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The Flyers had traded their No.1 in this draft a year earlier to Hartford for Mark Howe. Bob McCammon, who had coached the Flyers that season, was promoted to GM, too, just 10 days before the draft. He promptly fired eastern scout Eric Coville and ignored the computer rankings the Flyers had compiled. But with the help of Sault Ste. Marie coach Terry Crisp, the former Flyer center and assistant; and Sault GM Sam McMaster, head scout Jerry Melnyk put together a masterpiece.

“The mass confusion draft,” as called by McCammon, brought Peter Zezel at No. 41, Derrick Smith at 44, Tocchet at 125 and Pelle Eklund at 161. Just one year later, Zezel, Smith and Tocchet all were rookie regulars when the youngest team in the NHL, going cold turkey that season without Clarke, Barber and Darryl Sittler, won the Presidents Trophy and went to the Final. And Eklund joined up a year later to key the 1987 finalists.

Eklund was a tout of Ted Sator, a coach in Sweden who had assisted McCammon as a skating instructor and would become a full time assistant that year. McCammon, who now lives in Vancouver, didn’t recall the details when reached recently by phone, but when all these draftees were making an impact through the mid-eighties, he credited McMaster for the Eastern “book” on the first three picks, as Melnyk was based in Edmonton.

“Jerry wasn’t a shouter or a fist-pounder,” recalls Jay Snider, then a second year Flyer president. “I don’t remember specifically the dynamics at the table that day, but I believe he would have thought it wise to be guided by people who saw these prospects more than he did.

“I didn’t push any of those guys,” said McMaster, later the Kings’ GM and now a scout for the Blue Jackets, “I just agreed with Jerry that they would be good players.

“Tocchet had been eligible the year before and not been taken in 12 rounds. He wasn’t a great skater but I knew his heart and that he would score. Zezel was a strong, stocky guy who could shoot and make plays. Smith had size and could skate and knew how to play.”

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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