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Bob Clarke: A Farewell to Hockey's King of Quotes

By October 22, 2006

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The housecleaning in Philadelphia might turn out to be good for the team. But it's a sad day for hockey reporters and bloggers.

The Flyers abruptly changed course on Sunday, when general manager Bob Clarke resigned and coach Ken Hitchcock was fired. Without Clarke, the NHL press conference will never be the same.

Hate him if you will - and many do - Bob Clarke never hesitated to speak his mind. It's a rare quality in the sports world, and it will be missed. Here are a few pearls from his 35-plus years as an NHL player and executive:

"They always try to play with our minds. But that won’t work with our club. We’ve got 20 guys without brains."

"If I hadn't learned to lay on a two-hander once in a while, I'd never have left Flin Flon."

"Roger got cancer. That wasn't our fault. We didn't tell him to go get cancer. It's too bad that he did. We feel sorry for him, but then he went goofy on us."
- On former coach Roger Neilson, who was not allowed to resume his job when he returned from cancer treatment.

"I don't give a crap whether he ever plays again or if I ever see him again. All he ever did was cause aggravation to our team."
– After trading former captain Eric Lindros.

"I don't give a (expletive deleted) if nobody likes me, I could care less."

"If you asked him the time, he'd build you a watch. You didn't dare ask him a question because you'd have to stand there and listen to him spout off for half an hour."
- On Ken Dryden, the Hall of Fame goaltender and Canadian politician.

Comments

October 25, 2006 at 8:42 pm
(1) John Lake says:

I miss him already.
Even though he pissed me off once in a while he was the quintissential Canadian hockey player. A man you went to war with. I think if i had a 1 goal lead in the last minute of the seventh game of the Stanley Cup Finals he’d be my guy.
He was the modern day Punch Imlach, without the 4 cups as a manager but 2 as a player.
i thought he made good trades for he most part.
but I don’t think he believed the NHL was serious about letting candy asses run around like they owned the place.
Clarke would have slowed them down with dogged determination and the occassional two-hander.
Good Luck Bobby !!

October 26, 2006 at 4:56 pm
(2) Lawrie Yearsley says:

I grew up watching Clarke play in the old Spectrum. Now that was Oold time hockey. He and Reggi Leech, the Watson brothers, Bob “the Hound” Kelly, Rick McLeish, Shultz and Bernie Parent…what a group. And the mad genius Fred Shero behind the bench too. But Clarke was the leader, and who could ever forget that toothless smile of utter joy they won the CUP.

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