Skip to main content

HHOF members highlight Classic alumni rosters

by Adam Kimelman
Six members of the Hockey Hall of Fame will lace up the skates when alumni from the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers take the ice for the 2012 NHL Winter Classic Alumni Game.

The game will be played at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31, on the same outdoor rink at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park that will host the 2012 NHL Winter Classic on Monday, Jan. 2.

Among those playing for the Flyers will be Hall of Famers Bob Clarke and Bill Barber, who will reunite with linemate Reggie Leach to re-form the LCB Line, which combined for 141 goals and 322 points in the 1975-76 season.

Clarke believes it will be the first time the trio -- which led the Flyers to the 1975 Stanley Cup and back to the Cup Finals in 1976 and 1980 -- will be on the ice together since Leach left the Flyers after the 1982 season.

"Reggie hasn't lived (in the Philadelphia area) for a while," Clarke told, "and Billy, because of his knee, he never played any alumni games. I don't know if we have since we quit playing.

"A lot of great memories we had as a threesome. I think it'll be a neat reunion. But I think it'll be just as neat to sit in the locker room with one another."

Joining Clarke, Barber and Leach for the alumni game from that 1975 Cup team will be teammates Bob Kelly, Orest Kindrachuk, Larry Goodenough and Joe Watson.

Other former Flyers of recent vintage to take the ice will be Mark Recchi, who retired in June after winning the Stanley Cup with the Bruins, but who spent 10 of his 22 NHL seasons with the Flyers; Hart Trophy winner Eric Lindros; three-time 50-goal scorer John LeClair; and 500-goal scorer Jeremy Roenick.

Among the defensemen on the roster are 2011 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Mark Howe, Derian Hatcher, Eric Desjardins and Chris Therien.

"This game is really about the fans," Therien, who played 11 seasons for the Flyers and currently is the team's radio analyst, told "It's about giving back to the fans, letting them experience some of the generations they've watched over the years. And it's an opportunity to really rekindle some relationships with some of the former players I played with, guys I've known around the organization. I think it's one the fans look like they're all excited about, and rightfully so. I think it’s a really good time. I know the players involved are all equally excited."

Therien said one of the selling points to him will be reuniting with Desjardins, who he formed a strong pairing with together during most the decade they spent as teammates.

"Having the chance to lace them up with my old partner, Desjardins, which is going to be just a great experience," he said. "I'm going to try not to let him down too much. But it'll be a nice chance in a unique setting to play with a guy who I spent so many years with and respected so much."

Mark LaForest and Neil Little will be in goal for the Flyers.

Pat Quinn, who coached the Flyers to the 1980 Stanley Cup Final, will coach the Flyers' alumni team, with Mike Nykoluk and Keith Primeau serving as assistants.

Hall of Famer Glenn Anderson, who won the last of his six Stanley Cups with the 1994 Rangers, will be on the ice, as will his teammate on that Cup winner, Hall of Fame defenseman Brian Leetch. They'll be joined by forwards Adam Graves and Stephane Matteau from that championship team.

Also skating for the Rangers will be Hall of Famer Mike Gartner; forwards Ron Duguay, Nick Fotiu and Ron Greschner; and defensemen Dave Maloney and Mathieu Schneider.

The notably absent Mark Messier has not officially committed to participate because he will be having shoulder surgery in early December. He hopes to be ready to play in time for the game.

Mike Keenan, who was behind the bench when the Rangers ended their 54-year Cup drought in 1994, will coach the alumni team, with Emile Francis and Colin Campbell as his assistants.

John Vanbiesbrouck -- who also played for the Flyers -- and Dan Blackburn will split time in goal.

The Rangers' website is reporting goaltender Mike Richter is speaking with doctors and hopes to receive medical clearance to play in the game.

Three other members of the Hockey Hall of Fame -- Rod Gilbert, Eddie Giacomin and Harry Howell -- will serve as off-ice ambassadors for the Rangers. Hall of Famer Bernie Parent, along with Don Saleski and Dave Schultz, with serve as off-ice ambassadors for the Flyers.

Clarke said there were a few Rangers he was looking forward to seeing, among them Gilbert, his teammate from the 1972 Summit Series, and Nick Fotiu, a teammate in Philadelphia. He also was looking forward to seeing some of the players he watched from afar as a GM, like Leetch and Graves.

"Basically we're just old hockey players now," he said. "Doesn't matter when you retired. Once you're retired, you're just an old hockey player."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

Bill Barber Glenn Anderson
Terry Carkner Dan Blackburn
Bob Clarke Paul Broten
Eric Desjardins    Ron Duguay
Jim Dowd Nick Fotiu
Larry Goodenough Mike Gartner
Derian Hatcher Adam Graves
Al Hill Ron Greschner
Mark Howe Pat Hickey
Bob Kelly Darius Kasparaitis
Orest Kindrachuk Kris King
Mark LaForest    Nick Kypreos
John LeClair Tom Laidlaw
Reggie Leach Darren Langdon
Eric Lindros Brian Leetch
Ken Linseman Dave Maloney
Neil Little Stephane Matteau
Brad Marsh Brian Mullen
Shjon Podein Dale Purinton
Dave Poulin Mathieu Schneider
Brian Propp Darren Turcotte
Mark Recchi John Vanbiesbrouck
Jeremy Roenick
Kjell Samuelsson COACHING STAFF
Chris Therien Mike Keenan
Rick Tocchet Emile Francis
Joe Watson Colin Campbell
Pat Quinn Rod Gilbert
Mike Nykoluk Eddie Giacomin
Keith Primeau Harry Howell
Dave Schultz
Don Saleski
Bernie Parent
View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.