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Flyers Legend Rick MacLeish Passes Away at Age 66

The Flyers family has lost another legendary member.

Rick MacLeish, who scored the game-winning goal in the Flyers 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins in the deciding Game 6 of the 1974 Stanley Cup Final, passed away on Monday night at age 66. Another Flyers legend, Reggie Leach, broke the news via Facebook. The Flyers confirmed the news on Tuesday morning.

MacLeish, known as "The Hawk," was born on January 3, 1950. His hockey career began in Peterborough, Ontario with the Petes of the OHA. He was a fourth-round pick of the Boston Bruins in 1970, but was traded to the Flyers and began his NHL career in the 1970-71 season, with two goals and four assists in 26 games.

MacLeish became a regular part of the Flyers lineup in the 1972-73 season, playing in 78 games and emerging as a huge scoring threat. He posted his first 50-goal season and had an even 100 points on the season.

The next year, MacLeish only scored 32 goals and added 13 more in the playoffs, but it was the last one that is perhaps the greatest in Flyers history. On May 19, 1974, in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, MacLeish deflected a Andre Dupont shot past Gilles Gilbert at 14:48 of the first period. A few hours later, MacLeish and the Flyers were hoisting the Stanley Cup for the first time.

One year later, MacLeish and the Flyers were back on top of the hockey world with their second consecutive Stanley Cup championship. MacLeish scored 38 goals and had 79 points and added 11 more goals and 20 more points in the 1975 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Though 1972-73 was MacLeish's only 50-goal season in his career, he remained a consistent goal-scorer for the rest of his Flyers career. He scored at least 20 goals in each of his nine full seasons with the Flyers, including seven with 30 goals or more. During that stretch, MacLeish was an all-star three times. 

From the 1981-82 season on, MacLeish bounced around the league. He played 34 games with the Hartford Whalers and 40 with the Pittsburgh Penguins that season. He spent most of the 1982-83 season away from the game, playing one game with the Penguins and six in a Swiss league before returning to the Flyers for 29 games in the 1983-84 season. He finished his career with the Detroit Red Wings, playing his final 25 games in the 1983-84 season.

In his career, MacLeish played in 846 games, scoring 349 goals and adding 410 assists for 759 points.

MacLeish remained an active part of the Flyers alumni, even as his life came closer to an end. In February, MacLeish was one of the coaches at the Flyers Alumni Game in Reading. MacLeish was also inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. 

In May, his daughter announced that MacLeish had been dealing with health issues for the previous six weeks and was residing in a Philadelphia hospital. 

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

Comments

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JILL Booher

My heart hurts. I luv ed Rick Mac. I even remember the Rock Mac attack. My his memory be a blessing to all who loved him.

JB

http://m.mykawartha.com/news-story/6699202-cannington-native-nhl-great-rick-macleish-dies-after-lengthy-illness

Don Miller

Rick played a season or so here in Oklahoma City. He was a fantastic player. He told a friend of mine if we showed up at practice he would give him a stick. My friends dad took us out of school to go to practice. And after practice he was true to his word. He gave my friend a stick.

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