Related Biography: President And General Manager Bobby Clarke
One of Eric Lindros's early champions who later became one of his biggest adversaries was Philadelphia Flyer general manager and president Bobby Clarke. Through Clarke and Lindros had a solid relationship when Clarke came to the Flyers as general manager and president in 1994, their relationship disintegrated in the late 1990s. He made Lindros sit out a year as Clarke waited for the right deal to trade his rights. Clarke had been with the Flyers in some capacity for over thirty years.
Clarke began playing hockey as a child and put up impressive numbers as a junior player for the Flin Flon Bombers of the Western Canada Junior Hockey League. Because he suffered from diabetes, NHL teams shied away from him. Still, he was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 1969, and played his way on to the team at that fall's training camp. By the early 1970s, he became a prolific scorer and was named captain of the Flyers. As one of the notorious "Broad Street Bullies," as the tough Philadelphia team was known, Clarke won three Hart Trophies, one Selke Trophy, and two Stanley Cups, among other honors.
After retiring as a player in 1984, Clarke was named the Flyers general manager, a position he held until 1990. He then took the same position for two years with the Minnesota North Stars (1990-92), returned to the Flyers as senior vice president (1992-93), then joined the expansion Florida Panthers as vice president and general manager (1993-94). But the Flyers remained Clarke's primary team. He again returned to the Flyers' front office in 1994, when he was named president and general manager. Clarke was not afraid to take chances as a general manger during his second stint with the Flyers, firing a number of coaches and waiting for the right deal to come along before trading Lindros. Though he received some public criticism, Clarke stuck to philosophy of doing what was best for the Flyers. He was elected to the Hall of Fame for his playing accomplishments in 1987.
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