Welcome to the Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Facebook of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Twitter of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Instagram of the Philadelphia Flyers Official LinkedIn of the Philadelphia Flyers Official DeskSite of the Philadelphia Flyers Flyer Wire
  • RSS


Broad Street Bullies and other Flyers alums still play for charity

Wednesday, 10.24.2012 / 7:50 AM ET / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
Share with your Friends


Twenty-eight years ago Joe Watson had an idea.

Talking to some of his former teammates from the Broad Street Bullies, Watson wondered what it would be like if the team periodically reunited to play hockey games for charity.

He thought they could play against alumni from other franchises, or against any group willing to donate money or raise money for charity.

It sounded like a fun idea at the time, as it was an opportunity for many of the beloved Flyers from the 70s to give back to the Philadelphia community that they adopted as their home town – and still be able to spend time together playing the game they loved.

Fast forward nearly three decades.

Watson and some of his mates from those Stanley Cup teams aren’t as young and spry as they used to be – but they’re still chugging along and raising money.

“We’ve been playing since 1984,” Watson said. “Since then we’ve raised $2.3 million for various charities. In 2011 we played six games and raised $167,000 to be given to charity. One game we gave $67,000 to one charity. It’s incredible, it really is.”

They’ve had to reach out to some younger Flyers and Phantoms alums to skate the bigger minutes in the games, but the Bullies still remain the headliners – which brings the crowds.

“Those people remember when we played many, many years ago and it’s a wonderful thing that they still come out to support us,” Watson said. “They tell stories about where they were and what they were doing when we were playing. It’s wonderful to hear them because if we didn’t have fans we wouldn’t have a job – that’s why we have to take care of the fans.”

And the fans are the most important aspect for the alumni team, because they are the ones who show up for these games and they are the ones who continue to donate money to charity.

“The fans here are the best in the world,” said Phantoms Hall-of-Famer Frank “The Animal” Bialowis. “I’ve played all over the place, and they are the best here in Philly. I’ve made it my home. The people are unbelievable. They deserve good things. You can’t beat the fans in Philly.”

Bialowis has been playing with the Alumni team for 10 years, and honestly feels like it’s the best team he ever played for.

“I think their my all-time favorite,” he said. “It makes me realize that I missed my era. I should have played when they played because then I could have gotten away with all the crazy stuff I did.

“The Flyers are like a family. It continues on. It’s almost like you’re still playing. It’s a great organization. I’ve thanked them for everything they did for me and everyone else… it’s been a pleasure playing for them.”

It hasn’t always been easy for the alumni though.

When they started, they were a real fledgling operation and were independent of the organization, which made fundraising on their own end harder to keep the charity games going.

“We didn’t even have jersey’s the first two years,” Watson said. “We wore the Tropicana Little Flyers jerseys. They were supported by the casino in Atlantic City. Some guys had jerseys that came up to above their belly button.

“Then we got the thing going and started raising money so we got our own jerseys and the Flyers started to help us out and it just snowballed from there.”

And now all kinds of alumni play, whether they played just a handful of games for the Flyers – like Mark Freer, Dave Fenyves, Mitch Lamoreux and Andre Faust, or if they were true Flyers legends – like Watson, Bob Kelly and Orest Kindrachuk.

Heck, even non-Flyers and Phantoms alums are taking part because they live in the area.

Frederic Cassivi, who makes his home in the Hershey area after six seasons with the Hershey Bears, chips in by playing goalie.

“Getting a goalie is always the hardest thing for something like this,” Kelly said. “It’s the one position where it’s hard to keep playing as you get older and there aren’t many guys around to do it. Cassivi is a good kid and he’s young (37 years old) so we got him for some time here.”

But it doesn’t matter if these guys had long careers in Philadelphia or just a cup of coffee on their hockey travels, there’s something special about the Flyers organization, and if there’s going to be a way to give back to the community, there’s not many better places than to do it here.

That’s one of the perks of being a professional athlete,” Todd Fedoruk said. “You get to give back to the communities and the Flyers have always been a frontrunner in that area.”




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


C. Giroux 78 22 45 -8 67
W. Simmonds 81 32 28 -7 60
B. Schenn 80 26 33 3 59
J. Voracek 73 11 44 -5 55
S. Gostisbehere 64 17 29 8 46
S. Couturier 63 11 28 8 39
M. Raffl 82 13 18 9 31
M. Read 79 11 15 -5 26
M. Streit 62 6 17 -1 23
S. Laughton 71 7 14 -2 21
S. Mason 23 19 10 .918 2.51
M. Neuvirth 18 8 4 .924 2.27
Privacy Policy | AdChoices | California Privacy Rights | Contact Us | Advertise Employment | NHL.com Terms of Use

Philadelphiaflyers.com is the official Web site of the Philadelphia Flyers. Philadelphia Flyers and philadelphiaflyers.com are trademarks of Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.