California Golden Seals
The California Golden Seals were a professional ice hockey club that competed in the National Hockey League from 1967 to 1976. Named California Seals, the team was renamed Oakland Seals partway through the 1967–68 season, to California Golden Seals in 1970, after two games as the Bay Area Seals; the Seals were one of six teams added to the league as part of the 1967 NHL expansion. Based in Oakland, they played their home games at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum Arena; the Seals were never successful at the gate, moved to Cleveland to become the Cleveland Barons in 1976. In 1966, the NHL announced that six expansion teams would be added as a new division for the 1967–68 season because of a general desire to expand the league to new markets, but to squelch the Western Hockey League's threat to turn into a major league; the San Francisco Seals were one such team from the WHL. The NHL awarded an expansion team to Barry Van Gerbig for the San Francisco Bay area. Van Gerbig decided to purchase the WHL club with the intent of bringing them into the NHL as an expansion team the following season.
Van Gerbig had planned to have the team play in a new arena in San Francisco, but the new arena was never built. He decided to move the team across the Bay from the Cow Palace in Daly City to Oakland to play in the new Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum Arena, he renamed the club the California Seals. This was done in an attempt to appeal to fans from San Francisco, to address complaints from the other NHL teams that Oakland was not considered a major league city and would not be a draw for fans. A year Van Gerbig, brought the Seals into the NHL as an expansion team and retained a portion of the club's WHL roster such as Charlie Burns, George Swarbrick, Gerry Odrowski, Tom Thurlby, Ron Harris. While the Bay Area was not considered a lucrative hockey market, the terms of a new television agreement with CBS called for two of the expansion teams to be located in California. While the WHL Seals had drawn well at the Cow Palace, the team drew poorly in Oakland once they entered the NHL; the plan to bring fans in from San Francisco failed, on November 6, 1967, Van Gerbig announced that the team's name would be changed to the Oakland Seals to focus more on the East Bay.
The Seals were never successful at the gate after the name change, because of this poor attendance Van Gerbig threatened on numerous occasions to move the team elsewhere. First-year coach and general manager Bert Olmstead publicly advocated a move to Vancouver, but an offer from Labatt's brewery to purchase and relocate the team was rejected by the league, as was a proposal to move the team to Buffalo from the Knox brothers, shut out of the 1967 expansion; as it turned out, the league's 1970 expansion would include Buffalo. The Knoxes bought a minority share of the Seals in 1969, only to sell it a year to fund the Sabres. This, as well as the team's mediocre on-ice performance, led to major changes to both the Seals' front office and the roster – only seven of the 20 Seals players remained after the first season; the new-look Seals were somewhat more successful, making the playoffs for two years, although with sub-.500 records. Those were the only two years; the league's rejection of a proposed move to Vancouver prompted a lawsuit, not settled until 1974.
The Seals organization filed suit against the NHL claiming that the prohibition violated the Sherman Act. The Seals asserted that the league's constitution was in violation by prohibiting clubs from relocating their operations, that the relocation request was denied in an attempt to keep the San Francisco market in the NHL and thereby discourage the formation of a rival team or league in that location; the court ruled that the NHL was a single entity, that the teams were not competitors in an economic sense, so the league restrictions on relocation were not a restraint of trade. For the 1969–70 season the team was sold to Trans National Communications, whose investors included Pat Summerall and Whitey Ford. However, the group filed for bankruptcy after missing a payment and relinquished the team to Van Gerbig, who put the team back on the market. Prior to the 1970–71 season, Charles O. Finley, the flamboyant owner of baseball's Oakland Athletics, purchased the Seals. Finley and Roller Derby boss Jerry Seltzer had both put in a bid on the team.
Although Seltzer's offer was better and included a more detailed plan for revival, a majority of NHL owners from the "old establishment" voted in favor of Finley. General manager Bill Torrey left by mid-season due to clashes with Finley. Finley renamed the team the Bay Area Seals to begin the 1970–71 season, but after just two games into the season on October 16, 1970, he changed the team name to the California Golden Seals, following a number of other marketing gimmicks intended to sell the team to the fans, among them changing the Seals' colors to green and gold to match those of the popular A's; the team's uniform crest was now the word "Seals" in a unique typeface, but an alternate logo using a sketch based on a photo of star player Carol Vadnais was used on marketing materials such as pennants and team programs. The original 1967 California Seals logo recolored in green and gold was seen on trading cards and other unofficial material, but was never adopted by the team; the Seals are remembered for wearing white skates, but Torrey convinced Finley to use green and gold painted skates instead, as team colored skates were a trend of the period.
However, this was all for naught, as the Seals
Hubert Jacques "Pit" Martin was a Canadian professional ice hockey centre who served as captain for the Chicago Black Hawks of the National Hockey League from 1975 to 1977. He was Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy winner. Martin played seventeen seasons in the NHL for the Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks and Vancouver Canucks. Nicknamed Pit after a comic strip character in a French newspaper, Martin was scouted by former NHL goaltender Wilf Cude and joined the Red Wings organization, he is remembered among hockey fans as being involved in one of the most one-sided trades in history. In May 1967, along with Gilles Marotte and Jack Norris, was traded from Boston to Chicago for Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge, Fred Stanfield, who would become core elements of future Boston powerhouse teams. However, Martin himself was a bright spot of the trade for the Black Hawks, starring for them for ten seasons as a skilled two-way centre and being named to play in the NHL All-Star Game in four straight seasons.
Martin played 1101 career NHL games from 1961–62 to 1978–79. He recorded 324 485 assists for 809 points, his best statistical season was the 1972–73 season when he set career highs with 61 assists and 90 points, adding ten goals in the playoffs as the Hawks made it to the Stanley Cup finals. He wore number 7. On November 30, 2008, Martin was reported missing following a snowmobile accident on Lake Kanasuta near Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, he was riding a snowmobile behind a friend when the ice on the lake collapsed shortly after his friend had passed over it. Martin was pronounced dead on December 1, 2008. On December 2, 2008, Quebec Provincial Police divers recovered Martin's body from the lake. OHA-Jr. First All-Star Team OHA-Jr. MVP Bill Masterton Trophy National Hockey League All-Star Game List of NHL players with 1000 games played Biographical information and career statistics from Hockey-Reference.com, or Legends of Hockey, or The Internet Hockey Database AP Obituary in the Chicago Sun-Times
Joseph Henri Richard is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player who played centre with the Montreal Canadiens in the National Hockey League from 1955 to 1975. He is the brother of Canadiens fellow Hockey Hall of Famer Maurice Richard. Fifteen years younger and three inches shorter, he was given the nickname "The Pocket Rocket". In 2017 Richard was named one of the'100 Greatest NHL Players' in history; the two Richard brothers' style of play was quite different. While Maurice shot left, Henri shot right. Maurice played Henri played centre. Henri led the league in assists in 1957–58 and 1962–63, a feat never matched by Maurice though the latter had led the league in goals five times. Lastly, Henri totaled over a mark never reached by Maurice. Henri won 11 Stanley Cups, more than any other player in NHL history. Former teammate and predecessor as team captain Jean Béliveau has 17 Stanley Cup titles, but only 10 as a player. Only one other athlete in North American professional sports has achieved winning eleven championships in his respective league—Bill Russell of the NBA's Boston Celtics.
In 1957–58, he was named to the First All-Star Team and in 1959 he was named to the Second All-Star Team. In his career, he earned 688 assists in 1256 games, his 1256 regular-season games played in a Canadiens uniform are a franchise record. He scored the Stanley Cup clinching goal at the 2:20 mark of the first overtime of Game Six in the 1966 Stanley Cup Finals against the Detroit Red Wings. In the 1971 Stanley Cup Finals, Richard scored the game-tying and Stanley Cup-winning goals in Game Seven against the Chicago Black Hawks, he was named captain of the Canadiens in 1971 until his retirement in 1975, after his team was eliminated in the playoffs by the Buffalo Sabres. He always wore the number 16, retired December 10, 1975 by the Canadiens in his honour, he was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979. In 1998, he was ranked number 29 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players, he serves as an ambassador for the Canadiens' organization. It was announced in 2015 that Richard had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease
1992–93 NHL season
The 1992–93 NHL season was the 76th regular season of the National Hockey League. Each player wore a patch on their jersey throughout the 1992–93 regular season and playoffs to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Stanley Cup, it proved, at the time, to be the highest-scoring regular season in NHL history, as a total of 7,311 goals were scored over 1,008 games for an average of 7.25 per game. Twenty of the twenty-four teams scored three goals or more per game, only two teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Chicago Blackhawks, allowed fewer than three goals per game. Only 68 shutouts were recorded during the regular season. A record twenty-one players reached the 100-point plateau, while a record fourteen players reached the 50-goal plateau—both records still stand as of the 2018–19 NHL season; the Montreal Canadiens won their league-leading 24th Cup by defeating the Los Angeles Kings four games to one. As of 2018, this is the last time; this was the final season of the Wales and Campbell Conferences, the Adams, Patrick and Smythe divisions.
Both the conferences and the divisions would be renamed to reflect geography rather than the league's history for the following season. This was the last year in which the playoff structure bracketed and seeded teams by division; this season saw two new clubs join the league: the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Senators were the second Ottawa-based NHL franchise and brought professional hockey back to Canada's capital, while the Tampa Bay franchise strengthened the NHL's presence in the American Sun Belt, which had first started with the birth of the Los Angeles Kings in 1967; this was the final season of play for the Minnesota North Stars, before relocating to Dallas, the following season. All teams wore a commemorative patch this year celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Stanley Cup. Gil Stein was appointed NHL President in the summer of 1992, on an interim basis. On February 1, 1993, Gary Bettman became the first NHL Commissioner. With the expiration of Gil Stein's tenure on July 1, 1993, the position of President was merged into the position of Commissioner.
On March 28, 1993, through a brokered deal with ESPN, ABC begins the first of a two year deal with the National Hockey League to televise six regional Sunday afternoon broadcasts. This marked the first time that regular season National Hockey League games were broadcast on American network television since 1974–75. Schedule length changed to 84 games. Two games in each team's schedule to be played in non-NHL cities. Instigating a fight results in a game misconduct penalty. Substitutions disallowed for coincidental minor penalties. Minor penalty for diving introduced. Teemu Selanne of the Winnipeg Jets shattered the rookie scoring record by scoring 76 goals and 56 assists for 132 points this season, he was named the winner of the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL Rookie of the Year, his goals and points marks remain the NHL rookie records as of 2018. The New York Rangers missed the playoffs; this marked the first time since the President's Trophy had been introduced that the previous season's top team missed the next year's playoffs.
For the first time in his NHL career, Wayne Gretzky did not finish in the top three in scoring. A back injury limited Gretzky to 45 games. Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, Pts = Points As a part of the 1992 strike settlement, the NHL and Bruce McNall's Multivision Marketing and Public Relations Co. organized 24 regular season games in 15 cities that did not have a franchise, providing as a litmus test for future expansion. Four of the cities chosen – Phoenix, Atlanta and Miami – were the sites of expansion or relocations, although neither Cleveland nor Cincinnati received NHL franchises, there would be one placed in Columbus, located halfway between the two cities. Two arenas that hosted neutral-site games had hosted NHL teams before: Atlanta's The Omni and Cleveland's Richfield Coliseum; the Hartford-St. Louis game was scheduled to be played on December 29, 1992, in Birmingham, Alabama. Manon Rheaume became the first woman to play for a major sports league in North America as she tended goal for the Tampa Bay Lightning in an exhibition game on September 23, 1992, against the St. Louis Blues.
The Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning were two new teams to be added to the league, bringing the league to 24 teams. Both teams would win their opening games and sit atop their respective Divisions, which led to Harry Neale jokingly proclaiming before the end of Ottawa's first win that both the Senators and Lightning would reach the Stanley Cup finals in May. October 1992: Gil Stein named NHL President. February 1993: Gary Bettman named NHL Commissioner. Record set for most 50-goal scorers in one season. February 10, 1993: In a 13–1 drubbing of the San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames goaltender Jeff Reese set NHL records for most points and most assists by a goaltender in one game, with three; the 1993 Stanley Cup playoffs marked the 100th anniversary of the Stanley Cup. Pittsburgh Penguins set the NHL record for longest win streak at 17 games. Conversely, the San Jose Sharks tied the NHL record for longest losing streak at 17 games. June 30, 1992: Eric Lindros traded from Quebec to Philadelphia fo
The Chicago Blackhawks are a professional ice hockey team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League, they have won six Stanley Cup championships since their founding in 1926. The Blackhawks are one of the "Original Six" NHL teams along with the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Since 1994, the club's home rink is the United Center, which they share with the National Basketball Association's Chicago Bulls; the club had played for 65 years at Chicago Stadium. The club's original owner was Frederic McLaughlin, who owned the club until his death in 1944. Under McLaughlin, a "hands-on" owner who fired many coaches during his ownership, the club won two Stanley Cup titles; the club was owned by the Norris family, who as owners of the Chicago Stadium were the club's landlord, owned stakes in several of the NHL teams. At first, the Norris ownership was as part of a syndicate fronted by long-time executive Bill Tobin, the team languished in favor of the Norris-owned Detroit Red Wings.
After the senior James E. Norris died in 1952, the Norris assets were spread among family members and James D. Norris became owner. Norris Jr. took an active interest in the team and under his ownership, the club won one Stanley Cup title in 1961. After James D. Norris died in 1966, the Wirtz family became owners of the franchise. In 2007, the club came under the control of Rocky Wirtz, credited with turning around the organization, which had lost fan interest and competitiveness. Under Rocky Wirtz, the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup three times between 2010 and 2015. On May 1, 1926, the NHL awarded an expansion franchise for Chicago to a syndicate headed by former football star Huntington Hardwick of Boston. At the same meeting, Hardwick arranged the purchase of the players of the Portland Rosebuds of the Western Hockey League for $100,000 from WHL president Frank Patrick in a deal brokered by Boston Bruins' owner Charles Adams. However, only one month Hardwick's group sold out to Chicago coffee tycoon Frederic McLaughlin.
McLaughlin had been a commander with the 333rd Machine Gun Battalion of the 86th Infantry Division during World War I. This division was nicknamed the "Blackhawk Division" after a Native American of the Sauk nation, Black Hawk, a prominent figure in the history of Illinois. McLaughlin named the new hockey team in honor of the military unit, making it one of many sports team names using Native Americans as icons. However, unlike the military division, the team's name was spelled in two words as the "Black Hawks" until 1986, when the club became the "Blackhawks," based on the spelling found in the original franchise documents; the Black Hawks began play in the 1926–27 season, along with fellow expansion franchises the Detroit Cougars and New York Rangers. The team had to face immediate competition in Chicago from Eddie Livingstone's rival Chicago Cardinals, which played in the same building. McLaughlin took a active role in running the team despite having no background in the sport, he was very interested in promoting American hockey players very rare in professional hockey.
Several of them, including Doc Romnes, Taffy Abel, Alex Levinsky, Mike Karakas, Cully Dahlstrom, become staples with the club, under McLaughlin, the Black Hawks were the first NHL team with an all-American-born lineup. The Black Hawks played their first game on November 17, 1926, against the Toronto St. Patricks in the Chicago Coliseum; the Black Hawks won their first game 4–1, in front of a crowd of over 7,000. The Hawks' first season was a moderate success. However, they lost the 1927 first-round playoff series to the Boston Bruins. Following the series, McLaughlin fired head coach Pete Muldoon. According to Jim Coleman, sportswriter for the Toronto-based The Globe and Mail, McLaughlin felt the Hawks were good enough to finish first. Muldoon disagreed, in a fit of pique, McLaughlin fired him. According to Coleman, Muldoon responded by yelling, "Fire me, you'll never finish first. I'll put a curse on this team that will hoodoo it until the end of time." The Curse of Muldoon was born – although Coleman admitted years after the fact that he had fabricated the whole incident – and became one of the first widely-known sports "curses."
While the team would go on to win three Stanley Cups in its first 39 years of existence, it did so without having finished in first place, either in a single- or multi-division format. The Black Hawks proceeded to have the worst record in the league in 1927–28, winning only seven of 44 games. For the 1928–29 season, the Black Hawks were slated to play in the new Chicago Stadium, but due to construction delays and a dispute between McLaughlin and Chicago Stadium promoter Paddy Harmon, they instead divided their time between the Coliseum, the Detroit Olympia, the Peace Bridge Arena in Fort Erie, Ontario, they moved to Chicago Stadium the following season. By 1931, with goal-scorer Johnny Gottselig, Cy Wentworth on defense, Charlie Gardiner in goal, the Hawks reached their first Stanley Cup Final, but fizzled in the final two games against the Montreal Canadiens. Chicago had another stellar season in 1932. However, two years Gardiner led his team to victory by shutting out the Detroit Red Wings in the final game of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Minnesota North Stars
The Minnesota North Stars were a professional ice hockey team in the National Hockey League for 26 seasons, from 1967 to 1993. The North Stars played their home games at the Met Center in Bloomington, the team's colors for most of its history were green, yellow and white; the North Stars played 2,062 regular season games and made the NHL playoffs 17 times, including two Stanley Cup Finals appearances. In the fall of 1993, the franchise moved to Dallas, is now known as the Dallas Stars. On March 11, 1965, NHL President Clarence Campbell announced that the league would expand to twelve teams from six through the creation of a new six-team division for the 1967–68 season. In response to Campbell's announcement, a partnership of nine men, led by Walter Bush, Jr. Robert Ridder, John Driscoll, was formed to seek a franchise for the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, their efforts were successful, as the NHL awarded one of its six expansion franchises to Minnesota on February 9, 1966. In addition to Minnesota, the five other franchises were awarded to Oakland, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, St. Louis.
The expansion fee for all six new clubs was $2 million for each team. The "North Stars" name was announced on May 1966, following a public contest; the name is derived from the state's motto "L'Étoile du Nord", a French phrase meaning "The Star of the North". Months after the naming of the team, ground was broken on October 3, 1966, for a new hockey arena in Bloomington, Minnesota; the home of the North Stars, the Metropolitan Sports Center, was built in 12 months at a cost of US$7 million. The arena was ready for play for the start of the 1967–68 NHL season, but portions of the arena's construction had not been completed. Spectator seats were in the process of being installed as fans arrived at the arena for the opening home game on October 21, 1967. On October 11, 1967, the North Stars played the first game in franchise history on the road against the St. Louis Blues, another expansion team; the game ended in a 2-2 tie, with former US National Team forward Bill Masterton scoring the first goal in franchise history.
On October 21, 1967, the North Stars played their first home game against the California Seals. The North Stars won 3-1; the team achieved success early as it was in first place in the West Division halfway through the 1967–68 season. Tragedy struck the team during the first season on January 13, 1968, when Masterton suffered a fatal hit during a game against the Seals at Met Center. Skating towards the Seals goal across the blue line, Masterton fell backwards, hitting the back of his head on the ice, rendering him unconscious, he never regained consciousness and died on January 15, 1968, at the age of 29, two days after the accident. Doctors described the cause of Masterton's death as a "massive brain injury". To this date, this remains the only death to a player as a result of an injury during a game in NHL history; the North Stars retired his jersey, that year, hockey writers established the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy which would be given annually to a player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance and dedication to hockey.
Following the news of Masterton's death, the North Stars lost the next six games. The North Stars would achieve success in their first year of existence by finishing in fourth place in the West Division with a record of 27-32-15, advancing to the playoffs. During the 1968 playoffs, the North Stars defeated the Los Angeles Kings in seven games after losing the first two in the series. In the next round, the West finals, the North Stars faced the St. Louis Blues in a series which would go to a seventh game. Minnesota was one game away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals, but in the deciding game, they lost in double overtime; the team was led in the early years by Cesare Maniago. Defenseman Ted Harris was the North Stars' captain; the first Stars team included high-scoring winger Bill Goldsworthy and other quality players such as Barry Gibbs, Jude Drouin, J. P. Parise, Danny Grant, Lou Nanne, Tom Reid and Dennis Hextall; the World Hockey Association began play in 1972 with a franchise based in St. Paul.
While a number of exhibition games were played between teams in the two leagues, the North Stars never played their cross-town rivals, the Minnesota Fighting Saints. However, the competition for the hockey dollar between these two clubs was fierce; the Fighting Saints only survived three-and-a-half seasons before a lack of money forced them to fold. A second incarnation of the Fighting Saints only lasted half of one season before folding as well. By 1978 the North Stars had missed the playoffs in five of the previous six seasons. Attendance had tailed off so that the league feared that the franchise was on the verge of folding. At this point and George Gund III, owners of the strapped Cleveland Barons, stepped in with an unprecedented solution—merging the North Stars with the Barons; the merged team retained the North Stars name and history, remained in Minnesota. However, the wealthier Gunds became majority owners of the merged team, the North Stars moved from the then-five team Smythe Division to assume the Barons' place in the Adams Division for the 1978–79 season.
The retired Nanne was named general manager, a number of the Barons players – notably goaltender Gilles Meloche and forwards Al MacAdam and Mike Fidler – bolstered the Minnesota lineup. Furthermore, Minnesota had drafted Bobby Smith, who would go on to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's top rookie that year, Steve Payne, who himself wo
Robert Earle Clarke known as Bob Clarke and Bobby Clarke, is a Canadian former professional ice hockey centre who played his entire 15-year National Hockey League career with the Philadelphia Flyers and is an executive with the team. Clarke is acknowledged as being one of the greatest hockey players and captains of all time, he was captain of the Flyers from 1973 to 1979, winning the Stanley Cup with them in both 1974 and 1975. He was again captain of the Flyers from 1982 to 1984 before retiring. A 3-time Hart Trophy winner and 1987 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, Clarke was rated number 24 on The Hockey News' list of The Top 100 NHL Players of All-Time in 1998. In 2017 Clarke was named one of the'100 Greatest NHL Players' in history. Clarke had three 100-point seasons, twice leading the league in assists, played in eight NHL All-Star Games, he won the Frank J. Selke Trophy in 1983, as the league's best defensive forward. Upon retiring at the end of the 1983–84 season with 358 goals and 852 assists for a total of 1,210 points in 1,144 career games, he became general manager of the Flyers.
He spent 19 of the following 23 seasons as a general manager of the Flyers briefly serving as general manager of the Minnesota North Stars and Florida Panthers, reached the Stanley Cup Finals three times with the Flyers and once with Minnesota. His time as an NHL general manager had its share of controversy none greater than the rift between him and star player Eric Lindros during the late 1990s and early 2000s, he resigned from the general manager position less than a month into the 2006–07 season and is the Flyers' senior vice president. The image of Clarke, with a toothless grin, embracing the Stanley Cup and winking following the Flyers' victory in the 1975 Stanley Cup Finals is considered one of the most iconic and famous photos in the history of the sport of hockey. Born in the small northern Manitoban mining town of Flin Flon, Clarke began playing organized hockey when he was eight years old. Around the time he was 12 or 13 years old, he learned. Though he progressed into a touted prospect playing for the Flin Flon Bombers, leading the league in which the Bombers played in scoring in each of his last three years of junior hockey, NHL teams feared Clarke would never be able to play in the NHL because of his diabetes.
Bombers coach Pat Ginnell took Clarke to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota following the 1967–68 season and the doctors concluded that as long as he took care of himself he could play professionally. Ginnell asked the doctors to write that statement down and when NHL scouts came to watch the Bombers play during the 1968–69 season, Ginnell showed them the doctor's verdict. With such assurances Clarke fell to the second round of the 1969 NHL Amateur Draft and was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers 17th overall. After Gerry Melnyk, a scout and administrative assistant with the Flyers, tried to convince general manager Bud Poile to draft Clarke with their first-round pick and failed — Poile drafted Bob Currier instead, a player who retired five years and never played a game in the NHL — Melnyk called a diabetes specialist in Philadelphia who said Clarke would be fine if he looked after his health. Melnyk successfully convinced Poile to draft Clarke when the Flyers second-round pick came around; the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens offered the Flyers a deal for Clarke, Detroit offering two veteran players and Montreal offering a deal "Flyers management could hardly refuse."
The Flyers refused both offers and made it clear Clarke was not for sale. Wearing # 16, Clarke made his NHL debut on October 1969, against the Minnesota North Stars, he recorded his first point on October 22 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, an assist on Lew Morrison's 3rd period goal, he scored his first goal on October 30 against the New York Rangers, beating Rangers goaltender Ed Giacomin 16:36 into the 3rd period. Clarke played the entire 76-game schedule his rookie season and recorded 46 points while earning a trip to the NHL All-Star Game, he was named NHL Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News, finished fourth in voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy. Clarke led the Flyers in scoring during his sophomore season, 1970–71, with 27 goals and 36 assists for a total of 63 points in 77 games, his efforts helped the Flyers make the playoffs, but Clarke was held scoreless in his first playoff action and the Flyers lost in four games to the Chicago Black Hawks. A tooth abscess was the cause of a slow start to the 1971–72 season.
He rebounded over the final 47 games, scoring 30 goals and 35 assists and bringing his totals to 35 goals and 46 assists. His dedication was rewarded when he became the first Flyer to win a major NHL award, the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, the Flyers re-signed him to a five-year contract worth $100,000 per season, a raise of $75,000 per season. A few months following his strong play during the Summit Series for Team Canada, Clarke was named the Flyers' captain at age 23, the youngest to assume that role in NHL history at the time; as leader of the brawling Broad Street Bullies, Clarke became the first player from an expansion team to score more than 100 points in a season, 104 points total. Facing the Minnesota North Stars in the first round, the Flyers and Clarke received a scare, as he was hit in the eye with a stick which broke his contact lens and was rushed to the hospital. After removing parts of his broken contact from under the eye, Clarke returned to the lineup the next game despite havin