Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Reggie Leach
An aboriginal Canadian who grew up in Riverton, Manitoba, Leach was raised by his paternal grandparents. One of the greatest scorers in the history of the Western Canada Junior Hockey League, Leach found the back of the net 188 times in three seasons with the Flin Flon Bombers. He led the WCJHL/WHL in goal-scoring twice, including a remarkable total of 87 goals in 1967-68. Leach was a junior teammate of Bobby Clarke, a factor that later changed the course of his NHL career. Following each of his junior seasons, he was placed on the WCJHL/WHL First All-Star Team.

After graduating from junior, Leach was the third player claimed in the 1970 Amateur Draft when the Boston Bruins called his name. The Beantowners were in the midst of winning the Stanley Cup twice in three years and were too deep in talent to give the youngster a fair shot at the pros.

On February 23, 1972, Leach was part of the package sent by Boston to California to acquire Carol Vadnais. The Golden Seals were blatantly overmatched most nights, but Leach's talent began to shine through the depression of losing. In 1972-73 and 1973-74, he recorded consecutive 20 goal seasons. In the second of these years, he formed the team's top line with Walt McKechnie and Joey Johnston.

A few days after winning their first-ever Stanley Cup, the Philadelphia Flyers took a giant step toward repeating the triumph when they fleeced the Seals in a deal for Leach. In 1974-75, Leach teamed with Clarke and Bill Barber to score 45 goals and earn the respect of the tough fans in the City of Brotherly Love. While helping the Flyers repeat as Cup winners, Leach scored eight goals in 17 post-season games.

It was in the Flyers' failed attempt at a third triumph in the playoffs that Leach's star shone the brightest. During the 1975-76 season, he scored 61 regular-season goals but saved his best for the post-season. Leach's 19-goal effort in 16 games earned him the Conn Smythe Trophy even though the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup finals swept his team. Of further significance was the fact that the Riverton Rifle scored 80 combined goals (regular-season and playoffs) to break Phil Esposito's standard set in 1970-71.

Incredibly, in 1979-80 the wily veteran scored 50 times and helped the Flyers set an NHL record by going undefeated in 35 consecutive games from October 14 to January 6. More important, Leach took on defensive responsibilities and killed penalties for the first time in his career. He also scored 16 points while helping Philly reach the Stanley Cup finals, where they lost to the New York Islanders in six games.

The fleet winger registered 60 goals during his last two seasons in Philadelphia before joining the Detroit Red Wings as a free agent prior to the 1982-83 season. Leach scored his last 15 NHL goals wearing the famous winged wheel. In 1983-84, he skated for the Montana Magic of the Central Hockey League before bringing his pro career to a close. Leach finished with 381 goals in 934 regular-season games while earning a reputation as one of the top snipers of his day.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP 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 WCJHL 59 87 44 131 208 15 12 3 15 48
1968-69 Flin Flon Bombers WCJHL 22 36 10 46 49 18 13 8 21 0
1969-70 Flin Flon Bombers WCJHL 57 65 46 111 168 17 16 11 27 50
1970-71 Boston Bruins NHL 23 2 4 6 0 +7 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 +5
1971-72 California Golden Seals NHL 17 6 7 13 7 +2
1972-73 California Golden Seals NHL 76 23 12 35 45 -41
1973-74 California Golden Seals NHL 78 22 24 46 34 -61
1974-75 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 80 45 33 78 63 +53 17 8 2 10 6
1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 80 61 30 91 41 +73 16 19 5 24 8
1976-77 Canada Can-Cup 6 1 1 2 4
1976-77 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 77 32 14 46 23 +6 10 4 5 9 0
1977-78 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 72 24 28 52 24 +20 12 2 2 4 0
1978-79 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 76 34 20 54 20 -3 8 5 1 6 0
1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 76 50 26 76 28 +40 19 9 7 16 6
1980-81 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 79 34 36 70 59 +21 9 0 0 0 2
1981-82 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 66 26 21 47 18 +2
1982-83 Detroit Red Wings NHL 78 15 17 32 13 -1
1983-84 Montana Magic CHL 76 21 29 50 34
NHL Totals 934 381 285 666 387 94 47 22 69 22


Father of Jamie
WCJHL First All-Star Team (1968, 1969, 1970)
WCJHL Player of the Year (1970)
NHL Second All-Star Team (1976)
Conn Smythe Trophy (1976) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1976, 1980)
Missed majority of 1968-69 due to seperated shoulder, December, 1968. Traded to California by Boston with Rick Smith and Bob Stewart for Carol Vadnais and Don O'Donoghue, February 23, 1972. Traded to Philadelphia by California for Larry Wright, Al MacAdam and Philadelphia's 1st round choice (Ron Chipperfield) in 1974 Amateur Draft, May 24, 1974. Signed as a free agent by Detroit, August 25, 1982.