Flyers

Looking back at Bob Clarke's legacy on anniversary of his 1,000th point

Looking back at Bob Clarke's legacy on anniversary of his 1,000th point

When looking back at some of the best to ever play in the NHL, the names Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe and Bob Clarke tend to be some of the first to come to mind. These are the players who have helped mold athletes and the NHL to what we know today.

Luckily for Philadelphia, the Flyers have one of the greats, and he is not only regarded as the best player in franchise history but also an ambassador to the sport as a whole.

March 19, 1981, is one of the more memorable dates for Clarke as he registered his 1,000th NHL point. This point, a goal, came in front of a home crowd at the Spectrum in the third period during a matchup against the Bruins. The Flyers wound up beating Boston, 5-3, but it’s the moments leading up to that milestone point that make it that much more memorable. 

Even though the league began enforcing the wearing of helmets starting in June 1979, there was essentially a grandfather clause that allowed Clarke and other veteran players to continue without it. He probably wished he had one on earlier in this game when he took a slap shot to the head. 

Shortly after, Clarke returned to the bench with a handful of stitches and a bloodied sweater. He was on a mission to put away the Bruins and did just that with a little help of Tim Kerr, who registered his first NHL hat trick on the same night. 

Clarke had three more seasons with the Flyers and ended his career with 1,210 points total, a franchise record. Bill Barber comes in at second with 883, Brian Propp has 849 and Claude Giroux continues to nudge his way up the rankings and is currently fourth overall with 815. While Giroux still has a ways to go to top Clarke’s record, he's just 185 points away from being only the second member of the 1,000-point club with the Flyers. 

For those who were not around during the era of the Broad Street Bullies and could not witness that moment of history, it’s an exciting time to be able to watch Giroux make this run — to witness their own bit of history for the Flyers. 

Clarke’s number was officially retired by the organization in 1984, just one season after his career came to an end. That night will forever be remembered as “Bobby Clarke Night.” 

He remains one of the most decorated players in team history, with two Stanley Cups. He's also a three-time Hart Trophy winner (1973, 1975 and 1976), winner of the Selke Trophy (1983), the Lester Patrick Award (1980) and the Masterton Trophy (1972). 

In 2017, Clarke was on the NHL's list of the “100 greatest NHL Players." Other Flyers who made the list were Bernie Parent, Eric Lindros, Paul Coffey, Peter Forsberg, Jaromir Jagr, Adam Oates, Chris Pronger and Darryl Sittler.

His legacy is one that will live on forever as he helped pave the way for the NHL and hockey in Philadelphia for years to come. 

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NHL 2020 playoffs: Without fans, will Stanley Cup games lose authenticity?

NHL 2020 playoffs: Without fans, will Stanley Cup games lose authenticity?

Hockey has been on the mind all week and even the simple discussion of the 2019-20 Stanley Cup playoffs has excited fans for the return of their favorite sport — even if things are going to look different this time around. 

While the majority of new rules and procedures were laid out Tuesday thanks to commissioner Gary Bettman, there is still a lot of unknown territory. This format has never been done before, but having a plan in place is the first step to turning concepts into something tangible. 

One of the biggest changes won’t be the additional eight teams, the hub city locations or the fact the NHL has the potential to run into the late summer months, but rather the element — or lack thereof — of fan attendance. 

The safety of fans and players is without a doubt the biggest priority and as we adapt to the “new norm” for the foreseeable future, this is just one of the many things that will have to be endured. 

On the surface, it stinks. Surprisingly enough, you’re allowed to feel this way while also being excited for the hopeful return of the league and games. The Stanley Cup playoffs are some of the most thrilling weeks in all of sports and a large portion of that is due to the atmosphere created by the fans rallying behind their favorite teams.

So without them in attendance, will games lose their authenticity and lower the overall level of interest? 

Absolutely not. 

Fans have been craving the moment they would have live sports to look forward to and even if that means they can’t physically be in the stands, it doesn’t take away the level of devotion they have.

Of course it will be different — there’s no denying that, but someone rightfully needs to be awarded the Stanley Cup for 2019-20. There are a handful of options to help fill the void, such as playing fan reaction videos on the arena vision screens during thrilling moments of a game. Hearing the “crowd” through the screen would certainly add a level of normalcy, though it wouldn’t fully replicate the atmosphere. 

There are new moments that fans could look forward to in regard to this as well — the sights and sounds that are often coated within cheers or boos. A crisp stop on skates, receiving a puck, solid check along the boards, chirps from one team to another and the celebrations following a goal. 

Also, if things are too quiet, there is a chance to get a look into life on the bench with the players. Hearing teammates interact with one another is always enjoyable when they are mic’d up for games, so imagine having that for a full 60 minutes? It’d be new for everyone, but what a fun concept it would be. 

This is a prime opportunity to view things glass half full, rather than finding negative aspects to this plan. There are still many moving parts before playoffs become a reality once again, but if things are truly done in a safe manner — I say make the most of the situation at hand and drop that puck. 

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What kind of hockey player are you?

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

What kind of hockey player are you?

So many personalities can be found on the ice at any given moment. 

Whether you're chirping from the sin bin, the first to throw hands, or leading by quiet example during warm ups, there's a need to every role on a hockey team. So, which hockey personality do you most identify with? 

Take this quiz and we'll tell you.