Through the efforts of a man named Ed Snyder, the City of Philadelphia was one of the citys awarded a franchise in the National Hockey Leagues first expansion, in 1967. Also joining the Flyers were Oakland, Los Angeles, St Louis, Pittsburgh and Minnesota. The hockey rink construction started in June of 1966 and was completed 15 months later. The "Spectrum" stands at Broad Street and Pattison Avenue in the fine "City of Brotherly Love".
The first general manager of the team was Norman "Bud" Poile and Keith Allen was named as the first head coach. Together these men had the job of laying the corner stones for the franchise. Alex Davidson was hired as their chief scout. These three men along with Marcel Pelletier attended the NHL draft on June 6, 1967. They had to select 20 players for this new team. The Flyers and the five other new teams in the league had to draw lots to form the order of draft selection. Poile and his staff were to select second in the draft.
Poile's first selection, in the goaltender category, was a 22 year old French Canadian named Bernie Parent, from the Boston Bruins. With his second pick, again in the goaltender category, was another Boston Bruin, named Doug Favell. Poile and his staff had passed on Glenn Hall and Eddie Johnston to obtain these 2 young prospects.
The Flyers continued to draft player for their new team. They drafted players such as, Ed VanImpe, John Miszuk, Joe Watson, Dick Cherry, Jean Gauthier, Brit Selby, Gary Dornhoefer, Leon Rochefort, Forbes Kennedy, Keith Wright, Bob Courcy, Don Blackburn, Pat Hannigan, Dwight Carruthers, and Lou Angotti who became the first ever captain of the Flyers. Poile's next task was to sign all of his new players to contracts. He did this fast and efficiently and had 19 players signed and ready for the start of the season.
The Philadelphia Flyers played their first official regular season NHL game on October 11, 1967 against another first year team, the Oakland Seals at Oakland losing 5-1. They proceeded to Los Angeles, another first year team, and lost to the Kings 4-2. Their next game took them to yet another first year team, to St Louis to play the Blues. In this their third game, Ed Hoekstra, a vetern minor-league player who made the team, scored the game winning goal in the franchises first win a 2-1 decision.
On the very next night, October 19, 1967, Bill Sutherland, pounced on a rebound and shot the puck over a fallen Les Binkley, scoring the game winning goal against the Pittsburg Penguins giving the Flyers a 1-0 victory and their first ever win at the Spectrum. Doug Favell, goaltender for the Flyers that day, recorded the first ever Flyers shut-out. With a seating capacity of 14,558, ticket sales only totaled 7,812.
The Flyers true test would come when they had to play the original six teams. That first test came against the Detroit Red Wings in which they lost 3-1. One week later, they traveled to the Montreal Form to play the mighty Montreal Canadians. The results shocked the hockey world as Leon Rochefort records the first ever hat trick for the Flyers in this 4-1 win at Montreal, on November 4, 1967.
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