BSH Story Time: The time Bobby Clarke had his jersey stolen
In which Bobby Clarke joins the esteemed company of Zac Rinaldo and Darroll Powe.
Bobby Clarke. Arguably the most recognizable Flyer of all time. That toothless grin that stretched ear to ear, and that number 16 jersey flowing on the ice.
Well, except for those two games in 1981 where Clarke did not sport his now-retired number 16.
It was February of 1981 and the Flyers were on the final two games of a six-game road trip out west. They were struggling, having only won one of their last four games. After coming off a 6-2 loss against the up-and-coming Oilers, the Flyers were preparing for their next game in Winnipeg, against the Jets.
But there was one issue: Bobby Clarke didn’t have a jersey to wear. Reportedly, someone had stolen his jersey sometime before the game. Remember, these were the days when teams would only travel with one set of jerseys.
The only option was to wear the one extra jersey the Flyers had, which was number 36. Two other Flyers (Greg Adams and Reid Bailey) had this number; however, neither played a part in the two games Clarke wore this number.
Bobby went on to record one assist in a 6-3 win against the Winnipeg Jets, and in the following game he was held scoreless in a 4-2 win against the North Stars.
The Flyers returned back from their road trip after the game in Minnesota and Clarke’s number 16 was replaced, as all order in the world was restored.