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Flyers Trade Zezel for Bullard: November 29, 1988

by @NHLFlyers

Whenever a fan favorite is traded, there is bound to be some backlash from fans when the deal is first announced. It's the nature of team sports and fandom.

When the Philadelphia Flyers traded Bernie Parent in the January 1971 three-team deal that brought young forward Rick MacLeish to Philadelphia, many Flyers fans were initially unhappy. It was also true when, in 1995, the Flyers sent Mark Recchi to the Montreal Canadiens for a package of players that included Eric Desjardins and John LeClair.

One of the most unpopular deals in franchise history was one that did not have the long-term impact of either of the aforementioned trades: On November 29, 1988, general manager Bob Clarke attempted to shake up a slumping Flyers team. He traded immensely popular center Peter Zezel to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for scoring forward Mike Bullard. 

How unpopular was the trade at the time it happened? Clarke later said that fans at the Spectrum yelled at him for trading Zezel and even his own daughter, Jody, refused to speak to him for several days. The reaction had nothing to do with Bullard's arrival. It was all about Zezel's departure.

The trade, however, provided an immediate short-term spark. The Flyers went 13-2-1 over their next 16 games. Prior to the deal, the Flyers had won just once in 10 games. Bullard scored in five of his first seven games with the Flyers.

November 28: Through the Years

  • 1970: Flyers center Andre Lacroix supplies all the offense, tallying a hat trick and setting up a Jean-Guy Gendron power play goal in a 4-2 home win over the Vancouver Canucks. Three of the four Philadelphia goals came on the power play.


  • 1977: Bernie Parent recorded a 25-save road shutout of the Vancouver Canucks. After a scoreless first period that saw the Flyers get outshot by a 13-3 margin, Bill Barber got the Flyers on the opening shift of the middle frame. Rick MacLeish made it a 2-0 game several minutes later. That was more than enough support for Parent but Don Saleski added some additional insurance midway through the third period to forge a 3-0 final.


  • 1979: In the 19th game of their record 35-game unbeaten streak, the Flyers overcame a 3-1 deficit at the first intermission to skate off with 6-4 home win over the Minnesota North Stars. Rick MacLeish scored two goals for Philly, who also got multi-point games from Bill Barber (one goal, one assist) and Paul Holmgren (one goal, one assist). Reggie Leach put the Flyers in control of the game with a third period shorthanded goal, while Ken Linseman notched the game-winner.


  • 1985: The Flyers finally resolved the holdout of second-year player Todd Bergen by trading the forward -- who refused to play again for coach Mike Keenan and claimed to be more interested in pursuing a career in professional golf -- to the Minnesota North Stars. In exchange for Bergen and defenseman Ed "Boxcar" Hospodar, the Flyers received forward Bo Berglund and defenseman Dave Richter.


  • 1986: The Flyers prevailed in a wild and fight-filled 6-5 game at Nassau County Coliseum against the New York Islanders. Winning goaltender Ron Hextall became the first goaltender in Flyers history to record a multi-point game, receiving credit for a pair of assists in the second period. Tim Kerr and Rick Tocchet notched two goals apiece for Philly, who also got goals from Murray Craven (power play) and Scott Mellanby. Defenseman Mark Howe was plus-three in the game and notched three assists (two on the power play and one at even strength) for the Flyers.


  • 1995: The Florida Panthers kept the Legion of Doom at bay but the Flyers got enough secondary scoring to prevail in a 2-1 overtime decision. Florida nursed a 1-0 lead into the third period before Brent Fedyk deflected a Petr Svoboda shot into the net to tie the game. Defenseman Kevin Haller's second goal of the season won the game in overtime.


  • 1998: John LeClair racked up four goals as the Flyers blew out the Vancouver Canucks 6-2 in Philadelphia. Eric Lindros compiled five assists, setting up all four LeClair goals as well as one by Keith Jones. In the final minute of the third period, Chris Gratton rounded out the scoring with his lone Flyers goal of the season prior to being traded back to the Tampa Bay Lightning.


  • 2000: A pair of third period goals by Mark Recchi erased a 3-2 deficit at the second intermission and vaulted the Flyers to a 4-3 road win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jody Hull and Keith Primeau also scored for the Flyers.


  • 2002: In a 3-0 home loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Flyers debuted a new alternative jersey: a primarily orange sweater with a silver outlined slight variation on the team's classic "flying P" logo. The "all-orange" jersey was worn 17 times during the 2002-03 season, with the team posting an 8-7-2 record in those games.


  • 2003: The Flyers shook off an early New York Islanders goal by former Philadelphia defenseman Janne Niinimaa to explode for five second-period goals en route to a 5-1 road win. John LeClair, Simon Gagne, Mark Recchi, Donald Brashear and Justin Williams inflicted the goal-scoring damage.


  • 2013: The Flyers prevailed 2-1 against the Winnipeg Jets in the annual Black Friday matinee at the Wells Fargo Center. A Scott Hartnell goal in the opening minute of the game and a second-period shorthanded goal by Sean Couturier were just enough offense. Steve Mason (25 saves) flirting with a shutout for 53 minutes before Michal Frolik notched Winnipeg's lone goal of the game.


November 29: Flyers Birthday

  • Defenseman Terry Ball was born on Nov. 29, 1944 in Selkirk, Manitoba.


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