Sunday, January 24, 2016

Reggie Leach Autograph Card

Known as The Rifleton Rifle and/or The Chief (because he is from the Ojibwe Aboriginal nation), Reggie Leach is best remembered as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers' LCB line (along with Bobby Clarke and Bill Barber), which enabled the Broad Street Bullies to get their hands on the 1975 Stanley Cup. He'd also played with Clarke in Juniors, for the Flin Flon Bombers, but had to wait until 1974 to be reunited with him, as Leach was drafted by the Boston Bruins (third overall in 1970), who traded him to the California Golden Seals, initially.

He still holds the Flyers' single-season goals record (with 61), a feat he achieved as he posted 91 points in 1975-76, the year he also won the Conn Smythe Trophy in a losing cause against the Montréal Canadiens. He stands as the only non-goalie to win it while playing for the losing team, a feat also achieved by Flyers goalie Ron Hextall in 1987, as well as Roger Crozier (St. Louis Blues, 1965-66), Glenn Hall (Chicago Blackhawks, 1967-68), and Jean-Sébastien Giguère (Anaheim Mighty Ducks, 2003-03). Of note that Crozier and Hall also won it against the Habs.

His son, Jamie Leach, also won the Cup in 1991 and 1992 - with the Flyers' arch nemeses and state rivals Pittsburgh Penguins. Reggie was also a member of the 1976 edition of Team Canada at the Canada Cup, while Jamie donned the maple leaf at the 1989 World Juniors.

Reggie had other tremendous seasons, with a 50-goal season in 1979-80 as the Flyers played in 35 consecutive games without suffering a loss, followed by 36- and 24-goal seasons before a final curtain call season with the lowly Detroit Red Wings in 1982-83 in which he scored 15, to finish his career with 381 tallies and 666 points in 934 NHL regular-season games, and another 47 goals and 69 points in 94 playoff games.

Here he is wearing the team's classic uniform, in glorious black and white, on card #US-RL from Upper Deck's 2011-12 Ultimate Collection set (and Ultimate Signatures sub-set):
It's signed on-card in blue sharpie, with a nice bust picture of the bruising forward.

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