A Great 2017-18, Big Things Ahead in 2018-19

 
The 2017-18 year seemed to fly by very quickly. That's a good thing! It was a busy year for the Flyers Alumni Association, and 2018-19 will be even busier. We have our usual slate of events planned, plus some new things that we are working to add. We define success by three key elements.
 
1) Fundraising: How well are we supporting our beneficiaries? How does it compare to recent years? 
 
2) Participation and engagement: For the long-term success of our organization, it is vital to have not just older Alumni active but also to get younger Alumni engaged not just in occasional participation in our signature events but also within the Delaware Valley community as leaders for the future.
 
3) Public awareness: The Alumni do not seek publicity for our work, per se, but the more public attention that our activities receive (whether our fundraising events, community work or hockey games in small and large venues), the more likely the financial side and Alumni engagement sides are to remain strong.
 
I am proud to say that we have been trending in positive directions in all three areas in recent years. That continued over the past year. Following are just some of the highlights of what the Alumni have been up to, off the ice and on the ice. 
 
BRAD MARSH
Flyers Alumni Association President
 
 
FLYERS ALUMNI SIGNATURE EVENTS
 
The lifeblood of the Flyers Alumni Association is the success of our annual signature events, which are crucial to supporting our organization's primary beneficiaries, including the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation and BLOCS, as well as the health of our not-for-profit organization. 
 
1) 2018 CDW Flyers Alumni Golf Invitational: This year's golf tournament took place on June 28, 2018 at the DuPont Golf Club in Wilmington.  Heading into this year's event, we raised approximately $750,000 over the last five years. It is also our most widely participated-in event each year among a multi-generational group of Flyers Alumni. 
 
Last year, at a special pregame event at the Wells Fargo Center on Oct. 17, 2017, we were able to present checks to Snider Hockey for $150,000 and to BLOCS for $36,000. A similar thank you event involving our major sponsors, will take place this fall. 
 
Participating Alumni at the 2018 Golf event included: Terry Carkner, Mitch LamoureuxBrian Propp, Brad MarshDanny BriereDoug CrossmanPaul HolmgrenDave BrownOrest KindrachukLindsay CarsonSteve CoatesRoss FitzpatrickNeil LittleChris TherienLou NolanEd "Boxcar" HospodarBob KellyJohn LeClair, Bill BarberBernie ParentJim WatsonTim KerrGary DornhoeferReggie LeachDon SaleskiTodd Fedoruk, Ruslan FedotenkoLarry GoodenoughAndre Faust, Bob ClarkeJesse BoulericeRic NattressFrank BatheRiley CoteDarroll PoweTerry MurrayDaryl Stanley and Guy Delparte.
 
At this year's event, the Alumni welcomed special guest Ryan Straschnitzki, a survivor of the horrific Humboldt Broncos team bus accident and named the young defenseman an honorary member of the Flyers Alumni Team. Ryan, who was undergoing treatment at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia, has since returned to ice, playing sledge hockey. 
 
2) 2018 Flyers Alumni Fantasy Hockey Camp: 2018 marked the fourth year of the annual Flyers Alumni Fantasy Camp in Atlantic City, NJ.Every camp to date has sold out all spots months in advance of the event. Proceeds benefit the Flyers Alumni Association and the organizations we support.
 
Participants come from all across the U.S. and Canada and they have widely varying levels of previous hockey experience, ranging from first-time players and rec league dabblers to some who've played at more advanced levels. 
 
The Flyers Alumni Camp program is directed by Bob "the Hound" Kelly, who serves as the Flyers' Ambassador of Hockey, along with Rob Baer, the organization's Youth and Amateur Hockey Manager. Courtesy of Toyota, we presented two free camp registration spots to members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
 
This year’s Flyers Alumni instructors/coaches consisted of Mark HoweBill BarberDanny BriereKeith JonesBrad MarshAndre “Moose” DupontJoe WatsonIan Laperriere and Bob Kelly.
 
Special thanks go out our Alumni Fantasy Camp sponsors and tournament  team namesakes  CDW, Labatt, River Rock Academy and Toyota.
 
3) Toyota Flyers Charity Classic: Organized in conjunction with Flyers Charities, the FCC is a one-day event featuring a 5k walk and run, 10 mile family bike ride, 50 and 100km bike rides. Proceeds benefit Flyers Charities and the Flyers Alumni Association. 
 
The 2017 FCC had 1,402 participants, the 2018 event grew to 1,704 participants. Nineteen Flyers Alumni participated in the 2018 event, and there were four different fundraising teams captained by Flyers Alumni.
 
Ides of Marsh: The largest team (132 participants) at the Charity Classic was captained by Brad Marsh and included members of the Marsh family, famed cyclist Floyd Landis , longtime Flyers Alumni trainer and equipment manager Dave Culp, and many more. 
 
Flyers Alumni Team: This team included Bob ClarkeBernie Parent, Danny BrierePaul HolmgrenJoe WatsonBob "the Hound" Kelly, Bill Clement, Dave  "the Hammer" SchultzKerry HuffmanIan LaperriereRiley Cote, Doug Crossman,Terry CarknerRyan Parent, and Neil Little
 
Bundy's Chariot of Flyers: Captained by Chris Therien, this team included members of the Therien family and famed local sportscaster Howard Eskin, among others.
 
Team Guffaw: Captained by Brian Propp, this team included members of Brian's family as well as his colleagues at WCRE. 
  
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FLYERS ALUMNI IN THE COMMUNITY, OFF-ICE AND ON-ICE
 
Each year, the Flyers Alumni assemble to volunteer our time for a variety of charitable organizations, including our annual holiday season trips to St. Francis Inn and St. John's Hospice. Additionally, we made a donation to Cityteam, in order to assist their efforts to make the holiday season brighter for impoverished families in Chester, PA.
 
For the second straight year, we participated in the Learn to Play Rookie Program. The program provides free head-to-toe hockey equipment and hockey instruction for young first-time players (ages 5 to 9). Flyers Alumni members Brad Marsh and Riley Cote served as special instructors for the Rookie Program this year,  Across the 31 participating NHL markets, the Delaware Valley ranked in the top three in terms of registration numbers.
 
The Flyers Alumni have also forged a close bond with the Philadelphia Flyers PowerPlay, the power wheelchair hockey team affiliated with the Flyers organization. The Flyers Alumni played several exhibition games against the PowerPlay and later presented a $2,500 check to the PowerPlay to help offset some of their cost related to the Powerhockey Cup Championship playoffs. The Flyers PowerPlay did everyone proud by bringing home the 2018 Powerhockey Cup, defeating teams from across the United States and Canada. 
 
Members of the Flyers Alumni were regular attendees at the Flyers Community Caravan events throughout the Delaware Valley during the summers of 2017 and 18. In addition to Marsh, who jointly serves as Flyers director of community development as well as Flyers Alumni Association president, this year's participants included Paul HolmgrenJim Watson, Bernie ParentTerry Carkner, Todd FedorukDoug CrossmanChris Therien,  Dave Schultz, Larry Goodenough and Bob Kelly.
 
 
Local Fundraising Games
 
Each hockey season between September and April, the Flyers Alumni Team plays in a series of fundraising hockey games at local rinks in southeast Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and portions of Delaware. The  Alumni Team's community game calendar and team management is directed under the auspices of Joe Watson. Our 2017-18 slate will be another busy one. 
 
Proceeds typically directly benefit selected charities or, alternatively, individual beneficiaries in need. Two examples:
 
Faceoff Against Cancer (FOAC) hockey tournament, with the proceeds going directly to selected local cancer patients and their families. The 2017 FOAC event, the fifth annual edition, raised  $78,000 bringing the 5 year total to almost $500,000.
 
 
Athletes Helping Athletes (AHA) benefit game.  The Athletes Helping Athletes program is one that provides access to sports and support for special-needs student athletes.  Over four years, the Alumni have helped raise $65,000 dollars.  
 
On Sept. 22, 2018 at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ, members of the Flyers Alumni will participate in the 3rd Annual WCRE Celebrity Charity Hockey Game. For the game, Brian Propp will be joined on the ice by Kjell SamuelssonBrad Marsh,  Todd FedorukDoug Crossman, and Andre Faust. Other participants include iconic Flyers public address announcer Lou Nolan as the emcee. Proceeds benefit the Flyers Alumni Association,, the Rowan Medicine CARES Institute, the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey, The Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter, the American Cancer Society, The Susan G. Komen Foundation of Philadelphia and the Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice.
 
 
 
 
ARENA/STADIUM GAMES
 
In 2018, the Flyers Alumni participated in two major arena/stadium games, opposing other notable alumni teams.
 
On January 19, 2018, the Flyers Alumni played the Hershey Bears Alumni in the Outdoor Alumni Classic game at Hersheypark Stadium as part of the countdown to the 2018 AHL Outdoor Classic pitting the Lehigh Valley Phantoms against the Hershey Bears. 
 
The Flyers Alumni team included Erlc LindrosJohn LeClairMikael RenbergDanny BriereBrian ProppArron AshamTodd FedorukDave BrownBob KellyRiley Cote, Kimmo TimonenBrad MarshJoe WatsonDoug CrossmanTerry CarknerJeff ChychrunLarry Goodenough, and goalies Rob Zepp and Neil Little. The coaches included Bill BarberBernie ParentPaul HolmgrenDarren Jensen and Al Hill.
 
The Hershey Bears Alumni roster also included several Flyers Alumni, including Vaclav "Vinny" ProspalMark Freer, AHL Hall of Famer Mitch Lamoureux, former Phantoms forward Dennis Bonvie and frequent Flyers Alumni Team member and AHL Hall of Fame goaltender Freddy Cassivi
 
On Feb. 17, 2018 at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, Maine, the Flyers Alumni played the Bruins Alumni in a celebration of the history of the Maine Mariners franchise and the launch of the new Comcast-Spectacor owned ECHL team by the same name. 
 
Participating Flyers Alumni in Maine included Danny BriereEric LindrosEric WeinrichPaul HolmgrenTerry MurrayFrank BatheDanny LucasSteve Tsujiura, Len HachbornBrad MarshRiley CoteRob Zepp, Joe Watson, Bob "the Hound" Kelly, Bob Corkum, and Andrew Alberts. Two-stint Flyers center Ken Linseman and longtime Flyers assistant coach Joe Mullen suited up for the Bruins.
 
 
 
FLYERS ALUMNI HEALTH PROGRAM
 
One of the key goals of the Flyers Alumni Association, along with serving the Delaware Valley Community, is to work on behalf of the well-being of our members. Last year, we unveiled the first facet of a major health initiative on behalf of Flyers Alumni: full access to the Executive Great Life Program at Jefferson Health’s Marcus Institute of Integrative Health. A second phase was launched in 2018.
 
The Great Life Program is an interdisciplinary and multi-faceted approach to helping people optimize their health and quality of life. In addition to the standard information gathering and examinations of a head-to-toe physical by a nurse and physician, the Marcus Institute program incorporates specialists in nutrition, exercise physiology and psychology.
 
The program which is customized to the needs of each individual patient is designed to:
  •  Discover potential health problems.
  •  Target, reduce or eliminate initial medical risk factors.
  • Foster comprehensive access to expert care for illnesses and/or injuries.
  • Promote wellness in nutrition, fitness, stress management and mental health.
 
FLYERS ALUMNI AWARDS AND HONORS
 
 
The Flyers Alumni Association extend our congratulations to the following members for the major personal honors and/or NHL head coaching opportunities bestowed upon them in 2017-18.
 
Eric Lindros: On Jan. 18, 2018, the Flyers retired Lindros' familiar No, 88 jersey.  Additionally, Eric received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Western University in 2018 during the university's 311th convocation ceremony.
 
Reggie Leach: The famed member of the LCB Line and co-holder of the NHL's single-year playoff goal-scoring record (19 goals in the 1976 Stanley Cup Playoffs) has been named among the Class of 2018 inductees to the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. The "Riverton Rifle's" induction ceremony will take place on Nov. 1 at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia. 
 
Tim Kerr: The prolific scoring power forward, who is the lone player in Flyers history to score 50+ goals in four straight seasons, was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of 
Fame on Nov. 2, 2017 as part of its Class of 2017.
 
Joe Kadlec: Longtime Flyers publicist Joe Kadlec, who has been involved in hockey in the Delaware Valley for 60 years, was inducted into the South Jersey Sports Hall of Fame on Feb. 24 in a special ceremony at the All-Sports Museum of Southern NJ.
 
Rod Brind'Amour: The Flyers Hall of Fame member was named the new head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes on June 8, 2018. It is Rod's first NHL head coaching opportunity after seven seasons as a Hurricanes assistant coach.
 
Jim Montgomery: A member of the Flyers in the mid-1990s as well a key player on the Calder Cup winning 1997-98 Philadelphia Phantoms, "Monty" was named head coach of the Dallas Stars on May 4, 2018. It is his first NHL head coaching opportunity after coaching the University of Denver to an NCAA national championship and the Dubuque Fighting Saints to two USHL championships.
 
 
 
HAPPY RETIREMENT, SIMON NOLET
 
A member of the Flyers organization for 35 years -- seven as a player (portions of the 1967-68 inaugural season to the 1973-74 Stanley Cup championship) and 28 seasons as a scout from 1990 to 2018 -- Simon Nolet recently retired. Simon will celebrate his 77th birthday on Sept. 23, 2018.
 
The Flyers acquired Nolet's rights on May 8, 1967 when they purchased the American Hockey League's Quebec Aces. A two-time 20-goal scorer during the early years of the Flyers franchise, Nolet dressed in 358 regular season games and 31 playoff tilts for Philadelphia over parts of seven seasons. Best known as a two-way forward with good skating ability, Nolet had 93 goals and 108 points for the Flyers. He was a member of the 1973-74 team that won the Stanley Cup.
 
Nolet, who had three career hat tricks, also represented the Flyers in the 1971-72 NHL All-Star Game. That season, Nolet tallied 23 goals and 43 points in a season limited by injury to 67 games.
 
With Nolet's role starting to diminish in his 30s, the Flyers left the French-Canadian forward exposed to the 1974 expansion draft. He was claimed by the Kansas City Scouts (who later twice relocated to become first the Colorado Rockies and then the New Jersey Devils). Nolet played out his career with the Scouts, Pittsburgh Penguins and Rockies.
 
After his playing days ended, Nolet returned to the Flyers in 1990 when he was hired as a scout after years of scouting for the Quebec Nordiques. It was a role at which he'd excel over the next quarter century. For many years, Nolet regularly scouted the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and did extensive cross-over work in various other junior leagues as well as international tournaments.
 
Most notably, Nolet's scouting career is best remembered as being one of the Flyers' scouts who, along with Dennis Patterson and others, strongly recommended the Flyers' first-round selections of Simon Gagne with the 22nd overall pick of the 1998 NHL Draft and Claude Giroux with the 22nd pick of the 2006 Draft.
 
Coincidentally, Nolet and Simon Gagne's father, Pierre Gagne, were old friends and teammates with the Quebec Jr. Aces in the 1960s. That did not directly influence Nolet's opinion of the player, but it did give the scout some background on the character of the player's family upbringing. 
 
In the 2010s, Nolet started to do less traveling and focused his scouting efforts within Quebec. He retired after the 2017-18 season. Our best wishes go out to Simon for a happy retirement, as well as our congratulations for an outstanding career both on the ice and in the scouting ranks. 
 
 
IN MEMORIAM
 
Since our last Flyers Alumni newsletter, we have mourned the passing of numerous Flyers Alumni members as well as an important behind-the-scenes figure in the early shaping of the Flyers organization. 
 
Ilkka Sinisalo (July 10, 1958 – April 5, 2017): Ilkka was the all-time leading goal scorer among European-born players and, later, a Flyer scout from 2004 until his passing after a battle with cancer. 
 
Bill Sutherland (November 10, 1934 – April 9, 2017): Bill was the first player in Flyers history to score  a goal, both in the team's first-ever road game and, subsequently, in the team's first-ever home game at the Spectrum.
 
Marcel Pelletier (December 6, 1927 – May 13, 2017): Marcel was the longest-living link to the original Flyers hockey operations braintrust.  He was 38 years old when he was hired by Poile to work for the newly created Philadelphia Flyers." As the years went by, Pelletier's role evolved into that of player personnel director, continuing to work closely with Keith Allen after he took over as general manager. As the Flyers' primary pro-league scout, he traveled what was estimated in the 1971-72 Flyers Yearbook as 75,000 miles per season.
 
Darryl Edestrand (November 6, 1945 – October 8, 2017): Darryl, a defenseman, played 455 regular season games in the NHL, including two games as a Flyer during the 1969-70 season.
 
Greg Smyth (April 23, 1966 – February 16, 2018): "Bird Dog" was a veteran of 12 pro hockey seasons. The Flyers selected Smyth in the second round (22nd overall) of the 1984 NHL Draft. He was a one-game fill-in player for Mike Keenan's 1986-87 team and then a semi-regular the next season, appearing in 48 regular season games and dressing in five of seven playoff tilts in 1987-88.
 
Ray Emery (September 28, 1982 – July 15, 2018): A two-time finalist for the Masterton Trophy, a Stanley Cup finalist as a young starter for the Ottawa Senators and a Stanley Cup winner as a backup for the Chicago Blackhawks,  "Razor" was a fierce competitor. He spent three stints with the Flyers (2009-10, 2013-14 to 2014-15, and a brief stint at the tail end of the 2015-16 regular season). '