Forbes Kennedy Honored in PEI

 

A PEI legend, early expansion era Flyers fan favorite tough guy Forbes Kennedy was born August 18, 1935 in Dorchester, New Brunswick and raised in Prince Edward Island (PEI). Bud Poile, the Philadelphia Flyers' first general manager, was already familiar with Kennedy at the time the new NHL team selected the forward from the Boston Bruins with the 87th overall pick of the 1967 Expansion Draft.

 

Kennedy, hardly a heavyweight at 5-foot-8 and 150 pounds but fearless and feisty, made several minor league stops with the Edmonton Flyers in 1959-60 to the mid-60s. The Edmonton coach: Bud Poile. While not an "enforcer" in the sense the term would come to mean a decade later, Kennedy was usually among the most frequent combatants in most leagues in which he played. He could do other things, too. At minor league levels, "Forbie" posted 20-plus goals several times and averaged a little less than a point per game in a few seasons.

 

At the NHL level, Kennedy was a mucker-and-grinder; a solid one who carved his niche and played 603 National Hockey League regular season games (70 goals, 108 assists, 178 points, 888 penalty minutes) and 12 Stanley Cup playoff games. Over the course of his NHL career, Kennedy played for the Detroit Red Wings, Bruins, Flyers, and Toronto Maple Leafs.

 

As a Flyer, Kennedy lead the team in penalty minutes both in the inaugural 1967-68 season (130 penalty minutes, in addition to 10 goals and 28 points in 73 regular season games) and in 59 games (195 penalty minutes along with eight goals and 15 points) in 1968-69. Kennedy, who dressed in all seven games of the Flyers war of a Stanley Cup Quarterfinal series with the St. Louis Blues in 1968, was traded to the Maple Leafs along with Brit Selby on March 2, 1969 in exchange for the reacquisition of Bill Sutherland along with Gerry Meehan and Mike Byers.

 

Kennedy was the first Flyer to be suspended or fined by the NHL during the inaugural season. The league imposed a $100 fine for "slashing and provoking fisticuffs" with LA Kings defenseman Dave Amadio in third period of a 7-1 Flyers road loss on February 16, 1968.