Top Players in Flyers’ History: No. 5 Rick MacLeish

Rick MacLeish was drafted 4th overall by the Boston Bruins in the 1970 NHL Entry Draft.  He did not play one game for the Bruins in his NHL career, but was immediately moved to the Philadelphia Flyers, where his career took off.

Rick MacLeish was not a very talkative guy.  Many players liked him for his leader-type role, yet he leaded by example.  When he was told that he was going to be playing for the Flyers, he was ecstatic, and was thrilled to be leaving his home in Oklahoma City.

In his first full NHL season, Rick scored 50 goals and 50 assists for 100 points in 78 games.  That season was the one before the Flyers made history.

The next year, his stats went down a bit, only scoring 77 points, yet his team won the Stanley Cup, becoming the first expansion team to do so.  Because of that, it made this season even more special than the one before it.

One funny story from Rick MacLeish occurred during the famous “fog game” between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Buffalo Sabres in the 1975 Stanley Cup finals.  The Spectrum was not cold enough to hold the ice together, and the arena became so humid and foggy that players could barely see the puck at their feet.

During the game, a bat flew out of the rafters and started to fly around the ice surface.  The arena staff and the officials were unable to get the bat out of the building, so Rick MacLeish took his hockey stick and batted the animal out of the air, and it fell limp onto the ice.

MacLeish proceeded to take his glove off, pick up the bat, and toss it over the glass into the penalty box.  Fellow teammate Joe Watson skated up to Rick and said, “Ricky, don’t touch that, don’t you know you could get rabies?”

Rick replied, “What are rabies?”

And that, along with 759 points in 846 games in the NHL, is what earns him number five on this list.  Okay, it’s more so about the stats and play than that one example.  But that is still pretty funny.

This is the sixth part of a ten part series.  Stay tuned for the rest of the series!

Alan Bass is a writer for The Hockey News and In addition to writing for Inside Hockey and Pro Hockey News , he has also worked for the Philadelphia Flyers. He is the General Manager of the Muhlenberg College hockey team as well. You can contact him at

One Response to Top Players in Flyers’ History: No. 5 Rick MacLeish

  1. Donna says:

    Hi, a little late, and I know it’s not the point, but… I just happened to watch Broad Street Bullies on Hbo and saw the footage from the Fog Game. It was Sabre #8 Jim Lorentz who swatted the bat down with his stick before MacLeish picked it up. Just an Fyi from a sick-in-bed Rangers fan with nothing better to do 🙂

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