Flyers Hall of Fame tough guy Dave "the Hammer" Schultz was never known in the National Hockey League for his goal-scoring prowess. He had, however, always been a pretty good scorer in junior and minor pro hockey even as his role began to evolve from scorer to enforcer.
At the NHL level, Schultz never put up big goal-scoring totals but could burn teams when he had an open scoring opportunity. He notched a 20-goal campaign in the Flyers' 1973-74 Stanley Cup season, in addition to 348 penalty minutes.
Three of the goals came in a 4-2 win at the Spectrum over the hated New York Rangers. Schultz earned a standing ovation from the Spectrum crowd as he compiled his first career NHL hat trick on his sixth-seventh and eighth goals of the season. Don "Big Bird" Saleski notched a goal and an assist in the same game.
Coincidentally, a few weeks earlier, the Flyers had beaten and bruised the Chicago Blackhawks at the Spectrum by a 4-2 count. Complaining about the rough treatment his team had received, Chicago coach Billy Reaugh complained afterward, "Schwartz and Saleski don't belong in the league."
After Schultz's hat trick against the Rangers, Flyers broadcaster Gene Hart sent a telegram to Reaugh, having some fun with his mispronunciation of "the Hammer's" last name. It read, "Schwartz scored a hat trick tonight."
Schultz would not have to wait long for his second career hat trick. He did it again seven days later.
Hart then sent another telegram: "Schwartz did it again."
Finally, Reaugh grudgingly conceded that Schultz - by now, he knew the player's name - could also play the game effectively in addition to fighting. The rest of the NHL learned, too.
January 3: Through the Years
- 1984: The Flyers outgun the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 7-5 slugfest at the Igloo. Six different Flyers light the lamp, including a two-goal, three-point night for Darryl Sittler. Tim Kerr notches his 27th goal of the season, while Brian Propp scores his 20th. Ilkka Sinisalo puts the game away with a shorthanded breakaway goal midway through the third period. Bobby Clarke racks up three assists while Bill Barber has a goal and an assist.
- 1987: Ron Hextall (22 saves) and the Flyers prevail in a rough-and-tumble 4-1 decision over the host Washington Capitals. Rick Tocchet, Tim Kerr (32nd goal of the season), Peter Zezel and Dave Poulin (empty net) do the scoring honors. There are multiple fights and five separate high-stick related infractions over the course of the game.
- 1996: Playing painfully through an as-yet-undiagnosed sports hernia, Mikael Renberg notches his 21st goal of the season to get the Flyers off and and running early in a 3-1 road win over the San Jose Sharks. Later, Yanick Dupre scores his first NHL goal and John LeClair adds an early second-period tally. Eric Lindros assists on both the Renberg and LeClair tallies on a two-goal night for the Legion of Doom.