Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Where Are They Now - The Original Broad Street Bullies

Regular followers of this blog know that I am a strange, unique bird - kind of like an emu - in that I grew up in Philadelphia and spent my life through age 43 as a Philadelphia Flyers fan. Six years ago, I started following the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals; four years ago I started going to more and more Capitals Games and this is is my fourth year as a Caps Season Ticket Holder. I rarely, if ever, follow NBA Basketball any more, no issues, just not my thing.
In any case, having played youth and then college club hockey, I was always much more a fan and enthusiast of ice hockey than basketball, which was a sport, I never mastered in any way. Being an ice hockey fan growing up in Philadelphia in the 1970's of course meant being a BIG, BIG fan of the so called Broad Street Bullies. Being a defenseman, my favorite Flyer of all time was and always will be Barry Ashbee. Being on the big side for my age, of course made for a natural affinity though with the so called Broad Street Bullies: Dave "The Hammer" Schultz, Don "Big Bird" Saleski, Bob "Hound Dog" Kelly, and Andre "Moose" Dupont. Of course being a different era, the bullies and many of the enforcers of the seventies were different than most of the enforcers of today. The Bullies were also a key part of the Flyers overall game and were often seen on the scorecard chipping in on offense. In that regard, "The Bullies" weren't unlike current Capitals "Enforcer" Donald Brashear. Additionally, like "Brash" the Broad Street Bullies were also very active in the community at the time and have been supportive of charitable works subsequent to hanging up their NHL skates. Basically, they were the models for the current so-called role players and "grinders" of today, with a "bit" of intimidation thrown in. On the scorecard all four of them seldom logged less than 8:00 time on ice, unless of coarse their appearance in a game ended early in the first or second period because of a game misconduct penalty, an event not unheard of in those days either. Looking back at the Bullies seems especially apropos today since the Caps host the Flyers tonight here at Verizon Center.
Dave "The Hammer" Schultz (Selected Round 5, # 52 Overall in 1969 Draft by Flyers) -

NHL Career Numbers: Regular Season: 535 Games, 79 Goals, 121 Assists, 2294 PIM
Playoffs: 73 Games, 8 Goals, 12 Assists, 412 PIM.
Best Season Numbers: Goals - 1972/73: 20 Goals; Points - 1973/74: 36 Points
Penalty Minutes (Most) - 1974/75: 472, 6.21minutes/game
Penalty Minutes (Least PIM/Game) - 1979/80: 2.15 PIM/game with Sabres.
A Legend of Hockey, Schultz currently has a business that is centered around NHL memorabilia as well as motivational speaking and owns his own limousine service. He has also done some coaching in the minors. His last coaching stint was as the head coach of the Elmira Jackels of the UHL in Elmira, NY during the 2004/05 season. Schultz also actively supports and participates in the charitable efforts of "Oldtimers Hockey."

Don "Big Bird" Saleski (Selected Round 6, #64 Overall in 1969 Draft by Flyers) -
NHL Career Numbers: Regular Season: 543 Games, 128 Goals, 125 Assists, 629 PIM
Playoffs: 82 Games, 13 Goals, 17 Assists, 131 PIM.
Best Season Numbers: Goals - 1977/78: 27 Goals; Points - 1975/76: 47 Points
Penalty Minutes (Most) - 1972/73: 205, 2.63 minutes/game
Penalty Minutes (Least PIM/Game) - 1978/79: 0.353 PIM/game split season with Flyers & Colorado Rockies.
A Legend of Hockey, Saleski is currently Principal of Business Edge Development, a company he founded in 2004 to train and mentor others to help them achieve their business potential. He is also on the Board of Directors of BreastCancer.org; he and hiw wife currently reside in the Philadelphia Suburbs.
Bob "Hounddog" Kelly (Selected Round 3, 32nd Overall in 1970 Draft by Flyers) -
NHL Career Numbers: Regular Season: 837 Games, 154 Goals, 208 Assists, 1454 PIM
Playoffs: 101 Games, 9 Goals, 14 Assists, 172 PIM.
Best Season Numbers: Goals - 1980/81: 26 Goals (Washington Capitals); Points - 1980/81: 62 Points (Washington Capitals)
Penalty Minutes (Most) - 1972/73: 238, 3.09 minutes/game
Penalty Minutes (Least PIM/Game) - 1977/78: 1.28 PIM/game.
A Legend of Hockey, Kelly resides in the Philadelphia suburbs is still involved with the Flyers organization and is their "Official Ambassador of Hockey"; in this role he works with "Hooked on Hockey" a program that seeks to bring hockey to the youth in the Flyers market and promote involvement in competitive sports in general to them.
Andre "Moose" Dupont (Selected Round 1, # 8 Overall in 1969 Draft by NY Rangers) -
NHL Career Numbers: Regular Season: 810 Games, 59 Goals, 185 Assists, 1986 PIM
Playoffs: 140 Games, 14 Goals, 18 Assists, 352 PIM
Best Season Numbers: Goals - 1974/75: 11 Goals; Points - 1975/76: 36 Points
Penalty Minutes (Most) - 1974/75: 276, 3.45 minutes/game
Penalty Minutes (Least PIM/Game) - 1980/81: 1.48 PIM/game (Quebec Nordiques).
A Legend of Hockey, Dupont resides in Canada in retirement but remains active supporting and participating in Oldtimers Hockey and other charitable endeavours. His son Danny coaches junior hockey.
As a review of their career numbers and their post NHL pursuits, you can see "The Broad Street Bullies" are not a quartet of "goons", they all were high contributing role players and both during and after their NHL careers they have continued to contribute to their communities. In this regard few of today's enforcers around the league can hark back to them as role models. Of course there are some exceptions and one is Donald Brashear. Brash's career numbers to date you ask -
NHL Career Numbers:
Regular Season: 961 Games, 85 Goals, 119 Assists, 2513PIM
Playoffs: 56 Games, 3 goals, 6 assists, 103 PIM;
Best Season Numbers: Goals - 1999-2000: 11 (Canucks); Points - 2000 - 2001: 28 (Canuks);
Penalty Minutes (Most) - 1997 - 1998: 372 PIM, 4.83 Minutes/Game (Canucks)
Penalty Minutes (Least Avg PIM/Game) - 2007 - 2008: 1.49 Minutes/Game (Capitals).

What do you think? Could Brash have been a Broad Street Bully in the best sense of the word? A solid role player who always helps make sure his team doesn't get run off the ice, but can contribute and play the game with anybody on the ice? The kind of guy who even though he has a tough reputation around the league is also always known as a positive influence in the locker room and who also is always willing to step out in front of a good cause? Personally, I think so. I find guys around the league who are listed mainly as enforcers and who when they do suit up average less that 5:00 or 6:00 TOI - those are the so called goons. Brash and the original Broad Street Bullies, they were and are solid role players. Heck, even Dave "The Hammer" Schultz can point to his 20 goal 1972-1973 season as clear evidence he was a lot more than "just a goon", as for Brash - he has the best +/- and Giveaway/Takeaway numbers of any of the current so-called enforcers in the NHL today.
Now it's time for the rivalry to resume in earnest. Caps vs. Flyers at 7PM tonight at the Phone Booth. Be there or be square and let's "Rock the Red" alright kids on 3...
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LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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