Reggie Leach

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Reggie Leach
Born (1950-04-23) April 23, 1950 (age 63)
Riverton, MB, CAN
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shot Right
Played for Boston Bruins
California Golden Seals
Philadelphia Flyers
Detroit Red Wings
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 3rd overall, 1970
Boston Bruins
Playing career 1970–1984

Reginald Joseph Leach (born April 23, 1950) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey right winger who played 13 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Boston Bruins, California Golden Seals, Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings. He is best known for his time in Philadelphia, winning a Stanley Cup with the Flyers in 1975 and being a member of the LCB line.

Playing career[edit]

Nicknamed "The Riverton Rifle" and "The Chief", Leach was drafted third overall by the Boston Bruins in the 1970 NHL Amateur Draft. Boston traded Leach, Rick Smith and Bob Stewart to California for Carol Vadnais and Don O'Donoghue on February 23, 1972. After playing three seasons in Oakland, the Golden Seals traded Leach to Philadelphia for Larry Wright, Al MacAdam and 1974 1st Rounder (Ron Chipperfield) on May 24, 1974. He finished his NHL career with a one season stop with the Detroit Red Wings.

His best season was the 1975–76 season with the Philadelphia Flyers, when he set career highs in goals (61), points (91), game-winning goals (11), and plus-minus with a +73 rating. Leach's 61 goals earned him the goal-scoring title (now the Richard Trophy) for that season, as well as the current Flyers franchise record for most goals in a season.

He is best remembered as being one of very few players to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, as MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs, as a member of the losing team in the final, a distinction he achieved while playing for the Philadelphia Flyers in 1976. The Flyers were defeated by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1976 final, but he won the trophy after setting a record for most goals in a single playoff season, with 19. (The record has since been tied by Edmonton's Jari Kurri although Reggie achieved this record in less games than Kurri - Reggie in 16 games and Jari in 19 games.) Leach is the only non-goaltender to win this award in a losing cause.

During that same playoff season Leach recorded a five-goal game vs. the Boston Bruins, a record he shares today with Maurice Richard, Darryl Sittler, Mario Lemieux and Newsy Lalonde.[1] Also, his total of 80 goals for the season and playoffs together set a new NHL record which stood until 1980-81 when Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders scored 85.[citation needed]

He played 934 career NHL games, scoring 381 goals and 285 assists for 666 points. Reggie was also part of the Flyer's winning streak of 35 games in 1980 which is a record that still stands today, as well as the Flyer's home game winning streak of 22 games in the same year. Leach also played for Team Canada in the 1976 Canada Cup helping to win the championship. He was also a member of the NHL All-Star teams in 1976 and 1980.

Coaching career[edit]

In late 2007, Leach joined the Manitoulin Islanders of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League as an associate coach. In the spring of 2008, it was announced that Leach would return to Manitoulin for the 2008–09 season as the full-time head coach and director of hockey operations.

Family[edit]

Leach is of Ojibwe ethnicity, a member of Berens River First Nation in Manitoba. His son, Jamie Leach played in the NHL for parts of 5 seasons, winning the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and 1992. Reggie and his two children have all represented Canada - Reggie with Team Canada in 1976; Jamie in the World Juniors in 1989; and his daughter Brandie also represented Canada in the world Lacrosse championships in Scotland in 1991-92. Reggie and his wife, Dawn, live on Manitoulin Island in northern Ontario. Today, Reggie travels throughout Canada as a guest speaker encouraging Aboriginal youth to make good life choices and, with his son Jamie, they host Shoot-to-School hockey schools.

Awards[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

In bold are NHL record(s) (tied with Jari Kurri)

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1966–67 Flin Flon Bombers MJHL 45 67 46 113 118 14 18 12 30 15
1966–67 Flin Flon Bombers M-Cup 6 6 1 7 11
1967–68 Flin Flon Bombers WCHL 59 87 44 131 208 15 12 3 15 48
1968–69 Flin Flon Bombers WCHL 22 36 10 46 49 18 13 8 21 0
1969–70 Flin Flon Bombers WCHL 57 65 46 111 168 17 16 11 27 50
1970–71 Boston Bruins NHL 23 2 4 6 0 3 0 0 0 0
1970–71 Oklahoma City Blazers CHL 41 24 18 42 32
1971–72 Boston Bruins NHL 56 7 13 20 12
1971–72 California Golden Seals NHL 17 6 7 13 7
1972–73 California Golden Seals NHL 76 23 12 35 45
1973–74 California Golden Seals NHL 78 22 24 46 34
1974–75 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 80 45 33 78 63 17 8 2 10 6
1975–76 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 80 61 30 91 41 16 19 5 24 8
1976–77 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 77 32 14 46 23 10 4 5 9 0
1977–78 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 72 24 28 52 24 12 2 2 4 8
1978–79 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 76 34 20 54 20 8 5 1 6 0
1979–80 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 76 50 26 76 28 19 9 7 16 6
1980–81 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 79 34 36 70 59 9 0 0 0 2
1981–82 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 66 26 21 47 18
1982–83 Detroit Red Wings NHL 78 15 17 32 13
1983–84 Montana Magic CHL 76 21 29 50 34
NHL totals 934 381 285 666 387 94 47 22 69 22
WCJHL totals 138 188 100 288 425 50 41 22 63 98
CHL totals 117 45 47 92 66

International[edit]

Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
1976 Canada CC 6 1 1 2 4
Senior int'l totals 6 1 1 2 4

Popular culture[edit]

Leach is the topic in the John K. Samson song "Petition" which concerns the efforts of the citizens of Leach's hometown of Riverton, Manitoba to get him inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.[2]

On the television show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Leach's name was used as part of a trivia contest, on the sixth season episode "Mac's Big Break."

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Ivan Boldirev
Boston Bruins first round draft pick
1970
Succeeded by
Rick MacLeish
Preceded by
Bernie Parent
Winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy
1976
Succeeded by
Guy Lafleur
Preceded by
Phil Esposito
NHL Goal Leader
1976
Succeeded by
Steve Shutt