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Longtime NHL defenseman Gordie Roberts was born in Detroit on October 2, 1957. Drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the third round (54th overall) of the 1977 NHL Draft, Roberts had turned pro two years earlier to play in the World Hockey Association for the New England (later Hartford) Whalers.

When the National Hockey League merged with the WHA in 1979 and the Whalers were absorbed into the NHL, Roberts began a 1,097-game career in the league. Among the six clubs with whom he played in the NHL, Roberts' stint in Philadelphia was the briefest.

The injury-riddled Flyers acquired the veteran from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a 1989 fourth-round draft pick (Jean-Francois Quintin) on Feb. 9, 1988. Roberts dressed in 11 regular season games for the Flyers but was gone less than a month after his arrival. On March 8, 1988, the Flyers traded Roberts to the St. Louis Blues for a 1989 fourth-round draft pick (Reid Simpson).