Former Flyers Star Rick MacLeish Dies at 66 Years Old
On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Flyers sadly announced the passing of a former Flyers star, Rick MacLeish, at 66.
MacLeish was a star of the aggressive hard-hitting Broad Street Bullies team of the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1970’s, who adopted the name from the location of their home arena, South Broad Street.
MacLeishs’ death was confirmed by his daughter Brianna, who revealed that he’d suffered with multiple medical problems. The Flyers Alumni Association also said recently that he was battling an illness.
The Philadelphia Flyers took a moment to remember one of their all-time greats, with a statement by the Flyers’ President, Paul Holmgren:
“With the passing of Rick MacLeish, the Flyers have lost one of their legends.”
“A good father, grandfather, teammmate and friend, Rick will be missed by all who were fortunate to come and know him over the years. His happy and friendly demeanor was front and center everywhere Rick went,” Holmgren continued. “Today, our thoughts and prayers are with Rick’s wife, Charlene, his daughters, Danielle and Brianna along with his grandchildren. May he rest in peace.”
An Incredible Career
MacLeish was a three-time All star who began his career as a left wing, but played mostly center in the second line with Gary Donhoefer to his right and Ross Lonsberry to his left.
In 1972-73, which was his first season in the NHL, he became the eighth player in the league to score 50 goals in a single season, but was the first in Flyers history to accomplish such a stat.
MacLeish was also the lead scorer of the Flyers for both Stanley Cup wins, with 13 goals and 22 points in 1974 — against the Boston Bruins — and 11 goals and 20 points in 1975 — against the Buffalo Sabres.
In 1981, after 11 seasons with the Flyers, he was traded to the Hartford Whalers. He also played for the Pittsburgh Penguins, but made a brief return to Philly before finishing his career with the Detroit Red Wings in 1984.
He accumulated 697 points as a Flyer, which ranks fourth all time in franchise history. He had 328 goals, which ranks 6th in Flyers’ history, and 369 assists, which ties 5th in Flyers’ history, in a total of 741 in games.
Former Flyers also took a moment to share a few words on the passing legend. Former captain and general manager Bobby Clarke called MacLeish “the most talented player the Flyers had during the 1970’s.”
“Life after hockey wasn’t fair to Ricky,” Clarke said. “He left us far too soon.”
Former teammate Bob Kelly said Rick was probably “the most gifted, natural, centerman that the Flyers have ever had.”
“Rick was just quiet and simply went out there and played his heart out,” said Kelly.
Rick, whose real name was Richard George MacLeish, will always be remembered by his Family of Flyers, loved ones and fans.
(Former Flyers Star Rick MacLeish Dies)