50 YRS AGO TODAY: Expansion era began when Owners-Governors awarded 6 conditional franchises. From meeting minutes: pic.twitter.com/p5gPSdQ4sY— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 9, 2016
50 years ago on this date, the National Hockey League signed the agreement that brought the Philadelphia Flyers into existence. Well, OK -- they weren't quite the Philadelphia Flyers yet. Instead, they were "Philadelphia Professional Ice Hockey Club" or "Philadelphia Hockey Club, Inc."
But this document above is what welcomed what would become the Flyers into the league -- as well as the Minnesota North Stars, California Golden Seals, St. Louis Blues, Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Here's a short bit from the HBO Broad Street Bullies documentary on how the Flyers got their start:
Adding the teams was the big Step 1, of course. The next step was building the new arena in South Philadelphia, which we all know as the Spectrum.
If you have 40 minutes to kill, this old documentary from ESPN Canada on the entire Expansion 6 process. Here's a clip of it, from Ed Snider's mouth, on just how hard it was for the Flyers to get the financing to construct the Spectrum:
We're sure glad it worked out. Happy 50th birthday, Flyers.