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A member of the Flyers in the early-to-mid 1980s, goaltender Bob Froese was born June 30, 1958 in St. Catharines, Ontario. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound goalie played his minor and junior hockey for the Black Hawks in his hometown and then joined the second incarnation of the Niagara Falls Flyers for the 1976-77 and 1977-78 seasons.

Originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 10th round (160th overall) of the 1978 NHL Draft, Froese was never signed by St. Louis. He bounced around the minor leagues for a few years before the Flyers signed him as a free agent on June 18, 1981.

Froese, nicknamed "Frosty" early in his career, experienced his share of success with Philadelphia. Despite generally strong statistics, however, he sometimes had a hard time gaining the trust to become a full-time starter. Somewhat like Roman Cechmanek in the early 2000s, Froese usually put up very strong regular season numbers but was inconsistent when tabbed to start in the postseason. As a result, he received as much criticism as praise.

Historically, Froese is generally remembered either as either Pelle Lindbergh's backup or as the starting goalie the Flyers had in between Lindbergh's death and Ron Hextall's stellar rookie season. He simply came along at the wrong time, because he was not as gifted as either Lindbergh or Hextall but was a pretty good NHL goaltender in his right when he got the opportunity to play.

At a glance, Froese's raw stats were often better than Lindbergh's in the regular season. It should be noted that a significant percentage of Froese's starts came against the Flyers' lower-echelon opponents around the league. However, a goalie can only play against whomever he's assigned, and Froese usually got the job done regardless of opponent.

Froese always strongly believed himself to be worthy of being an NHL starter, and his relationship with Lindbergh - while cordial and professional - was tinged by an unspoken rivalry. The two teammates were never close friends, although they made efforts to bond a little more closely shortly before Lindbergh's fatal car crash in November 1985.

Seeing himself blocked in his ambition of becoming a full-time NHL starter, Froese grew frustrated. He realized following Lindbergh's Vezina Trophy winning season and the Flyers' run to the 1985 Stanley Cup Finals that his multi-year quest to become the Flyers' primary starter was unlikely to come to fruition.

In November 1985, Flyers general manager Bob Clarke agreed to a long-term contract extension for Lindbergh and tentatively agreed to a trade with the Los Angeles Kings, which would send Froese to LA in exchange for defenseman Jay Wells. The Lindbergh contract extension and Froese trade were set to be announced on Nov. 12, 1985 when Clarke returned to Philadelphia from an in-season scouting trip to Boston.

Those plans came to a tragic halt when Lindbergh crashed his Porsche and was rendered brain dead in the early morning hours of Nov. 11, 1985. The impending trade with Los Angeles was called off, and Froese was promoted into the starting job with the Flyers -- but not before Froese himself suffered an extremely painful injury in a practice preparing for the Lindbergh Memorial game against defending Stanley Cup champion Edmonton (earlier on the say day as Lindbergh's Philadelphia funeral, in fact).

Froese got hit in the protective cup with a slapshot with such force that the cup shattered and the goaltender still took the brunt of the impact. Doubled over in horrendous pain, Froese had blood in his urine for several days. As a result, Froese was knocked out of the lineup.

The Flyers had minor league callup Darren Jensen start the game against Edmonton and they had to temporarily purchase the contract of minor leaguer Mike Bloski to have a backup until Froese was able to return to practice and take over the primary starting duties from Jensen.

Once he finally got to play regularly, however, Froese thrived.

Froese played in the 1985-86 NHL All-Star game, replacing Lindbergh, who was posthumously elected as the starter. Froese went on to win the Jennings Trophy and finished as the runner up to the Rangers' John Vanbiesbrouck in the Vezina Trophy race, earning eight first-place votes among the NHL's General Managers.Unfortunately, Froese was outplayed by Vanbiesbrouck in the 1986 playoffs and received much of the blame as the Rangers ousted the heavily favored - but mentally and emotionally drained five months after Lindbergh's death - Flyers in the first round of the playoffs.

The next season, rookie Ron Hextall rapidly unseated Froese as the starter. The veteran appeared in just three games after having been a Vezina finalist the previous year. On December 18, 1986, Froese he was traded to the Rangers in exchange for defenseman Kjell Samuelsson and a 1999 second-round pick (Patrik Juhlin).

For the Flyers portion of his career, Froese appeared in 144 regular season games over portions of the 1982-83 to 1986-87 seasons. He posted a 92-29-12 record, 2.74 goals against average, .899 save percentage and 12 shutouts. In his Vezina runner-up season of 1985-86, Froese went 31-10-3 with a 2.55 GAA, .909 save percentage and five shutouts.

Froese played in 12 playoff games as a Flyer, going 2-6 with a 3.74 GAA and .864 save percentage.

Unfortunately for Froese, going to the Rangers did not better his outlook for increased playing time. It meant that he'd still be a backup goalie; this time to Vanbiesbrouck. Froese remained with the Rangers as the second-string goalie through the 1989-90 season. He later worked as the New York Islanders goaltending coach for one season (1995-96).

While hockey had been a big part of his life, Froese found his true calling in quite a different arena.

A devout Christian, Froese dedicated himself to religious studies after the end of his playing career, becoming an ordained minister and obtaining a Ph.D. D. in Biblical Counseling from Trinity Theological Seminary. Later, Froese became the senior pastor at Faith Fellowship Church in Clarence, New York.