Monday

Bill Clement

Known in the United States as a longtime staple of NHL television broadcasts in the United States, Bill Clement also had a solid - although not extraordinary - NHL career, winning two Stanley Cups with the Philadelphia Flyers as a back line center. But even before Clement retired from the game, it was obvious what he was going to do after hockey.

Clement broke into pro hockey in 1970-71 with the AHL Quebec Aces. The Aces were a Philadelphia farm team, and the Flyers had made Clement their 1st choice, 18th overall in 1970. Bill led the Aces in scoring (19-39-58) in what would prove to be their final season.

The next season, he split his time between the Flyers and the AHL Richmond Robins. He became a full-time Flyer in 1973-74 and as a result became forever a member of the immortal "Broad Street Bullies." Although Clement was anything but a bully. He tallied only 383 penalty minutes in 719 contests. Instead, his job was to kill off all those penalties that the Bullies took. He was an excellent penalty killer, combining a superior defensive understanding of the game and good skating skills to carve a niche in the NHL for 11 seasons.

Bill was traded to the Washington Capitals for the 1975-76 season in a trade that saw the Flyers and Caps swap 1st round picks. That trade was seen as brilliant at the time, as the two time defending Stanley Cup champions had secured the 1st overall selection in the draft in exchange for Clement and Don McLean. Unfortunately the player the Flyers took, Mel Bridgman never proved to be a superstar, though he did have a long, serviceable career. On the other hand Clement's stay in Washington was very short. He played in just 46 games before he moved on again. In that short time he proved to be one of the Caps' best players, and was even selected to represent them team in the annual All-Star game.

Clement finished the season with the Atlanta Flames in exchange for a 1st round draft pick (which turned out to be Greg Carroll), Jean Lemieux and Gerry Meehan. It would be the last time Clement changed organizations, although he did find himself moving once again in 1980 when the team transferred from the state of Georgia to Calgary, Alberta. Clement continued to be an effectively nice player for the Flames, and even returned to the NHL All-Star Game again in 1978.

As mentioned, as his playing career wound down, Clement was laying the groundwork for his next career: broadcasting. While still playing for the Flames, he was a guest commentator for games telecast on cable’s fledgling USA Network. Bill first joined ESPN in 1986 serving as a game analyst, but returned to Philadelphia in 1988 to help broadcast Flyers games on PRISM (now Comcast) for four years. During that time, Clement also did games for two stations locally. For his work covering the 1992 NHL playoffs for SportsChannel America, Clement won the CableACE Award, an honor equivalent to the Emmy for American cable stations. He has also appeared as a hockey analyst for NBC, TNT, the Madison Square Garden Network and Canada’s CTV.

Clement re-joined ESPN for the 1992-93 season as its NHL studio analyst. A professionally trained actor and model, Clement can list over 250 nationally televised commercials in the United States on his resume and has been active on the motivational speaking circuit for nearly a decade. He even appeared in a soap opera, ABC’s "All My Children," in 1986. His most famous television appearance would definitely have to be this bug spray commercial:



Although Bill Clement was never in the running for major accolades during his NHL career, after he hung up his skates he became a major spokesman for the game through broadcasting. His contributions to the game - particularly in the United States - have not gone unnoticed.

1 comments:

Karl F' Loucks-kfl17945@aol.com,  4:37 PM  

It should be noted in any bio (including Wikipedia) of Bill Clement that his goal in the 1975 Playoff Finals against the Buffalo Sabres won the Stanley Cup for the Philadelphia Flyers

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP