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The Philadelphia Flyers were awarded a franchise as part of the 1967 NHL expansion to many peoples surprise, as the nearby city of Baltimore were considered to be the front-runners most likely to be given the franchise.
When instructed by the owners to build a team around toughness General Manager Bud Poile selected Bobby Clarke with their second draft pick, 17th overall, in the 1969 NHL Amateur Draft. The team also went on to draft future enforcer Dave Schultz 52nd overall.
Clarke became an immediate fan favorite for his style of play and offensive abilities, scoring 15 goals and 31 assists in his rookie season. Then in 1971-72 he became the first Flyer to win an NHL award, recieving the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
By the 1972-73 season the Flyers had evolved from a mediocre expansion team to a team that was to be feared, they had earned a reputation for themselves as the Broad Street Bullies.
In 1972-73, Bobby Clarke became the youngest player in NHL history to be named team captain, and he didnt dissapoint, winning the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHLs Most Valuable Player. That season also saw Rick MacLeish became the first Flyer to score 50 goals as the Flyers recorded their first winning season.
For the 1973/74 season the Flyers brought back the goalie who had been the teams netminder in their inaugural season, Bernie Parent. Parents stellar goaltending behind the rough and tough play of the Broadstreet Bullies propelled the team to a franchise best record of 50–16–12. Parent shared the Vezina Trophy honours that year with Chicago Blackhawks goalie Tony Esposito.
In 1974, the Flyers became the first non-Original Six team after expansion to win the Stanley Cup. They defended their championship in 1975 but despite five return trips to the Stanley Cup Finals since then, they have not been able to win another.
In the 1974-75 campaign, the Flyers Dave Schultz managed to better his previous season total of 348 minutes to set an NHL record for penalty minutes with 472.
In 1974/75, The Flyers bettered their previous seasons best all-time points total with a record of 51-13-16. The LCB line, featuring Reggie Leach at right-wing, Clarke at center, and Bill Barber at left-wing, set an NHL record for goals by a single line with 141 (Leach 61, Clarke 30, Barber 50). Clarke also won his third Hart Trophy, setting a club record for points in one season with 119.
The Flyers set a new record for North American professional sports teams going undefeated for a record 35 straight games (25-0-10) during the 1979-80 season. The team had a strong preformance in the playoffs but ultimately lost to the New York Islanders in the Stanley Cup finals.
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