Bill Sutherland, who scored the first goal for the Philadelphia Flyers, died Sunday. He was 82.
Sutherland had played 12 minor-league seasons when he made his NHL debut at age 33 with the expansion Flyers in 1967-68. In their first game, at the California Golden Seals on Oct. 11, 1967, Sutherland scored at 10:07 of the second period. It was their goal in a 5-1 loss.
"Bill was an original member of this organization who helped set the standard of success and what it meant to be a Flyer," Flyers president Paul Holmgren said. "He came to the Flyers as a veteran and played a crucial part in leading the team to a first-place finish in the West Division in the very first season. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time."
Sutherland had 29 points (20 goals, nine assists) in 60 games in 1967-68.
He played five NHL seasons with the Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings, and had 128 points (70 goals, 58 assists) in 250 games.
Sutherland finished his career with the Winnipeg Jets of the World Hockey Association, retiring after the 1973-74 season. He returned to the Jets when they joined the NHL, first as an assistant coach and then head coach for 32 games in 1979-80 and 1980-81.
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