This morning, at 11:00am the Philadelphia Flyers honored a legend. A statue of Fred “The Fog” Shero was unveiled at the Xfinity Live complex next to the Wells Fargo Center. Shero coached the Flyers to their only two Stanley Cup victories in franchise history. He has been in the Philadelphia Flyers Hall of Fame for quite some time, but he was only inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame within the last year.
Former players under Coach Shero like Bernie Parent, Bill Barber, Rick MacLeish, Gary Dornhoefer, Bob Kelly, and Dave Schultz were present at the ceremony. Both Parent and Schultz gave touching speeches in remembrance of Shero. They both emphasized his groundbreaking coaching methods, while recognizing his personal character.
Ed Snider was in attendance and had very kind things to say about “The Fog” and all that he did for the Philadelphia Flyers franchise. Ray Shero, who is currently the General Manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins and is the son of Fred Shero, was in attendance with his son. Ray spoke of his father and what the Flyers organization meant to the legendary coach.
During Ray Shero’s speech, he referenced the fact that his father’s teams not only won two Stanley Cups, but they “kicked the crap out of the Soviet Red Army.” Immediately Ed Snider quipped from the front row “and Pittsburgh.” That comment brought laughter from both the audience and Shero, who admitted that back in the 1970s the Flyers owned the Penguins. It also helped the audience remember that even though Ray Shero may be ‘the enemy’ now, his family is still part of the Flyers family and that bond goes beyond the game of hockey.
Despite the fact that they currently represent opposing teams, Snider and Shero posed in front of the statue and seemed to be genuinely happy in each others company. All in all, it was a fitting ceremony for the late coach who still means so much to the Philadelphia Flyers organization.
On a personal note, it was an unbelievable experience to stand just 10 feet away from men like Paul Holmgren, Ed Snider, Bernie Parent, and Bill Barber. I constantly see these men on TV and on the internet, but to see them in person was a real treat. My father has told me stories about the Broad Street Bullies since I was a young kid, so to see many of those players was a lot of fun. From a writing/media standpoint, it was cool to look across the audience and see guys like John Boruk, Al Morganti, Tim Panaccio, and Sam Carchidi (Bill Meltzer may have been there, but I did not notice him if he was). I do not always agree with their views, but it was still a cool experience to see professional Flyers writers in action.
Win today and we walk together forever