The "Bullies" nickname has been used so often that it is the name of a bar and grill at Xfinity Live!, the title of an HBO documentary about the Flyers, and will be the feature of a Rob Zombie movie.
Unfortunately, many hockey types do not respond well to the "Bullies." The coach of the "Bullies" and only head coach in franchise history to lead the team to a Stanley Cup title, Fred Shero, is still not part of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Shero, who passed away in 1990 at the age of 65, coached the Flyers for seven seasons before coaching the New York Rangers for another two and a half. He was 390-225-119 in his 734 games coaching. Shero led the Flyers to back-to-back Stanley Cup titles in 1973-74 and 1974-75 while leading them to the Finals in 1975-76 as well.
The Philadelphia Inquirer's Sam Carchidi points out that Shero is in good company as he is one of four coaches to lead a team to back-to-back titles along with Scotty Bowman, Glen Sather, and Al Arbour - all of whom are in the Hall of Fame.
Some believe it is the stigma associated with the Bullies that is keeping Shero from the Hall of Fame but even that doesn't make any sense. The captain of that team, Bobby Clarke, and his linemate, Bill Barber, are both in the Hall of Fame. The general manager who built the Broad Street Bullies, Keith Allen, and the owner who made it happen, Ed Snider, are in the Hall of Fame as well. The only main cog in the Bullies that isn't in the Hall of Fame is Shero.
In addition to leading an expansion franchise to a Stanley Cup title in seven years, one of Shero's most impressive feats is coaching the only team that beat the Soviet Red Army in 1976. He was revolutionary as he was one of the first coaches to watch game film of other teams and implemented the morning skate.
Snider told Stephen Whyno of The Canadian Press that "it's a disgrace that he's not in the Hall of Fame." Many Flyers fans and hockey fans alike agree with Snider.
Shero can be voted into the Hall of Fame today at 3:00 pm in the builder category. Maybe this is the year Shero finally gets the call to the Hall or it's going to be another year at that the hockey writers overlook one of the greatest coaches in league history.
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