cup ini1975.
Bernie Parent (left) will be among the 1974 Flyers at the PSWA's banquet, 50 years after they won the team's first Stanley Cup. Photo: AP.

Fifty years.

That’s how long it has been since the Philadelphia Flyers captivated the city — and gave grief to NHL president Clarence Campbell and the rest of the Orange-and-Black-hating league — by winning their first Stanley Cup.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary, the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association will honor the team at its 119th banquet on Jan. 17 at the Double-Tree by Hilton in Cherry Hill. The banquet will salute many other athletes, including Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola, who is the Humanitarian of the Year.

Several of the Flyers’ 1974 champs, honored as the Living Legend Team of the Year, will be there: Bernie Parent, Dave Schultz, Bob Kelly, Don Saleski, Joe and Jimmy Watson, and Orest Kindrachuk. Lou Nolan, the Flyers’ public-address announcer then (and now) and former public-relations director Joe Kadlec will also be saluted.

In 1967, a parade was held to welcome the Flyers to Philadelphia. About 20 people showed up. Seven years later, a staggering two million attended the Flyers’ Stanley Cup parade.

“The whole Delaware Valley was our family,” Parent said 50 years after the Broad Street Bullies won the first of two straight Cups.

At the time, coach Fred Shero saluted the fans. His team had stunned Boston, four games to two, in the Finals.

“You’ll never see anything like this again in your lifetime,” he said. “If we’d known they loved us so much, we would have won it in four games” instead of six.

A ‘hunger’ to identify with a winner

The Bulletin, then one of the city’s prominent newspapers, explained the parade this way: “To describe what can only be called The Parade with any form of analogy is inadequate. There never before has been anything like it in this city. Those weren’t all hockey fans out there. Those were just plain people mostly, satisfying a hunger to identify with something good.”

Keeping with the Flyers’ theme at the Jan. 17 banquet, Steve Coates, who retired after last season, and Tim Saunders are being honored for their radio broadcasting excellence. They are the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association’s winners of the Bill Campbell Award. Campbell was the play-by-play voice of the Eagles, Phillies and Warriors/76ers during an illustrious career that touched parts of nine decades and included a stint as sports director at Channel 10 and radio work on WCAU, WIP and KYW. (The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, who covers the 76ers, will receive the Stan Hochman Award for journalism excellence.)

Flyers center Sean Couturier will receive the PSWA’s Good Guy Award.

In addition, Dan Hilferty, chairman of the Flyers’ parent company, Comcast Spectacor, will speak about the current team, which has been one of the NHL’s most surprising squads. Phillies manager Rob Thomson will speak on behalf of his team.

For tickets, go to Cocktail hour begins at 5 p.m., followed by the banquet at 6 p.m.

Honoring Ed Snider

The Philadelphia Flyers will honor the late, great Ed Snider, one of their founders and long-time owners, on Saturday. The Flyers host Calgary at 1 p.m. that day, and they are calling it the Ed Snider Legacy Game.

Snider would have turned 91 on Saturday. He died in 2016.

The Flyers will pay tribute to Snider’s life and legacy. They will also highlight the ongoing impact of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey and Education programs in the area.

On a personal note, Snider was probably the most accessible front-office person I have ever covered in nearly five decades on the sports scene. (The Phillies’ Bill Giles is right up there.) Some sports executive actually wanted to be sent your questions before granting an interview. Not Snider. Snider had nothing to hide. He spoke the truth, spoke from the heart.

He is missed every day.

By favorite quote on Snider came from Bob Clarke when he eulogized his former boss at services held at the Wells Fargo Center. During a 1-hour, 50-minute public ceremony, Clarke spoke from the heart.

“When I pass and we all pass, we don’t know where we’re going,” an emotional Clarke said. “For me, I really hope when I get there, I get the chance to play one more game in the orange and black for Mr. Snider’s Philadelphia Flyers.”

Sam Carchidi writes a weekly column for Philly Hockey Now. He and Jeff Hare are working on a TV series on the Flyers’ glory days, tentatively called Bullies: A Love Story. Carchidi can be reached at

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