Dave "The Hammer" Schultz only spent four years in a Philadelphia Flyers uniform but they were certainly memorable seasons. It's fair to say that Schultz was the poster child for the Broad Street Bullies of the mid-1970s.
During his Flyers career, Schultz was easily the most vilified player around the National Hockey League. In Philadelphia, however, he could do no wrong. Schultz's stature as one of the most popular players among the local fan base that the organization honored in inducting him as the 20th member of the Flyers Hall of Fame.
"The Flyers fans always treated me so well, and I can honestly say that I'm humbled by this honor. I can't even wrap my head around it yet," Schultz said on Saturday night. "Even when I played for other teams, I never had an experience like I did with the Flyers. Nothing compared to it, and the fans were a big part of it.
"Whenever I come to the building now and get introduced to the crowd or just walk around, I'm always amazed by how much appreciate what the team accomplished and the role I played in it. I was just a small part of it, but people here never forget you."
Schultz wasn't necessarily the best fighter in the NHL, but he was the most active. The Hammer would work himself into a frenzy before he even hit the ice, and he had a flair for showmanship. He could also play hockey when he wanted to.
While his defining legacy was the fact that he topped 300 penalty minutes in three consecutive seasons (topping out at an astounding 472 in 1974-75), he also had a knack for coming through in the clutch. The Hammer scored 20 goals in the Flyers' first Stanley Cup season and played an important role in each of the three playoff series the Flyers won on the way to claiming the 1973-74 championship.
Before the start of the induction ceremony, a collection of memorable moments from Schultz's Philadelphia career were shown on the Arenavision screen to the strains of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man." Public address announcer Lou Nolan then began the ceremony, which also included a video retrospective of "The Hammer's" Philadelphia career narrated by television play-by-play announcer Jim Jackson.
With his two sons, Chad and Brett, and Broad Street Bullies teammate and longtime friend Bob "The Hound" Kelly looking on, Schultz was introduced to the crowd to a loud ovation. Current Flyers captain Mike Richards presented a gift on behalf of the team.
The Schultz clan posed alongside a commemorative poster before Kelly unveiled the bust of Schultz that will be permanently displayed in the area. At this point, Schultz addressed the Wachovia Center crowd before his Hall of Fame banner was raised to the rafters.
"I left here 33 years ago and I'm coming back to stay. Thank you to the people that voted for me so I can receive this great honor. I'm joining great company tonight," said Schultz.
The Hammer went on to single out several of his former teammates for their roles in his career and gave special thanks to longtime general manager Keith Allen, the late Fred Shero and Ed Snider. He then turned his attention to his family members, including his late father and brother.
"Most of all, thank you to the fans," Schultz continued. "Flyers fans are the greatest, and I love you all. …For me, this is as good as it gets. Good luck and God bless the Philadelphia Flyers."
November 16: Through the Years
- 1967: The first-year expansion club continues its remarkable run against Original Six teams as the Flyers earn a 3-2 win at the Spectrum over the New York Rangers. Doug Favell leads the way with an excellent 30-save performance. Leon Rochefort, Ed Van Impe and Ed Hoekstra score for the Flyers, while Don Blackburn chips in a pair of assists.
- 1973: The Flyers play a tougher-than-expected contest with the lowly California Seals but leave Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum with a 2-1 win on a tiebreaking goal in the third period by "Cowboy" Bill Flett. Rick MacLeish's first period shorthanded goal serves as the only other Flyers' score, but Bernie Parent (23 saves on 24 shots) makes the narrow margin hold up after Flett restores the lead.
- 1975: The Flyers earn a 3-1 triumph over the Montreal Canadiens at the Spectrum as Wayne Stephenson (26 saves) ably substitutes for injured Bernie Parent and the Flyers pepper Hall of Fame netminder Ken Dryden with 49 shots. After Guy Lafleur gives the Habs an early lead, the Flyers bounce back for goal by Bob "the Hound" Kelly, Rick MacLeish and Gary Dornhoefer (empty net).
- 1976: Bernie Parent earns a 27-save shutout and makes a 1-0 lead on an early tally by Orest Kindrachuk stand up the rest of the way. Mel Bridgman adds a late empty net goal to complete a 2-0 win at the Spectrum over the Detroit Red Wings. The shutout is Parent's 41st in the NHL and 37th as a Flyer over his two stints with the team.
- 1985: On the same day that fallen teammate Pelle Lindbergh is returned to Sweden for burial, the Flyers solider on for a 5-2 win at the Hartford Civic Center to increase their winning streak to 12 games. Rick Toccchet notches two goals, and Brian Propp scores his 14th goal of the young season. Darren Jensen earns the win in goal.
- 1986: The Flyers crush the Washington Capitals, 6-2, at the Spectrum behind a four-goal explosion in the first period. Peter Zezel leads the way with two goals and an assist. Fiery rookie goalie Ron Hextall stops 23 of 25 shots for his 10th goal of the year, and also earns an assist on a shorthanded goal by Brian Propp.
- 1989: Big games for Pelle Eklund (two goals) and Mike Bullard (one goal, three assists) lift the Flyers from a 3-3 deadlock to a 6-3 victory over the Minnesota North Stars at the Spectrum. Streak scorer Bullard notches his third straight multi-point game (three goals, five assists). Don Biggs tacks on some insurance, while Brian Dobbin and Murray Craven (shorthanded) also tally and Flyers defenseman Gord Murphy chips in three assists. Backup goal Bruce Hoffort (21 saves) earns his third win.
- 1995: Celebrating the return of Eric Lindros to the lineup after a seven-game absence due to a knee injury caused by a low-bridge hit by Florida's Jason Woolley, the Legion of Doom runs wild in a 5-3 triumph over the Ottawa Senators at the Spectrum. Lindros scores twice and Mikael Renberg (five game point streak) tallies once. John LeClair has two assists. Russ Romaniuk and Karl Dykhuis also score, while Rod Brind'Amour collects four assists.
- 1995: Earlier in the day leading up to their 5-3 win over Ottawa, the Flyers and San Jose Sharks announce a trade. The Flyers acquire Pat Falloon in exchange for the rights to Czech winger winger Martin Spanhel and 1996 first and fourth-round draft picks. The Sharks later trade the first-round pick to the Phoenix Coyotes (then still the Winnipeg Jets), who use the selection to take future Flyers fan favorite Danny Briere.
- 1997: The Flyers trail the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning by a 2-1 score in the third period before Rod Brind'Amour scores the tying and winning goals (the latter with 60 seconds left in the third period) to skate off with a 3-2 regulation win.
- 2006: R.J. Umberger pulls off the same feat that Rod Brind'Amour accomplished nine years earlier on this date as he scores a pair of late third period goals to lift the Flyers from a 3-2 deficit to a 4-3 regulation win over the host LA Kings. Geoff Sanderson also scores for the Flyers while Mike Richards assists on three tallies.Antero Niittymäki (23 saves) gets the win.
- 2008: The Flyers blow a two-goal lead in the third period against the visiting Atlanta Thrashers but are rescued by an end-to-end goal scored by Joffrey Lupul to leave the First Union Center with a 4-3 regulation win despite getting outshot 21-4 in the final period. Simon Gagne (three points), Mike Knuble, and Kimmo Timonen score earlier in the game. Antero Niittymäki (29 saves) runs his career record against Atlanta to 11-0-0.