Banner night for Parent as Flyers pay tribute

Wednesday, 12.08.2010 / 4:21 PM
Mike G. Morreale  - Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers will present Hall of Fame goalie Bernie Parent and his family the original retired number banner that hung from the rafters at the Spectrum prior to Wednesday's game against the San Jose Sharks at Wells Fargo Center.
Parent, who wore No. 1, not only helped lead the Flyers to back-to-back Stanley Cup crowns in 1974 and '75, but won the Vezina Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy both seasons. The phrase "Only the Lord saves more than Bernie Parent" was becoming a popular catch phrase in and around the Philadelphia area during his time in net.
"With a different goalie we would have won a lot of games but probably not the Cup," said Flyers teammate Bob Clarke in Adam Kimelman's "100 Things Flyers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die." "We could have taken anybody out, taken any other player off the team and still would have won. Take Bernie off -- we wouldn't have."
Parent yielded just 35 goals in 17 playoff games in 1974 with a 1.89 goals-against average, .933 save percentage and two shutouts, including the Cup-clinching 1-0 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 6 at the Spectrum. It was only the fourth time in NHL history a team won the Cup with a 1-0 triumph in the final game.

"When you have a game 1-0 … a hockey game that decides whether you win the Stanley Cup or not, you say 'Wow, there's a lot to be grateful for to be on that side,' " Parent said. "The crowd was incredible and I've always said, in Philadelphia, we have a great crowd and good crowd will always elevate you to a different level that makes you perform even better. That's what we have in Philly."

During the '75 playoffs, he allowed 29 goals in 15 games with a 2.03 GAA and .919 save percentage and four shutouts -- earning a 2-0 shutout victory over the Buffalo Sabres in Game 6.
Prior to those Cup seasons, Parent spent parts of two seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1970-72 as backup to boyhood idol, Jacques Plante. He credited Plante with helping him become a better, more consistent keeper.
He was forced to retire following a career-ending eye injury in 1979, but spent several years in the Flyers organization as goaltending coach to future Vezina-winning goalies Ron Hextall and the late Pelle Lindbergh. Parent, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984, now serves as the Flyers Ambassador of Hockey.
Parent's No. 1 jersey was retired in the Spectrum on Oct. 11, 1979. As demolition continues on the old barn that stands across the parking lot and opposite the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers will continue to salute those retired numbers that hung from the rafters. Parent's ceremony was the second this season -- the family of late defenseman Barry Ashbee was presented the No. 4 banner earlier this season.
Bill Barber (7) and Clarke (16) will be honored later this season.
Parent previously held the mark for most wins in a season (47), since surpassed by New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur during the 2006-07 season (48 wins). His 47-win season in 73 games in 1973-74, however, does remain a record for most regulation time wins in a single season since he didn't have the benefit of overtime, shootouts or a longer season.

Parent informed the media prior to the ceremony that he's excited for the forthcoming release of his new book," My Journey through Fear and Risk."

"I have a writer and it's not about hockey so much as it is about the philosophy to overcome the ups and downs of life," Parent said. "I think it'll be beneficial to a lot of people and it'll be a neat read. There's always times when you hit the swamp in life, which are worse than the valleys. But hitting those swamps can sometimes push you to victory because it pushes you in different directions that could work out well in the end."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale
Back to top