If you’re going to celebrate the Flyers Hall of Fame induction ceremony for two of the franchise’s all-time greatest players, you might as well do it right.
That’s exactly what’s going to happen on Monday night, Nov. 15 (7 p.m.), when the Flyers Alumni Association will hold a charity benefit hockey game at the Wells Fargo Center, one night before Paul Holmgren and Rick Tocchet are welcomed into the shrine.
At a Zoom press conference call on Friday, Alumni Association president Brad Marsh, a former standout defenseman for the team, and Cindy Stutman, Flyers’ senior vice president for business operations and executive director of Flyers charities, announced details for the game.
The special “Orange & Black’’ game will feature upwards of 50 former players, including at least seven players from the 27 who are members of the Flyers Hall of Fame.
Among the most noteworthy names: Hockey Hall of Famers Eric Lindros and Mark Howe, plus John LeClair and Joe Watson.
All proceeds from the game will go to both Flyers charities and Flyers alumni charitable efforts.
Flyers alumni players will be split into two teams, “Team Holmgren” and “Team Tocchet,” and the game will feature alumni both on the ice and on the bench from every decade of the Flyers organization.
“We’re fortunate to have so many former players still deeply involved with our organization, and these celebrations are important opportunities to bring the Flyers family together to share old memories, and create some new ones, too,’’ said Valerie Camillo, president of business operations. ‘We’re looking forward to seeing dozens of Flyers greats back on the ice in the orange and black, and we know this will be a special night for our fans, as well.”
Tickets for the game were scheduled to go on sale Friday, 3 p.m., on the Wells Fargo Center website.
Marsh recalled the Flyers’ 50th year alumni game held at the WFC a few years back and it was very well received. The excitement level for this game should be equal to that one.
“I expect the same for this game,’’ Marsh said during the media call. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. The guys are pumped, not only to be back for Rick and Paul but to be back and playing in front of the Flyers faithful.’’
Added Stutman: “We’re super excited. When we first started working on the Hall of Fame induction, Brad said this needs to be a real homecoming. That’s what we’re trying to do here, get as many members of the Flyers family intact and welcome our two new inductees. The cherry on top is that all the procceds go to charities.’’
Out on the ice, there should be a bit of mayhem because, as Marsh points out, “there are no rules or regulations.’’
That means players such as the 79-year-old Watson can have at it. VIP ticket packages are also available and include exclusive access to a happy hour event with Flyers alumni, a live pregame program hosted by Bill Clement, and a limited-edition Flyers Hall of Fame puck autographed by Holmgren and Tocchet.
“One neat thing we really wanted to give the fans is the ability to meet not only our two new inductees, Paul and Rick, but also to meet all of the Flyers Hall of Fame members who will be in attendance that night,’’ Marsh said. “Right now we have 14 of the Hall of Fame members coming back to be a part of the Monday night game. Of that group, seven of them will be playing in the game. Joe is 79 and it’s going to be cool to watch him play on the Wells Fargo ice.’’
Marsh, who scored only 24 goals in his NHL career, says he’s on a special mission to get one in this game.
“I have six grandkids now and they’ll all be watching,’’ Marsh said with a grin. “I’ve got to score at least one goal.’’
There’s a rumor that Hockey Hall of Famer Bob Clarke might be coaching “Team Tocchet’’ on the bench when No. 22 is on the ice. That announcement will be made later.
“We have to find the right coach behind the bench when ‘Toc’ is on the ice,’’ Marsh said. “We think we have that narrowed down but we’re going to keep that a surprise.’’
Other famous players confirmed to be playing: Brian Propp, Murray Craven and Reggie Leach.
“To sit in the locker room and have guys tell stories, it’s really a great atmosphere,’’ Marsh said.
And finally, it sounds like Flyers mascot Gritty will be in attendance, something which pleases Marsh.
“Again, there are no rules,’’ Marsh said. “Maybe we can get Gritty to take a shift with us because we can use him wherever we want. Stay tuned. Gritty is amazing. He’ll come up with something creative I’m sure.’’