Dave Schultz gave a heartfelt speech when he went into the Flyers' Hall of Fame prior to Monday's game against New Jersey at the Wachovia Center.
Here it is:
“I left 33 years ago, and I am coming back to stay. Thank you to the people that voted for me so that I could receive this great honor. I am certainly joining great company tonight - three Hockey Hall of Famers, my former teammates, Bob Clarke, Bill Barber and Bernie Parent. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here tonight.
"Same goes for our General Manager Keith Allen. He drafted me, he saw my talents and my skills, and he sent me to the minor leagues, to the Eastern Hockey League. The Eastern Hockey League changed my life. It changed the way I played the game.
"That brings me to my coach Fred Shero. He was the major reason I was able to do what I did. He recognized something in me. He encouraged me, he guided me. He taught me the importance of the team, and to care about my team and my teammates.
"And to my teammates, particularly my line mates Orest Kindrachuk and Don Saleski, and to Bob Kelly, my partner in crime and great friend, who helped us become the toughest team in the National Hockey League. Together we proved toughness and hard work, complimented by great talent, was the key for success.
"So I thank all of my teammates for all of their great memories.
"I thank Mr. Ed Snider for his phenomenal leadership and allowing me to come back to the Flyers organization forever.
"Thank you to Peter Luukko, John Page and the whole Flyers organization. A special thanks to an original in the Flyers organization - Joe Kadlec.
"I thank my family and my friends, my mother back in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, who would say to me, ‘Dave, do you have to fight so much, I’m afraid you are going to get hurt.’
"And to my family who came here from Saskatoon and Regina, Saskatchewan and Calgary, Alberta - my three sisters Barb, Janet, and Glenda.
"To my two wonderful sons, Chad and Brett, and their wonderful mother Cathy, who all live in the Philadelphia area, and love this place as much as I do.
"And to two special family members, my Dad. My Dad came here at the start of the ’74 and’75 playoffs, and he never left until we carried the Stanley Cup down Broad Street. And to my brother, Ray, who loved Philadelphia as he was a member of the championship Philadelphia Firebirds. Although my Dad and Ray are no longer with us, I know they are looking down on us and smiling tonight.
"But most of all thank you to the fans. Philadelphia Flyers fans are the greatest! I love you all! I never had a bad day in Philadelphia. Flyers fans have always been absolutely wonderful and caring.
"Coach Fred Shero wrote on May 19th, 1974, ‘Win today and we’ll walk together forever.’ At the time, he was talking about my teammates and I. But I realize now that he was talking about all of us.
"Thank you for this great honor. For me, this is as good as it gets.
"Good Luck and God Bless the Philadelphia Flyers!”
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Claude Giroux was moved back to center for Monday's game against New Jersey _ and it paid early dividends as he set up the game's first goal and later added an assist on a power-play tally as the Fleyers prevailed, 3-2..
Flyers coach John Stevens likes using the creative Giroux at center because it allows him to get more involved in the offense.
Giroux, who has just one goal this season, had recently been playing at right wing on a line with Mike Ricards and Scott Hartnell.
On Monday, he centered wingers Darroll Powe and Arron Asham. Giroux took a pass from Asham and whippped a clever backhander to Powe, who knocked it past Martin Brodeur early in the first period. It was Powe's sixth goal _ equaling the number of goals he scored in 60 games last season.
“He’s a talented player. He creates open ice, and all you have to do is go to the net, and he’s going to find you," Powe said. "He’s good with the puck in open ice, and being in the middle gives him a lot more room to maneuver.”
The Flyers took a 1-0 lead into the second period. The Devils applied lots of pressure in the opening period, but Ray Emery made 14 saves. Scott Hartnell's power-play goal 44 seconds into the second period made it 2-0.
New Jersey, which was trying to equal an NHL record by starting the season with 10 straight road wins, got to within 2-1 on David Clarkson's power-play goal with a little over four minutes left in the middle period.
James van Riemsdyk and the Devils' Zach Parise traded third-period goals, the latter coming with one second left.
While growing up in Central Jersey and playing pickup street hockey, van Riemsdyk used to daydream about scoring on Martin Brodeur, the Devils' legendary goalie.
“Yeah, there definitely was a time or two thinking about that with the stick out on the driveway with my brother, and you always kind of relive scoring goals against guys like that," he said. "So it’s pretty cool to get one on the ice.”