He was hated in the USSR, but idolized in Philadelphia. Bobby Clark – 70


“In any drama there must be heroes and villains. “Flyers” were those and the others.” With these words begins the documentary about the legendary “the Bullies from broad street”. Today, 70-summer anniversary is noted by the leader of these bullies Bobby Clarke. A very controversial personality for canadian and global hockey. Controversial but legendary.

Bobby was born in the middle of nowhere called Flin Flon is a mining village in the forests of Manitoba with a population of five thousand people. Hockey came at the age of eight, and five were willing him to finish — I was diagnosed with diabetes. But in the end not only finished, but became the leader of the local “Flin Flon Bombers”. A healthy player with its data and statistics of any NHL club would be torn off with the hands, but they were all afraid that with this disease professional career impossible. Knowing that hockey is in danger of losing the talented player, the coach of the Bombers took Clark in a prestigious clinic in Minnesota, where he was given a certificate authorizing exercise, with due attention to health.

Его ненавидели в СССР, но боготворили в Филадельфии. Бобби Кларку - 70

Photo: © B Bennett / Contributor / Bruce Bennett /

And yet, in the first round draft pick in 1969, to choose afraid. “Flyers” Bobby took second in the first giving preference to the guy who never played a single game in the NHL. After the best professionals of America diabetes assured that Clark can play, to the bosses of “Philadelphia” came the representatives of “Detroit” and “Montreal”, offering “pilots” for Bobby good players. But it was too late. They were told that Clark is not for sale.

“Philadelphia flyers” club, which appeared in the NHL in the big expansion of 1967. In the first two seasons they lost in the quarterfinals of the playoffs another recent newbie “St. Louis”. In many ways, the defeat was related to the fact that the Blues were superior to them physically, therefore, the management focused on the overall purchasing power of the players. At one point, it became clear that implementing such a plan, the management clearly went too far. And that the audience likes it. So there were “Bullies with broad street” which in the 70’s in fear for the entire League.

Clark quickly joined the team, showing great for a beginner statistics. Not very successful, was the start of the season 71/72 — as this was the time that Bobby suffered from a serious problem with teeth. But in the spring he caught up and surpassed last year’s figures, and was awarded the bill Masterton Trophy and was the first in the history of the “pilot” recipients of the individual awards in the NHL.

Его ненавидели в СССР, но боготворили в Филадельфии. Бобби Кларку - 70

Photo: © B Bennett / Contributor / Bruce Bennett /

In progress 23-year-old striker drew the attention of the coaching staff of team Canada, who were preparing for the super Series-72. Clark was the last player included in “maple”. Last but not least, his link with Paul Henderson and Ron Ellis was one of the best. 6 (2+4) points Clark entered the top scorers, and was named the best player of the first (though not very successful for Canada) match. But perhaps the main contribution Bobby has done and suffered injuries to Valery Kharlamov.

Yes, Bobby is one of those villains who preyed on the Legend of number 17. In the sixth match, after losing the battle for the puck, Clarke heartily slashed Kharlamov with a hook at the ankle. “We ran parallel, Kharlamov pushed me with a stick, I caught up and punched him in response. If you touch me, I respond in kind. If I wasn’t hard, I never would have left Flin Flon”, was Bobby. Valery played until the final buzzer, but on the seventh the game has failed. And in the decisive eighth played through the pain and markedly inferior to yourself sample beginning of the series. In the end Canada won. After three decades, Henderson said that the reception Clark is one of the worst episodes of the Series.

The Stanley Cup-73. “Flyers” play with “Minnesota North Stars”. 23-year-old Clark just became the youngest captain in the NHL and the first player “expansionary” club, breaking the mark of 100 points for the season. And then the stick of an opponent’s flying him straight in the eye. Bobby played in contact lenses — vision was another problem. The lens shattered into fragments that the doctors at the hospital took out from his eyes. Despite that, Clark took to the ice in the next match. Philadelphia won for the first time in the history after the second round. Her leader, the HART Trophy.

Его ненавидели в СССР, но боготворили в Филадельфии. Бобби Кларку - 70

Photo: © B Bennett / Contributor / Bruce Bennett /

The Stanley Cup-74. “The bullies from broad street” became a powerful fist. Cartoonists depicted them six-foot gorillas with clubs instead of sticks. But apart from brute force, the “pilots” were all in the technique, and tactics. Philadelphia reached the finals, where he met with “Boston”. Played Clark favorite role — neutralized the leaders of rivals. The victorious washer was abandoned after Bobby got into a fight with namesake Orr, and both went to scrapbox. And Phil Esposito, Clark just destroyed the game on the point, taking it in 48 of the 66 face-offs. “Flyers” became Champions of the first not from the “Big Six”.

The Stanley Cup-75. Philadelphia repeated the success. This time in the finals was defeated “Buffalo”, and Clark got a second HART Trophy. Soon, the NHL clubs in the house of CSKA and “wings of the Soviets”. Around the match between “pilots” and the army was a special excitement. By the time of the Soviet clubs have already guaranteed victory in the super Series, but it was a game between two Champions. Even more — two ideologies: Soviet hockey, skilful and beautiful, against the brutal force of Philadelphia. Even the Americans were not all on the side of “flyers”. Originated the term “plagerism”, around which there were many disputes. What good is a game where the winner is brute force? On the other hand, hockey is still not a ballet.

Его ненавидели в СССР, но боготворили в Филадельфии. Бобби Кларку - 70

Photo: © Bob Olsen / Contributor / Toronto Star /

Philadelphia began to work in a favorite manner. Kharlamov again defeated Clark, and not just — dumped him the puck between his legs. Bobby to Valeria is not reached, but succeeded three of his partner, Andre DuPont, ed bath of Imp and bill Barber. The judge said nothing, and CSKA coach Konstantin Loktev has led the team in the locker room. The organizers barely persuaded him to go back and finish. , The flyers won 4:1, but it was seen as saving yourself the army. They were preparing for the Olympics in Innsbruck, and a Pyrrhic victory for them was not needed. “Pilots” were overjoyed, thinking that they are now the best team on the planet. After that match Clarke was sent to Vladislav Tretiak his watch, recognizing his skill.

It was the brightest part of his career Bobby. Soon style of play “pilots” have adapted the Champions they are no longer. But make some noise — a noise. Before the season 79/80 Clarke was a playing assistant coach, and Philadelphia spent a mind-boggling streak of 35 consecutive games without defeat. It is the longest unbeaten run in North American professional sports, which still no one has surpassed. However, then allowed a draw, which the team had accumulated 10 pieces.

Его ненавидели в СССР, но боготворили в Филадельфии. Бобби Кларку - 70

Andre DuPont, Bobby Clarke and Reggie Leach / Photo: © B Bennett / Contributor / Bruce Bennett /

Despite diabetes and other health problems, Bobby has played for the Phillies for 15 seasons and only once due to injury, played less than 70 games in the regular championship. Naturally, his 16th number was removed by treatment. And immediately after his retirement, Clark became the General Manager, the flyers.

In this position, he worked with varying success, there were breaks in the “North Stars” and “Florida”. Several times his team reached the final, but his name on the Stanley Cup appeared. Did not work and with the national team, which Clark led in Nagano-98. In the first Olympics all the NHL players, Canada has become only the fourth losing in the semifinals of the Czechs with the great Hasek, and in the bronze medal match — Finns.

Stand conflicts with Clark Eric Lindroos. “If you want to get the most in the League — so play accordingly!” — Bobby demanded in negotiations before the season 98/99. Santa Barbara lasted several years until the club traded the player to Rangers in August 2001.

“I don’t want to see him either in the team or anything. He made all of us worse” — in the hearts of said the General Manager. To match veterans in 2012 as a sign of reconciliation they played against Rangers in one link.

Bobby Clark is an extraordinary person and an extraordinary player. Always great heroes need great villains. Without a doubt, Clark was both that, and another.

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