BROAD STREET BASH
When? · Saturday, January 25, 6-9 p.m.
Where? · XFINITY Live! Philadelphia
· Live performance by Dropkick Murphys
· Tickets on sale now @ FlyersCharities.org/Bash ($250 general admission; $500 VIP which includes a meet-and-greet with alumni in Spectrum Grille)
· Included in the price of a ticket: all-you-can eat menu, open bar & Carnival ticket
Philadelphia Flyers Charities are bringing the Broad Street Bullies back to the scene of their two Stanley Cup championships from 1974 and 1975, for the "Broad Street Bash" on January 25, 2014 from 6-9 p.m. at XFINITY Live! Proceeds from the event will benefit Flyers Charities, and will serve as an addition to the 37th annual Flyers Wives Carnival, which takes place the following day at the Wells Fargo Center.
What has become an entire weekend with which to celebrate hockey in addition to the charitable efforts begins with a matchup between the current-day version of the Flyers as they take on the Boston Bruins at 1:00 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center. The two clubs battled it out 40 years earlier in the Stanley Cup Final, a six-game clash that saw Philadelphia become the first expansion club win Lord Stanley's cherished chalice in just the seventh year of existence.
"This is a great addition to our fund-raising efforts of the Carnival," said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko. "With XFINITY Live!, we see great potential to have a pre-Carnival party and celebrate Flyers hockey with our tremendous fans the night before the Carnival, while raising money for numerous worthy causes throughout the Greater Philadelphia Region."
"The Flyers Wives are going to be recognizing our two Stanley Cup championship-winning teams at the Carnival with the "Spirit of Giving Award," added Luukko. "Since we will have most of those two teams represented at the Carnival, we decided to bring the group together for a party the night before at XFINITY Live! and to celebrate Flyers hockey with our fans."
The "Broad Street Bash" begins at 6 p.m. across the parking lot at XFINITY Live!, the sight where the Spectrum once stood. It was there that Bobby Clarke and Bernie Parent first lifted the Stanley Cup after a 1-0 defeat of the Bruins on the afternoon of May 19, 1974.
Via the Flyers' press release, schedule to attend the "Broad Street Bash" are: Flyers Chairman Ed Snider, President Peter Luukko, General Manager Paul Holmgren, Assistant General Manager Ron Hextall, and members of the Stanley Cup Championship winning team -- Bill Barber, Bob Clarke, Terry Crisp, Gary Dornhoefer, Andre Dupont, Bob Kelly, Orest Kindrachuk, Ross Lonsberry, Simon Nolet, Bernie Parent, Dave Schultz, Don Saleski, Bobby Taylor, and Joe and Jim Watson.
Tickets to attend the "Broad Street Bash" at XFINITY Live! Philadelphia are on sale now for $250, which includes an all-you-can-eat menu, a top-shelf open bar, and the Dropkick Murphys' set. Fans can also purchase a limited number of $500 tickets, which include a meet and greet with Flyers alumni, plus private seating and special menu offerings at the Spectrum Grill, which is located within XFINITY Live! Philadelphia. Both ticket options also include a general admission Carnival ticket, and are available for purchase online at FlyersCharities.org/bash.
One of the Bullies, Don Saleski, was available to the media Tuesday night prior to the Flyers' meeting with the Ottawa Senators at the Wells Fargo Center. As do many other members of those Cup-winning teams, Saleski made the Philadelphia-area home even after his playing days ended.
"I believe that it's unusual relative to other teams in the league, and from many other eras," he said of the large representation of Broad Street Bullies still in the area. "I think it goes back to how prophetic Freddy (head coach Fred Shero) was, when he said 'Win today, and we'll walk together forever,' and it's really been true."
Shero was finally posthumously inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last week, so there's extra for the group to celebrate with the enshrinement of their leader.
Saleski, who was nicknamed "Big Bird" because of his flowing golden locks and 6' 3", 205-pound frame, worked for Aramark for 18 years after he retired as a player before starting his own company in Cherry Hill, N.J. He points out the biggest reason that he and the others have remained around the City of Brotherly Love has to do with the love affair that began between the brash band of renegade Bullies and their adoring fans some four decades ago.
"We have such roots here, and it's because of the relationship with our fans," he said. "The fans and the Flyers team were together, we were like partners in this whole thing. The fans felt like they were part of the Flyers, and we felt like we were a part of the community. When we retired, a lot of us thought, 'where else am I going to live? This is where my roots are, and this is where I've had some of the greatest success that I may ever have in my life.' The city was so accepting of us. Quite frankly, I never even thought of leaving, and I don't think a lot of the guys thought of leaving."
When asked what this anniversary means to him and the rest of his teammates, Saleski was very candid.
"You know what, this one means a lot," he said. "It's celebrating both Stanley Cups. It’s been a long time, it's 40 years. If we don't celebrate it now, the way I view it, at 50 years, what the heck are we going to celebrate? We can still party, and we're going to party really hard."
That played a big part in what the team wanted to do to celebrate, in which the original plans were much more formal in nature.
That's why we said when we were conceiving the idea of what we were going to do with this, we started off with a black tie event," Saleski revealed. "But we said, 'no, you know what, we want this to be for the fans. We want this to be a celebration with our fans, and with Philadelphia.' And so how are we going to do that? There's no better way than to have a bash, and to do it at Xfinity Live. It's awesome that it's a coincidence that we're playing the Bruins, who we [beat] for the first Stanley Cup. It's a 1:00 game that day, and we're having the bash that night, and then the next day is the Carnival. We're tying in the whole weekend."
"Flyers Charities is awarding us a 'Spirit of Service' award this year. We've all been in this community, and this is just more giving back. All of the guys that live in this area have been giving back and have been doing charitable things for the last 40 years. The way that I view this is that this is our last big party. This is a biggie, because who knows who's going to be around when 50 years come [laughs]."