Kadlec to be Inducted into S. Jersey Sports Hall of Fame



This year is Joe Kadlec’s 60th year of involvement in hockey around the Delaware Valley. It will be capped off by his much-deserved induction in the All Sports Museum of Southern New Jersey’s Hall of Fame on Feb. 24, 2018.


Kadlec started out in 1957-58 as a stick boy for the Philadelphia Ramblers minor league team in the old Eastern Hockey League (EHL). Later, as a sports writer, he covered the Cherry Hill-based Jersey Devils in 1965-66 while working for the Philadelphia Daily News.


Kadlec was hired by Flyers vice president Lou Scheinfeld before the inaugural 1967-68 season and has been part of the organization in various capacities ever since. Kadlec for many years was the Flyers director of public relations, team and fan services and still works with the Flyers to this day.


“Joe was and is a lifelong Flyer,” Holmgren said. “His journey has taken him from stick boy to director of team services. He was dedicated to helping players and coaches with whatever their needs were. To this day, Joe is still a wonderful ambassador for the organization.”


Over the course of a half century, the Flyers have developed a reputation for being one of the most media-friendly and fan-friendly organizations not just in the National Hockey League but anywhere in professional sports. Much of this is owed not only to the way that Ed Snider prioritized these facets of operating the organization he co-founded but also to Joe Kadlec and others for the way they were put into day-to-day practice.


“Bringing Joe K. on board in the beginning from the Daily News after I left the paper to join the Flyers was one of the best moves I ever made,” Scheinfeld recalls. “He's been a solid contributor to the Flyers success and a great friend to this day. Joe keeps amazing records and is still the go-to Google Guy for anyone who needs info about the early days.”


During the Flyers’ landmark 1976 meeting with CSKA (Red Army) and subsequent games against Russian teams, Kadlec was called upon to be a liaison between the NHL and Russian contingent. Later, the NHL called upon Kadlec to serve in a similar capacity for the 1979 Challenge Cup and Rendezvous ’87. Along the way, Kadlec not only gained life experiences but also made new friendships.


“I’ve gotten to know some of the Russian players over the years, especially Vladislav Tretiak in 1976 and Igor Larionov, from the 1983 NHL-Russian series. “I was always glad for the opportunity to get to know Tretiak from when we went shopping for clothes in Cherry Hill.  I got to catch up with Tretiak at Rendezvous 87 and Igor at Fred Shero’s Hockey Hall of Fame induction in Toronto,” Kadlec recalls.


He was not, however, on site at the Spectrum during the most infamous moment the first Flyers vs. CSKA game in 1976: coach Konstantin Loktev pulling his team from the ice in protest of a hard open-ice check by defenseman Ed Van Impe on the late Red Army star forward Valeri Kharlamov.


“I missed the Russians leaving the ice because I had gone over the nearby Hilton Hotel, where we had been staying. I left some VIP passes for after the game in my room. I’m on my floor and I heard the maids in the hallway saying the Russians had left the ice. I rushed down stairs and had police rush me back to the Spectrum,” Kadlec recounts.

Well-respected by not only players and fellow Flyers employees but universally appreciated by the local, national and international hockey media for his cheerful demeanor, prompt responsiveness, and the knowledgeable caring touch he brought to his job – no matter which hat he was wearing for the Flyers organization at a given time – Joe Kadlec has built a sterling legacy of his own while always placing the focus on the hockey team and Flyers organization.


“The Flyers have always been a family and Joe has been a big part of it from the very beginning. Speaking from the standpoint of a player, he always went the extra mile for any one of us as well as for management and for the media. There aren’t a lot of people who are pretty much unanimously held in such high regard as Joe has been by everyone who has had the pleasure to deal with him. I’m thrilled for him to be recognized like this,” said Brad Marsh, the president of the Flyers Alumni Association.