Al Hill

Al Hill played in 221 NHL games with modest success, but none as famous as his first.

Hill was called up by the Flyers for a game against the St. Louis Blues on Valentine's Day, 1977. Hill went on to establish a NHL record by registering 5 points in his debut game. He scored 2 goals and 3 assists, and even had a fight to complete the "Gordie Howe hat trick."

No player had a better NHL debut.

Playing on a line with team captain Bobby Clarke and Bob "Hound Dog" Kelly, Hill struck early, opening the scoring at just the 36 second mark. He struck again in the second period, this time playing with new linemates Rick MacLeish and Gary Dornhoefer.

Hill went on to set up goals by Reggie Leach, Mel Bridgman and Bobby Clarke, as well as fighting Blues star Bill MacMillan.

It was certainly a surprise eruption of offense from Hill. The Nanaimo, BC native was never a real offensive force in junior hockey or in the minor leagues. He was never even drafted by a NHL team.

Coach Fred Shero even hinted that he “didn’t even know we had him on the team.”

Hill would return to the minor leagues for most of the next two seasons, but he did finally become a NHL regular from 1979 through 1982, though it was as a checking forward who could be plugged into any hole in the lineup. He would return to the minor leagues through 1989, with the occasional NHL call up, all with the Flyers' organization.

In 221 NHL games Al Hill scored 40 goals and 95 points.


John Bemis,  7:07 AM  

Al was part of a great line with Blake Dunlop and Tom Gorence withe the Maine Mariners in 1977 78. He was a AHL scoring champ also. Still have the many programs he signed for me when i was a kid.

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