Fred Shero's HHOF Induction
Bill Meltzer's article on Fred Shero and his induction was very interesting in that it appeared to put much emphasis on Shero's studying of Russian tactics, while glossing over the bully stuff that the Flyers were notorious for.
There are some things that Meltzer never mentions about Shero. Besides being the strategist that he was he was also the boxing champion during his days with the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II. In the book "Shero, The Man Behind The System" By Fred Shero with Vijay S. Kothare, Also, Dave Schultz mentions this point in his book, which he co-authored with Stan Fischler, "The Hammer, Confessions Of A Hockey Enforcer".
Also, not mentioned in the story about the Flyers 4-1 victory over the Soviets in 1976 was the fact that while the Flyers studied all of these Soviet tactics, they insisted in extra stuff designed to stack the deck in their favour. Their checking game was designed to punish and intimidate, as well as stop their opponents. The Flyers were also totally to be checked in similar ways by their opponents. In fact the Flyers were ready to start a fight anytime any opponent looked at them the wrong way. For this purpose Shero and the Flyers created two new innovations to ice hockey. These innovations were the "designated brawler" and the use of fist fights as part of their overall strategy. The Soviets were clearly intimidated by the Flyers and at one point Soviet coach Boris Kulagin pulled his whole team off the ice out of fear for their safety. The next day Komsomolskaya Pravda, the Soviet children's newspaper portrayed the Flyers as cavemen with clubs. The Soviets finished the game because they were advised that they would not be payed unless they played the whole game.
Stay tuned for more on this later.
Posted By: James Kenworthy on Nov 07, 2013 06:45PM