Bob “The Hound” Kelly sacrificed his body for hockey, at a time when sport was “completely different”. If he can not teach certain ways of doing Broad Street Bullies in Philadelphia, he tries to explain to young pee-wee the virtues of hard work.
Combining exceptional tenacity and the typical sturdiness of the Flyers of the mid-1970s, Bob Kelly made a name for himself in the town of Rocky Balboa, where he helped the Flyers win two consecutive Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975.
With 1454 minutes of career punishment and a victorious goal in the 1975 final, eliminating the Buffalo Sabers, the left winger has secured a place among the legends of the franchise, alongside stars such as Bobby Clarke For points), Dave Schultz (for fists), or Bill Barber, Rick MacLeish and Reggie Leach.
Recruited in 2003 by former owner Ed Snider, who died last April, Kelly now works with the Flyers organization as an ambassador. He visits the arenas and goes to meet the supporters, a way for him to give back to the community.
He is here this week at the Quebec Pee-Wee International Hockey Tournament, where he brings his experience behind the AAA-class bench.
He who stirred a lot of air on the ice, with his hair in the wind, obviously can not show the youngsters a style of play that is practically over.
“With my [offensive] skills, I would not have been long in the market today,” he said on Sunday before the small Flyers game.
True, the 5’10 ” and 200-pound striker is not known for his offensive flair – although he has scored 362 points in 837 games – but rather for his tireless skating and the speed of his Jabs.
“No need to fight”
In a portrait posted on the National Hockey League website, Kelly, a native of Oakville, Ontario, unequivocally states that he “never lost a fight in the junior” with the Oshawa Generals. In this same portrait, the Flyers’ house advertiser of the time says that the only way to stop Kelly was Kelly himself, when he “came into contact with an opponent.”
Hockey is “much nicer these days,” Kelly said on Sunday. “Before, we hated each other. There was a real hatred between us [the teams]. […] Today, there is no more intimidation, you no longer need to fight and you can no longer verbally abuse others. Schultz has brought this a bit far and it is living proof that the control of anger was not for him …! ”
Having evolved in a “very different” era, he maintains that to have played at that time remains the pinnacle. “I started playing and there were only 12 teams. I found myself on the same ice rink as the Frank Mahovlich, Henri Richard. […] It can not be bigger than that for me. “He also remembers the duels against the Canadian and a certain Larry Robinson.
But one thing remains constant in hockey, despite “technology” and the incredible physical shape of the players. “The ultimate goal of any hockey player is to win the Stanley Cup. If you do not win the cup, you have accomplished nothing, “he said. The path to be taken is different in 2017, but everything starts from work and the will, according to him.
In addition to Kelly, Simon Gagne is another NHL veteran behind the small Flyers bench. The team lost to the Buffalo Sabers on Sunday, however, by 4-1. Kelly, Gagne and the Flyers will be at Charlesbourg Arpidrome Wednesday at 12:30 pm.