|Fred Shero statue in Philadelphia, PA|
The late, great Fred Shero is a hero of the hockey world, a one-time New York Rangers player who, as an NHL head coach for the Philadelphia Flyers, reached the Stanley Cup finals three times in a row (between 1974 and 1976) with back-to-back victories for the Broad Street Bullies in ’74 and ’75. For these wins – to say nothing of his tendency to speak in platitudes - a statue has been erected in tribute to Shero at the Philadelphia sports complex where the Spectrum once stood on Pattison Avenue.
The Broad and Pattison Avenue location of the Philadelphia Spectrum (demolished in 2010) has held several famous statues in dedication to sports heroes, real (the Flyers’ favorite singer Kate Smith, Flyers' right-wing Gary Dornhoefer, the 76ers' Julius Erving, ), and imaginary (Sylvester Stallone in full Rocky gear). While the Rocky statue can now be found along Kelly Drive, Kate, Gary D. and Dr. J's tributes have been incorporated into the design of Xfinity Live!, a new performance/restaurant venue which stands near the Spectrum’s site.
Shero, who passed away in 1990, was not only famous for his wins, but for his innovations to the game of hockey (he was the first coach to hire assistant coaches) as well as gentle platitudes like “Win today and we walk together forever," written on the Flyers’ locker room chalkboards before each game. Flyers chairman Ed Snider and Fred's son Ray Shero, GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins, unveiled the statue last week.
Photo courtesy Ike Richman
Posted on Monday, March 24, 2014