PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --- Bernie Parent is the most beloved sports figure in Philadelphia and it's not that close.
Fans and former Flyers greats shared their stories and expressed their love for Parent, who turns 70-years old on Friday (April 3rd, 2015), during Thursday's 94WIP Morning Show. Parent, the exuberant 10-year Flyer and two-time Stanley Cup champion goalie co-hosted the show live from Hockey Giants in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Leach, 64, won one Stanley Cup with Parent in 1974-75, the Flyers' second consecutive championship. Leach set career highs in goals (61), points (91), and game-winning goals (11) that season and his 61 goals still holds as the franchise record for most goals in a season.
"Happy birthday buddy," Leach told Parent. "It's been great. It's, all the things you have been doing in Philadelphia it's been wonderful. It's great to be your friend and over the years we've had a lot of good times.
"When Bernie came into that dressing room and he was happy and everything else, we knew that he was going to play great. A lot of times Bernie would come into the room and say, 'Guys, give me one [goal] tonight. I feel great.' And probably 99-percent of the time he was right."
Clarke, 65, was captain of the Flyers from 1973 to 1979, winning the Stanley Cup in 1974 and 1975. He was again captain of the Flyers from 1982 to 1984, before retiring. Clarke was a three-time Hart Trophy winner, a 1987 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, and one of Philadelphia's most beloved sports figures.
"Hey Bern, I'm doing great," Clarke said. "70-years-old, eh?"
"Hey, thanks for your support," Parent replied.
"You still act 50 Bernie!"
"The best leader in my world who ever played the hockey game," Parent said of Clarke.
"For those of us that spent our life chasing the Stanley Cup, that was the biggest moment of our lives," Clarke said of the 1973-74 Stanley Cup championship.
"There was never a fearful moment," Clarke said of the parade, "Even in the midst of two million people. It was all happy---everyone was drinking, laughing, having fun. It was just another one of the lucky, great moments in my life."
Bernie Parent Jr.
"I can't even put into words what an amazing dad he's been my whole life," Parent Jr. said. "I get choked up a little talking about it, but his positive influence, being grateful, unconditional love. It's been consistent my entire life and it's been so awesome being his son. Like, it's just beautiful.
"This is the greatest gift," Parent responded. "It put tears in my eyes."
Tocchet, 50, played 18 seasons in the NHL from 1984-2002, book-ended by two tenures with the Flyers (1984-1992, 1999-2002). Tocchet accomplished the rare feat of 400 career goals and 2,000 career penalty minutes.
"Well, I watched Bernie and the Stanley Cup runs and the whole deal," Tocchet said. "When I got drafted, one of the biggest thrills was to meet Bernie. Just playing for the Flyers, for me was special. You'd have some bad days and Bernie would come in and he'd always have a smile on his face and it's amazing how he made us young guys feel special."
Bob "The Hound" Kelly
Kelly, a 10-year Flyers left-winger, helped guide the team to their two straight Stanley Cup championships in 1973-74 and 1974-75. Kelly, 64, was one of the Flyers' most aggressive players, largely responsible for the "Broad Street Bullies" nickname.
"He is the wackiest person in the world you'd ever try to meet," Kelly said of Parent. "He's a class-act. He's been a teammate and a friend for many years. I'm happy he made 70 and all of the sudden his hair is turning brown again, his smile gets bigger. You know, it's awesome man!"
"Mostly I'm a little bit saddened," Kelly joked when asked how he remembers the championship teams, "Because Bernie would always skate over to the bench and say, 'Fred [Shero], don't put the Hound on the ice!"
André "Moose" Dupont
Dupont, 65, played 13 seasons in the NHL (eight with the Flyers) as one of the league's top defenseman, winning two straight Stanley Cups with the Flyers.
"Even if I made a mistake, I knew Bernie would save my butt," Dupont said, when asked what it was like to play with Parent.
As for the Stanley Cup parade, Dupont said, "I started with a brand new jacket and ended it without a jacket on!"
Propp, 56, played 15 seasons in the NHL from 1979-1994, the first 11 with the Flyers. Prop has the Flyers record for most game-winning goals with 55. Propp ranks second in Flyers history in goals, second in assists, and third overall in games played in a Flyers uniform.
"By the way, I made a heck of a save because Brian didn't back check!" Parent said, telling a story.
"How do you think I scored all those points?" Propp replied.
"Everybody knew about the Philadelphia Flyers and what Bernie Parent had done for them and what Bob Clarke did as a leader," Propp, who joined the Flyers in 1979, said.
Watson, 71, played 11 seasons with the Flyers from 1967-1978.
"Joe and I, we've known each other for 50 some years," Parent said of Watson. "Good, great friendship."
"There were 10 straight games we had one goal against us and if we got a shutout Joe would get a bonus. I would never forget the one time, Joe could see the play developing so he started skating toward the bench so the goal wouldn't count against him. So they scored a goal and Joe still had one skate on the ice!"
Parent ended the show with a perfect quote.
"Best thing to do is don't judge, just love people."
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