July 10, 2013
By Nick Tricome
The honor was long overdue, but it's finally happening.
The Hockey Hall of Fame announced its newest inductees on Tuesday. The list includes greats players like Scott Niedermayer, Brendan Shanahan and Chris Chelios and now, finally, former Flyers coach Fred Shero.
"I am thrilled to hear that Fred Shero was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame" Flyers chairman Ed Snider said in a press release. "There’s no sense looking back as to why it didn’t happen sooner, because today’s a happy day to celebrate the fact that a guy that deserves it immensely has finally been elected to the Hall of Fame. It’s a great day for the Philadelphia Flyers."
After the Flyers came into the NHL via expansion in 1967, Shero took the reigns as head coach in 1971.
Shero is most well-known for coaching the famous (infamous? depends on who you ask I guess) Broad Street Bullies of the 1970's, leading the Flyers to back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships in 1974 and 1975. It's something the franchise has failed to do ever since.
Shero was also a revolutionary in professional hockey.
He was one of the first coaches to study game film to pick up on opponent's tendencies, was the first coach ever to have assistant coaches on the bench with him and was the first to implement morning skates. All of these elements are common practice in today's NHL.
Shero also traveled to the Soviet Union to learn how the Russians played hockey and adapt that style of play to his team. The trip payed off, not only with two Stanley Cup victories, but with the famous Flyers win over the Soviet Red Army in 1976.
In 1974, Shero won the first Jack Adam's Award for the NHL's coach of the year. He only coached 10 years in the league, with his final year being in 1981. Shero coached the New York Rangers for three years after his seventh with the Flyers in the 1977-78 season.
Shero passed away from stomach cancer in 1990. It turns out that it would take 23 more years before his accomplishments would be recognized by the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Before game six of the 1974 Stanley Cup Final, the night the Flyers would go on to win their first Cup, Shero wrote a message on a chalkboard in the team's locker room. A message that will live forever in Flyers' lore.
(Cover Image from The Mercury)
(Quote Image from Tumblr)