Clarke roasts Pens in interview

Outspoken former captain and General Manager of the Philadelphia Flyers Bob Clarke, has never been one to mince words.  And given the chance by The Hockey News’ Alan Bass, Clarke immediately attacked the credibility of the Penguins’ organization.

“We were allowed to spend the money, we always tried to win,” Clarke said, when asked about the Flyers’ success since expansion in 1967. “We didn’t do what Pittsburgh did; lose seven years in a row so they could get good. They did it twice, in fact. They went through six or seven different owners. We’ve had one owner.”

Clarke then took his attack to other franchises, who he sees undeserving of their current success.

“It’s somewhat embarrassing that three of the last teams (in the 2009 playoffs) missed the playoffs six or seven years in a row,” Clarke said.  “Washington, Chicago, and Pittsburgh. Now they’re good and the teams that try to win all the time get penalized.”

To Washington’s credit, they only suffered a four-year playoff drought, but Clarke’s point is still valid.

The term “tanking” rolls quickly off the tongue of every hockey fan who debates the recent success of the Penguins.  But that word should also be used in the same breath of the Blackhawks, who are profiting from the production of a plethora of high first-round picks, most notably Cam Barker, (3rd overall, 2004) Jonathan Toews (3rd overall, 2006) and Patrick Kane (1st overall, 2007.)

Clarke may be in the process of still trying to swallow the bitter pill that is the Penguins’ recent Stanley Cup victory.  But despite his biting words, he makes a good point — In the NHL, it pays to lose.


Filed under 2009-10 season, Around the NHL

7 responses to “Clarke roasts Pens in interview

  1. The reason there is an NHL lottery draft in the first place?

    The Pittsburgh Penguins.

    The should rename the lottery draft “The Mario Lemeiux Rule”, because the Pens tanked their 83-84 season to be in a position to draft him.

    Then they did the same thing for four consecutive seasons to collect five lottery picks on there way to two SCF appearances (Crosby was awarded to the Pens during the lockout, and conspiracy theories abound that wasn’t just a stoke of luck since the Penguins was looking for a way out of Pittsburgh at the time…).

    When you build your team like that, honestly, there’s more honor in having your guys take steroids. Absolutely pathetic.

    • Steve

      Wow………..sounds like excuses to me……..your ownership was classy after the loss…….this kind of PUBLIC statement by a GM makes your organization look foolish……..Perhaps a new GM and some balance with the cement head v talent and defensemen who can skate v defensemen who are headhunters would be the real recipe…..C’mon, I know we are rivals, but this sounds really really lame…………man up and take the conference from the Pens….if you can…..good luck, should be a great year again with all out war between the teams.

  2. Steve


    sorry you are correct, and I am not surprised by the number of fans who think he is on the mark……if you had a similar conversation about the Flyers in PGH most would jump on that as well……..he is off base on a lot of his stats and time frames, and frankly, I think he is a buffoon and you are much better off without him……..The Flyers have such a deep team, I am curious to see what the addition of Pronger does, but MORE curious to see if Emery turns out to be a good move, or a BAD move over this coming season….It could be the bigger move if he plays to his utmost potential…………It could also be a killer if he reverts to being a cancer. I like the physical brand of hockey the Flyers play, but wonder what you think about whether they are overdoing it a bit with the physical, sometimes undisciplined types of guys…….having Carcillo, Cote, Pronger, Hartnell then adding Laperriere and the newest defenseman would seem to be one or two too many of that type of guy in the lineup to take the bad penalty at the wrong time………not up to speed on your cap situation but thought mid level guys like Prospal, or even Eaves before the Wings got him, (I also liked Upshall) would be better fits….admittedly not anywhere near as familiar as you are though……….even Sykora……… have more than enough grit as a team……..

    • Steve

      finally, in the sense that early draft choices are the prize, it pays to lose in every major professional sport….at least in hockey the lottery makes it a bigger gamble to make sure you are the worst out the bottom tier. I frankly think the Pens did a good job of shedding talent pre lockout in preparation for “new” NHL…………they were in danger of leaving PGH in large part due to lack of interest after the fire sale, but the plan worked…….the Pens are a very well run organization, as are the Flyers……………everybody in every walk of life plays to the rules they are given. The Pens have more championships in the past 20 odd years, the Flyers more stability and winning seasons………….both are worthy of praise.

    • A lot of people forget that the last time the NHL saw Emery, was in the Stanley Cup finals. It was never his talent that was questioned, it was his insanity. Considering this is his last shot at making hockey a profession in North America, he should have his head on straight enough to be a solid goalie. At least, better than Biron.

      My belief is that the Flyers need a speedy winger for the Fartsmell – Carter line. However, with only $2.2 of cap space and limited selection, it could be tricky. The acquisition of Tollefsen could make Randy Jones or Matt Carle expendable. Trading either one of them could release $2-3.5 million on the cap, giving the Flyers $4-5 million to play with.

      • Steve


        Thanks that makes a lot of sense to me in those terms……..I think you are right about Emery for this year…………like T.O. in buffalo this year, for similar reasons, should be a good year……….scary to ink either to anything longer term……but this year will give the flyers a chance to see if he is stable now!

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