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Reggie Leach- The Riverton Rifle

The Warrior Life With Justin Mirigliani

Boy, if I only lived in my current home in the late 70s and early 80s! If I had, I would have been next door neighbors with former Flyers’ super scorer Reggie Leach. Reggie was the “L” in the LCB line. The LCB line, consisting of Hall of Famers Bobby Clarke and Bill Barber, along with Reggie are one of the most storied lines in hockey history. In the 1975-76 season the LCB line set the NHL record, at the time, for most goals scored by a single line with 141 in one season. Of those 141 goals, Reggie Leach scored 61 of them, which is still the Flyers’ record for most goals in a single season by a player. That season Reggie’s plus/minus was an incredible +72, showing that he was more than just a goal scorer and could play in all zones. As great as he was in the regular season, Reggie was even more spectacular in the playoffs. He set the, still standing, NHL record for goals in a playoff year by scoring 19 goals. In doing so, he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, despite the Flyers falling short of winning their third consecutive Stanley Cup. With his 61 regular season goals and his 19 playoff goals, Reggie also set a new NHL mark for goals by a player in a single season, including playoffs with 80 (now 100 goals held by Wayne Gretzky). Reggie was a two time 50 or more goal scorer and he and his son, Jamie, are the first Aboriginal father and son to have their names on the Stanley Cup. Many credit Reggie Leach for bringing into prominence the term “5-Hole.” Hockey fans know that that is the vulnerable area between the goaltender’s legs, where goals are sometimes scored.

Reggie’s successes off the ice are as incredible, or even more so, than what he did as an NHLer. Reggie defeated alcoholism in 1985 and continues to celebrate sobriety for over 30 years. He and Jamie run hockey camps throughout Canada, teaching the next generation of hockey stars. He also spend much of his free time traveling all over Canada teaching Aboriginal children about the Seven Grandfather’s Teachings, which are a set of teachings of how human beings should behave in accord with other human being.

Finding out what Reggie is doing is easy to do, you can find him on Facebook, on his website and you can read the story of his life in his autobiography, “The Riverton Rifle.” It is a must read for sports fans and those who want to be inspired by the strength of the human condition.

By Justin Mirigliani

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