Bernie Parent reflects on career with Glen & Ray

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By SportsRadio 94WIP
It's fitting that as we debate the GOAT of Broad Street, we talk about Bernie Parent. The two-time Vezina Trophy, Conn Smythe Trophy and Stanley Cup winner was the first Flyer inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame and is beloved by Philadelphia fans. He joined Glen and Ray's Tell Us Your Story in early May to talk about his career, starting from the moment he found out he was coming to Philadelphia.

"When I was hitting some golf balls getting ready for the summer, a good friend of mine came up to be and said, 'Hey you got drafted'. I said really, by who? He said Philadelphia! And my first question was where is Philadelphia at!'"

Of course, Parent was originally with the Boston Bruins, but at the onset of the expansion, the Flyers took him in the draft.

"Everybody had to tryout," Parent said. "There was something new and something scary about it. When you look at the  season, we played a lot of games against the established teams. Those first two years were very, very difficult because number one, we had like 2,000 people at the games. People didn't know too much about hockey and the NHL."

 "It was exciting. Once we got going for awhile, halfway through the season, we realized at a certain point that we belonged in the league. Once we had that confidence, then we became a different team."

"At the end of the season, we played in the playoffs. This is what turned the Flyers around. We played against St. Louis and they had the Plager brothers (Barclay and Bob) if you recall. They really beat us physically. Finally they won the series, and Ed Snider came around and said 'we will never lose like this again'. This is when he turned the team around. They brought in Dave Schultz, Bob Kelly, Don Saleski and all those guys. That decision really turned the team around."

Parent was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs before the 1971 season and spent two years there before deciding to go to the World Hockey League.

 "At the end of the second season, I received a phone call from the World Hockey League asking if I wanted to join them. People have to make a decision and it has to be a constructive position. From what I had learned from [Jacques> Plante, I knew what I could do in goal. But I had the safety of Toronto and the NHL at the time, but I made the decision to go. Of course it was scary. Like you said, it didn't work out and I said I want to go back to the National Hockey League. When I came back, the rule was you had to go back to your original team, which was Toronto. The same day I came back, Toronto traded be back to Philly and then I was on the team that won two Stanley Cups. If I had played it safe, I would have never played in Philly."

In his second stint in Philadelphia, Parent put together back-to-back incredible seasons minding the net and helped the team to two Stanley Cup championships.

"You look at the team we had and the coach (Fred Shero) was just incredible. We had, to me, the greatest leader in the league at the time which was Bobby Clarke. Not just on the ice but off the ice, he was always there to help if the players needed help. Fantastic leader. There is no way we would have won without his leadership. The whole year, we would practice at least 45 minutes how to come out of your zone. We had five different plays defending on how the opposite team would fore check us. We very seldom got caught making a bad play and that made a difference. We had a great defense, the forwards were incredible and the crowd was just incredible. When you step on the ice, you become a different person. It's almost like a singer on a stage, you are a performer. To have 17,000, 24/7 to cheer for us, it was just incredible."

Parent as talks about his relationship with fan base, the 1973 Stanley Cup against the Bruins, the massive crowd at the parade, and much more.