Consider this sequence:
On May 8, 1967 the Flyers purchased the independent Quebec Aces (AHL), giving them tremendous depth in all areas heading into the draft. Among the players purchased that day were Andre Lacroix, Simon Nolet and Jean-Guy Gendron (who at times became an entire line for the Flyers during their expansion years).
On June 6, 1967 the Flyers had the best draft of all the 6 expansion teams, highlighted by selections of Bernie Parent, Ed Van Impe, Joe Watson and Gary Dornhoefer.
On June 7, 1967 the Flyers held the 5th overall pick in the Entry (then called Amateur) draft. Now this was during the transition period when most of the good young junior players were already protected by the 6 established teams under something called the “sponsorship” program. A kid who signed any kind of form (there were many) belonged to his NHL team from the time he was in his early teens until they decided he was no longer needed or was used for trade.
There were 12 picks in the 1967 first round, and because of the sponsorship program only one of them played in an NHL game. Serge Bernier. He became a quality NHL player and then a star in the WHA, scoring 78 NHL goals and adding 230 goals in the WHA.
Philadelphia Flyers, from the beginning, have been a well run hockey team.
Big win for the Oilers yesterday afternoon and they’re certainly in the middle of the NW mix at this point in the season. Although Minnesota and Calgary lead the division with 15 points (4 clear of the Oilers) it’s also true that the Wild haven’t yet played a division rival (source: tsn) and the Flames have played double the number of home games enjoyed by Edmonton.
If the Oilers can stay close during this ridiculous early season schedule it bodes well for later on when they’ll be at home more often than the other NW teams. Also positive is Dwayne Roloson’s play, in fact if this trend continues he could pass Mathieu Garon as the team’s #1 goalie.
Denis Grebeshkov is a question mark for today’s game, with Jason Strudwick able to step in if needed and Theo Peckham a phonecall away (Springfield can’t be far from Philadelphia).
This will be a tough game for the Oilers. The Flyers have won 4 in a row, their best players are kicking the daylights out of the other side (Mike Richards has 13 points, Jeff Carter 8 goals and Simon Gagne 7 goals) and the Oilers never play well on Sunday afternoon.
I liked their effort yesterday though, so won’t predict an L. If they can keep it close and stay out of the penalty box (Flyers have some silly good players) maybe they’ll steal one in a town still drunk from winning the WS.
The odds of both Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner leaving this game scoreless are not high, they’ll cash in soon.