Then and Now: Prolific Goal Scorer Leach Now Devoted to Assisting Young Lives
By Bill Meltzer
One the most naturally gifted snipers to grace the National Hockey League in the 1970s to early 1980s, Reggie Leach was a nightmare for opposing goaltenders. Playing along Hockey Hall of Fame inductees Bobby Clarke and Bill Barber on the LCB Line, Leach's goal-scoring prowess earned him a spot in the Flyers Hall of Fame.
Nicknamed "the Rifle," Leach had a hat trick's worth of devastating shots in his arsenal. He had a wicked 100 MPH slapshot that intimidated defenders and goaltenders alike, but also a quick release and the ability to any corner or find the tiniest five hole opening. To top it off, Leach could score on tricky backhanders that made many a goalie look foolish.
In his heyday, Leach was dangerous any time he got the puck over the blueline. He could score from any angle and was a good enough stickhandler to elude would-be shotblockers and pokecheck attempts. He also had underrated speed and was lethal in transition.
"I was fortunate to play with great teammates and to have one of the best coaches ever in Freddie [Shero]," Leach recalled in a 2014 interview conducted at the 40th anniversary reunion of the Flyers' first Stanley Cup team. "I had a great career and I am proud of it, but those people all made it possible. The Flyers have always had a great organization and I was lucky to be part of it."