Does Schultz belong in Flyers' Hall of Fame?

Dave Schultz sits in the penalty box of the Wachovia Spectrum. He will be inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame on Monday. (Alejandro A. Alvarez / Staff Photographer)


    Dave Schultz, who epitomized the Broad Street Bullies' era in the mid 1970s, will be inducted into the Flyers’ Hall of Fame before Monday’s game against New Jersey at the Wachovia Center.
     Is the honor justified?
     That was the hot debate in the press box the other day, and the answers were mixed.
     Based on his numbers alone, Schultz clearly does not deserve to be in the team's Hall of Fame. He only played four full seasons with the Flyers and averaged about 13 goals per year.
    Schultz, a brawling left winger, led the league in penalty minutes during three of those seasons _ and he still holds the NHL record for time in the box in one year (472 minutes in 1974-75).
    He even cut a record (remember 45s?) to memorialize his time in the penalty box.
    So, based on his numbers, Schultz is an undeserving HOF member.
    But here’s why he belongs: He helped give the Flyers an identity that was loved in Philadelphia and loathed around North America.
     Whether or not you liked his style, he helped put the Flyers on the map and made opponents fear coming to the Spectrum. Many a player mysteriously became ill _ the “Philadelphia flu” it was called _ because they didn’t want to go on the ice against Schultz and the Flyers.
    Schultz also had a little talent; he scored 20 goals in one of his four seasons, and he netted the game-winner in overtime in the clinching game against the Atlanta Flames in the 1974 quarterfinals _ propelling the Flyers to their first Cup.
    He was far from a great player. He was a character and a character guy _ and those guys are needed just as much as the Bobby Clarkes, Bernie Parents, Reggie Leaches, Bill Barbers and Rick MacLeishes.
    You can argue that the Flyers would not have won any Cups if Schultz wasn’t on the club.
   So, yes, I think he belongs in the team’s Hall of Fame. Let me know what you think.
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  Notes. The Flyers shelled Martin Brodeur earlier this season, but the Devils' legend has recovered and will lead NJ into the Wachovia Center Monday, when it will try to to equal an NHL record by starting a season with 10 straight road wins.....Claude Giroux has seven assists but just one goal in 16 games; he had nine goals in 42 games as a rookie last season. Coach John Stevens will move Giroux back to center in Monday's game, with Darroll Powe and Arron Asham as his wingers. Giroux had been shifted to RW earlier in the season....James van Riemsdyk, the Flyers' impressive rookie, will return to the lineup Monday after missing the last game with the flu…..NHL general managers will form a committee that could take a stronger stance on head shots for next season. A hit Mike Richards delivered to the head of Florida’s David Booth last month seems to be the impetus for the committee, which will report its findings in March.