Two franchise-changing moments in Flyers history happened 11 years apart on May 15: the 1973 reacquisition of Bernie Parent and the retirement of the iconic Bobby Clarke in 1984.
In perhaps the most vital trade in franchise history, the Flyers reacquire the NHL rights of goaltender Bernie Parent from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a 1973 first-round draft pick (Bob Neely) and goaltender Doug Favell. Philadelphia also acquired a 1973 second-round pick (defenseman Larry "Izzy" Goodenough) in the trade.
Parent, of course, went on to win back-to-back Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophies, backstopping the Flyers to the Stanley Cup in 1973-74 and 1974-75. On the same day the organization brought back Parent, the Flyers also traded defenseman Rick Foley to the Detroit Red Wings for Serje Lajeunesse.
The single most important player in franchise history Hall of Fame center and longtime captain Clarke announced his retirement as a player at age 34. Upon his retirement, Clarke was simultaneously introduced as the fourth general manager in franchise history, succeeding dismissed GM/head coach Bob McCammon,
May 15: Through the Years
- 1975: The defending champion Flyers open the Stanley Cup Final with a 4-1 win at the Spectrum over the Buffalo Sabres. The game is scoreless for two periods before Bobby Clarke (one goal, two assists) and Bill Barber (two goals) lead a four-goal outburst. Bernie Parent stops 27 of 28 shots. Ross Lonsberry also tallies for Philly.
- 1980: The Flyers rebound from an overtime loss in Game One of the Stanley Cup Final to knot their series with the New York Islanders at one game apiece. Paul Holmgren becomes the first American player to score a hat trick in the Finals, leading an 8-3 blowout win at the Spectrum.
- 2004: Continuing a series-long pattern of alternating-game wins, the Flyers knot the Eastern Conference Final with the Tampa Bay Lightning with an afternoon 3-2 home win in Game Four. A second-period shorthanded goal by captain Keith Primeau proves to be the winner. John LeClair and Mark Recchi also score for Philly. Fredrik Modin (mid-first period to give Tampa a 1-0 lead) and Vincent Lecavalier (final minute of the game, reducing a two-goal deficit to a one-goal loss) score power play goals for Tampa. Robert Esche stops 28 of 30 shots.
May 15: Flyers Birthdays
- Offensively skilled, undersized but feisty and deceptively strong defenseman Jim Mair was born on May 15, 1946 in Schumacher, Ontario.
- Brief-tenured center Wes Walz was born May 15, 1970 in Calgary Alberta.