Former New York Ranger Ted Irvine still remembers the first time he crossed paths with Flyers great Dave Schultz, and he did not look forward to it.
Irvine was a guest on “Talk is Jericho,” a podcast hosted by WWE superstar Chris Jericho, and the two talked about some old time hockey from the 1960s and ‘70s.
For those who don’t know, Irvine is Jericho’s father. Jericho’s real name is Chris Irvine.
Among the many topics brought up about that specific era of hockey, Irvine talked about his first encounter with “The Hammer.”
“I was playing for the New York Rangers and I had fought a little bit the year before and in the game at Madison Square Garden a scrum broke out in front of the net and in those days you grabbed somebody and I happened to grab Schultz and he says, ‘Irvine I’m up from the minors, I’m here to make a reputation and I’m starting with you.’ So I started to cry. I said, ‘Grab that other guy over there. I don’t want to fight you.’”
“He dropped his so gloves quick that you had to be ready … he’s one of the better fighters of that time,” he added.
Schultz wasn’t the only Broad Street Bully that drew the ire of Irvine back in the day. Irvine had some harsh feelings toward captain Bobby Clarke as well, but ultimately respected him for his skill level and his competitiveness.
“I hated him,” Irvine said. “He was miserable, but I wish he was on my team a couple times.”
“He was just so chippy,” Irvine added. “He’d spear you and chop you. You look at him with no teeth and you just didn’t like him because he was such a winner and such a competitor. You knew that if you could get to him you had a chance of beating Philadelphia. You never got close to him. He was just a performer. He was just a heck of a hockey player.”
Irvine admitted that it was not easy to go up against the Broad Street Bullies back in the day. As if the players on the ice weren’t enough, Irvine said the overall atmosphere of a Flyers home game at the old Spectrum was enough put fear in the hearts of opposing players as well.
“When you went in to Philadelphia in the old days, you went down a ramp there the fans rocked your bus,” Irvine said. “You had no overhang when you came out of your dressing room so people poured beer on you and popcorn on you. In warm-ups there was always the fear of a fight. The referees stood at the end of the rink. That was in the ‘70s. You knew something was going to happen. A lot of guys in the league got what’s called ‘road flu.’ When you went into Philadelphia, you got up in the morning saying, ‘I’m not feeling too good today, coach. I don’t think I want to play.’”
“Schultz and those guys in Philly were loaded for bear before you even got to the game.”
To listen to the full interview Jericho and his father, click HERE.