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Flying high for Pennsylvania, United States, the Philadelphia Flyers are a part of the National Hockey League, Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Among all expansion teams, the Flyers hold the most number of appearances during semifinals and conference finals, with a record of 8 wins out of 16 appearances until the end of 2010-2011 season.
The team was born from the proposal of Ed Snider, the vice president of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1964. And so during the NHL Expansion Draft, Philadelphia Flyers were ready to join the league. Majority of Flyers' first line up was French players from the minor-league Quebec Aces. The Flyers finally saw action in 1967 in their home arena, the Spectrum. With the Canadian and former Black Hawks Lou Angotti as the team captain and Leon Rocherfort leading the goal scoring with 21 goals, the Flyers brought the spectators on their feet every game. One season later, Angotti left the team and Ed Van Impe, another former Black Hawk player, replaced him as the team captain.
During the 1968-69 season, the Philadephia Flyers went to their way to the playoffs, facing a tougher St. Louis on the rink. The Flyers lost a painful sweep, pushing General Manager Bid Poile to add bigger and tougher players. Eventually, head coach Keith Allen replaced Poile as the General Manager but kept Poile's mandate. The Flyers welcomed their young diabetic rookie Bobby Clarke. Clarke became the best player on the team with a growing fan base at home and even away from their home court.
The Flyers made a new "trend" in playing 'God Bless America' instead of the Star Spangled Banner before their home games. This was influenced by Snider upon noticing that people would rather sing 'God Bless America' instead of the national anthem, especially during the time of the Vietnam War.
From 1972 onwards, the Flyers were known as the Broad Street Bullies. This was coined by Philadelphia Bulletin's Jack Chevalier and Pete Cafone after the Philadelphia Flyers won over the Atlanta Flames. It was also during this season when Clarke became the team captain and won the Hart Memorial Trophy, being the Most Valuable Player.
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