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Right winger George Swarbrick was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on February 16, 1942. The 5-foot-10, 172-pound forward was a fine minor league forward, especially during the period when the San Francisco Seals (who, at different junctures of their offbeat history became known as the California Seals, Oakland Seals and California Golden Seals) were a Western Hockey League club before the franchise, as the California Seals was added to the National Hockey League in the 1967 expansion. Swarbrick played for coach Bud Poile, later the Flyers' first general manager, in San Francisco.

Expansion provided an opportunity for players such as Swarbrick to get their shot at playing in the NHL. He was a member of the Seals during their inaugural NHL season of 1967-68. Overall, he played 132 games in the NHL with Seals, Pittsburgh Penguins and Flyers in a career that started in 1962 and ended in 1976-77 as a member of the North American Hockey League's Philadelphia Firebirds.

Swarbrick's time with the Flyers was short. Philadelphia acquired the veteran forward for in exchange for Terry Ball in a trade with Pittsburgh on June 11, 1970. He dressed in two regular season games for the Flyers in 1970-71: a 5-4 home win over the Vancouver Canucks on October 15, 1970 and November 15, 1970 in 3-1 road loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Swarbrick did not record a point or a penalty as a Flyers but was credited with three shots on goal in the latter game.