The 1967-68 season was the 51st year of existence for the National Hockey League. In their first-ever expansion, the league added six new teams who were all put into the newly created Western Division, with the “Original Six” teams becoming the Eastern Division. The Flyers opened the 1967-68 season at the newly constructed Spectrum Arena in South Philadelphia. The man who often receives the most credit for bringing NHL hockey to Philadelphia is businessman and team executive Ed Snider.
Jean-Guy Gendron was an NHL veteran, having started his career in 1955-56 with the New York Rangers, then playing mainly for the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers teams before going to the AHL to play for the Quebec Aces. His inaugural season with the Flyers was in 1967-68, when he played in only one game. In his 1968-69 season with the flyers, the talented and durable left-winger played in 74 games, amassing 55 points for the season while missing only two games.
In their first three seasons, from 1967 to 1970, the Flyers uniforms remained primarily identical. The home jerseys were orange, and the road jerseys were white, with black numbers on the sleeves and white numbering on the reverse. In 1970, they switched things around, with the home jerseys becoming white, and the road jerseys changing to orange. The numbering on the home jersey sleeves became orange, replacing the previous black numbering.
Entering the 1968-69 season Gendron served as one of the Alternate Captain’s on the team, the only year that he was granted this coveted honor. The original “A” emblem, while well-worn, is still securely affixed to the jersey. It appears to be in the exact position as the jersey he is wearing in the attached team photo.
While there is no tagging in the neck (and no sign of any having ever been there), there is a somewhat faded “General Athletic” washing tag in the lower hem. The jersey has obviously seen many NHL wars, with board marks and general overall puckering to the Flyers logo on the front, the aforementioned “A” lettering and the white “11” player number on the reverse. The v-shaped neckline has a ragged 2” tear where the bottom seams meet. No obvious team repairs, but a few nicks, tears and game bruises as well. We could easily describe it as “hammered” but will conservatively just say “heavy wear.”
In the accompanying LOA, the consignor of the jersey states: "A close relative of former Flyers owner, Ed Snider gave me a game-used Jean-Guy Gendron Flyers jersey as a Bar Mitzvah gift in 1972. The jersey was worn in the 1968/69 season."
The offered Gendron home jersey from that Flyers second NHL season is a truly rare and desirable treasure, and as far as we can ascertain, is the very first 1968-69 Flyers jersey to ever be offered publicly at auction.