Fantasy Camp: Kelly Still Passionate About Sharing Love of Hockey


Earlier this year, Bob "the Hound" Kelly played his final game as a member of the Flyers Alumni team. That does not mean, however, that the Hound will not remain an active part of the Flyers Alumni Association. His passion for people and sharing his love of hockey burns as brightly as ever in his role as the Philadelphia Flyers' "Ambassador of Hockey" and as one of the driving forces behind the annual Flyers Alumni Fantasy Camp, which is now in its third year.


"We've had a tremendous response  every year to the Fantasy Camp, and great feedback from the participants afterwards about their experience at our camp. They have a good time at the camp, on and off the ice, and so do we [Flyers Alumni]," Kelly said.


"We've had participants come from far away, and some who aren't necessarily Flyers fan, But most of the participants are Flyers fans who have supported us for many years. Whatever their background is, or their previous experience playing hockey, they are enthusiastic. It's fun working with them on the ice, and especially during the Flyers Fantasy Cup tournament we do at the end. We also get to socialize together off the ice, make new friends and see old friends. too." 


The 2017 Flyers Alumni Fantasy Camp will be held on Aug. 18-21, benefiting the Flyers Alumni Association and Flyers Charities. Participants will stay at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino and the on-ice activities will be at the Skate Zone in Atlantic City (transportation will be provided). In addition to Kelly, prticipating Alumni instructor/coaches include Hockey Hall of Famers Mark Howe and Bernie Parent, Danny Briere, Dave Poulin, Brian Boucher, Brad Marsh, Ian Laperriere, and Joe Watson. 


In March, the 66-year-old Kelly played in his final "official" Flyers Alumni Team game, suiting up for the squad's 8-6 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins' Alumni team and nearly scoring a goal (the would-be tally was disallowed after ther referee ruled that the puck was kicked in off Kelly's skate). The following week, in an "unofficial" friendly game between the Flyers Alumni and the Wills Towers Watson team, Kelly participated and scored a goal.


It may not have been the equal of his Stanley Cup winning goal in the third period of Game 6 of the 1975 Final against the Buffalo Sabres but every time on the ice has always been special to Kelly. He has always understood that there would come a day when he wasn't playing anymore, whether it was in the NHL or in Alumni games.


"Time waits for nobody, and it's time to pass the torch to the younger guys," Kelly said before the game in Reading. "Nowadays, the guys who played in the 80s are the 'old guys'. With Alumni games, fans come out and want to see a good show and you owe that to them. There comes a point where your body won't let you do that anymore." 


Nevertheless, Kelly's passion for joining with fellow Alumni and interacting with Flyers fans is unwavering. He is looking forward to year three of the Fantasy Camp and beyond.  


For more information and registration details for the 2017 Flyers Alumni Fantasy Camp, click here