Barry Ashbee

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     Ashbee had played 14 games with Boston in 1965-66 but was soon returned to Hershey where he was in the middle of a seven-year tour of duty there. The Flyers acquired him from the Bears and he became not only one of the more reliable defensemen in the league but among the most popular athletes in the city. He was as tough as any "Broad Street Bully" of that generation, and in February 1973 he was suspended for eight games for striking referee Bryan Lewis because he was upset with a penalty call.

     Ashbee played on the 1973-74 team that won the Stanley Cup, but his absence from the clinching game was because of an horrific career-ending eye injury he suffered April 28, 1974. In a semi-final game against the Rangers, just days after being named to the NHL's second all-star team, he was hit flush in the eye by a Dale Rolfe shot. The following year, his number 4 was retired by the club, and he became one of the team's assistant coaches.

     In April 1977, doctors gave Ashbee the devastating news that he had leukemia, and he passed away one month later.  A Memorial scholarship fund was established in his honor.  To this day, the Barry Ashbee trophy is awarded annually to the best defenseman on the Flyers, and Ashbee is also a member of the Flyers Hall of Fame.

 

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