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The Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers

 

Forward Bill Sutherland, who scored both the first road goal and the first home goal in Flyers' franchise history, was born on November 10, 1934 in Regina, Saskatchewan. The Flyers acquired Sutherland's rights from the Quebec Aces when they purchased the team to be their first AHL farm club. Sutherland, who tallied 20 goals and 39 points in the team's first season, also holds the historical distinction of being the first two-stint (traded and re-acquired) player in Flyers history.  

On Oct. 11, 1967, the Flyers suffered a 5-1 road loss to the California Golden Seals on opening night for the two NHL expansion franchises. Sutherland notched the only Philadelphia goal of the game, scoring at 10:07 of the second period to briefly tie the score at 1-1. Leon Rochefort and John Miszuk earned the assists.

Sutherland later scored the first goal in Spectrum history, notching the lone goal in the Flyers' 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in their home debut on October 19, 1967. Incredibly, Sutherland almost didn't get to play in that game. A Spectrum security guard, believing the 33-year-old player was too old to be a professional athlete, initially refused him admission to the players' entrance to the brand new arena.

The Flyers lost Sutherland to the Minnesota North Stars via the 1968 interleague draft but then reacquired him in a March 2, 1969 trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs that also brought Gerry Meehan and Mike Byers while sending Brit Selby and Forbes Kennedy to Toronto. Sutherland's second stint as a Flyer ended when the Buffalo Sabres claimed him off waivers from the Flyers on October 19, 1970.

For his Flyers career, Sutherland appeared in 124 regular season games between 1967-68 and 1970-71. He posted 42 goals and 71 points. Sutherland dressed in each of the first 11 playoff games in team history (two goals, six points).