The First Day of Claudemas: Bernie Parent

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Here we are in December with little to do in this tough lockout time. What’s a blog to do? Well, it looks like a 12 Days of Christmas-themed series of posts is the way to go. But, we realize that all of you hockey fans aren’t into Christmas, so we’ve named it after the man nicknamed Orange Jesus and called it Claudemas.

On the first day of Claudemas, Flyers Faithful gave to me…a piece from our own Marcello on the man whose name hangs with the number one in the Wells Fargo Center rafters, Bernie Parent!

When John Lennon said that The Beatles — arguably the biggest and best band in the world — were more popular than Jesus in 1966, his comment was met with a firestorm of criticism. At the same time, a young French-Canadian goalie was beginning to make his mark on the NHL. Soon, it would be said that only the Lord saved more than him, Bernie Parent. Yet nobody flinched at this accusation. Rather, fans carried signs and stuck bumper stickers on their cars with the slogan on it.
Parent was as much a lynchpin to the Flyers’ success on the ice as he was for shaping the legacy of this team into one of the best and most storied teams in the league.
He is a legend, both in Philadelphia and across the NHL. For many fans, though, all they know is the legend of Bernie Parent.
Thirty-four years removed from his last game in the NHL, a great number of hockey fans never got to see him play.
Fortunately, a new generation of fans was afforded that luxury when the Flyer greats squared off against the Ranger counterparts nearly a year ago. To see Parent don his vintage pads and slide across the net to stop a puck a few more times was as great a Claudemas gift as any.