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Watson speaks at Colgate University

by Zack Hill / Philadelphia Flyers

Reminiscent of Thornton Melon (portrayed by Rodney Dangerfield) in the movie “Back to School”, former Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Joe Watson went back to college with his son, Ryan.

Sort of.

Following Colgate University’s thrilling 5-4 overtime win vs. Clarkson in men’s ice hockey, Watson was the guest speaker at the Colgate Hockey Silver Puck Banquet held at the Hall of Presidents on the campus of Colgate University on December 1.

For 25 minutes, Watson entertained the crowd of 250, including the men’s ice hockey team, parents, university alumni and Colgate University President Jeffrey Herbst.

“I was both humbled and honored to speak at Colgate,” Watson said. “Ryan is a Colgate graduate (’98) so when I was asked to speak at his alma mater I happily accepted. It was a great experience and especially rewarding with my son in attendance.”

Introduced by the Raiders men’s ice hockey head coach Don Vaughan, Watson spoke about his life growing up in Smithers, British Columbia, his NHL playing career and the three “D’s”, dedication, discipline and desire.

“I’ve always enjoyed visiting the campus at Colgate. My son got a great education there. It was a wonderful experience to talk to those attending about my life. Hopefully it can help propel some of the students on to bigger and better things as athletes or in the business world after they graduate.”

At the conclusion of the banquet, Vaughan presented Watson with a framed portrait of the university’s landscape and a Colgate reading lamp.

In 11 seasons with the Flyers (1967-68 through 1977-78), Watson recorded 36 goals and 162 assists for 198 points and 397 penalty minutes in 746 regular season games.

Watson's 746 games as Flyers are the second-most among Flyers defensemen. He was inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame on Feb. 22, 1996.

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