The Washington Capitals, looking for more punch, yesterday acquired an original Broad Street Bully, left wing Bob Kelly of the Philadelphia Flyers.
The price for Kelly, 29, was fairly inexpensive -- a third-round draft choice. Because the Flyers have so many young players to protect in the October waiver draft, Kelly was a luxury they no longer could afford.
The acquistion of Kelly fortifies a comment Cap Coach Gary Green made after a loss in Quebec last season -- that his players hit from start to finish of future games, or go elsewhere.
At that time, Green cited the Flyers as the leading exponents of the physical fortitude he sought, and if there was any doube that Green intends to emulate the Flyers' sock 'em approach, it was dispelled yesterday.
Known to admiring fans as "The Hound," Kelly accumulated 1,285 penalty minutes during specialized service covering 10 years and 741 games in Philadelphia. If there was among the regular troops a momentary forgetfulness to bang bodies, Kelly was quickly sent over the boards to stir things up.
That he will see similar duty here was made apparent yesterday by General Manager Max McNab, who also confirmed Green's commitment to a physicaal style of play.
"We need a player of Kelly's enthusiasm," McNab said. "His style of play fits Gary Green's requirements."
Kelly's enthusiasm was not diminished by news of his departure.
"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "We had some real good exciting games with the Caps. One thing we could never do was underestimate them. It takes guts to hang in there when you're down and they showed they had guts.
"The way they battle us they're bound to be winners eventually. They've got good young kids and now there are some veterans movin in. With their good management, they'll go places.
"It was an honor to be here 10 years and we had some good times. But everybody's expendable. It's a matter of time. You kind of always expect to go, particularly when you don't score a lot of goals and don't play a regular shift.
"I played a lot of roles here and sometimes I got more ice time than the regulars. I'd play left wing, right wing, any place they needed me. That's what a team is all about, 20 guys ready to go anywhere and do anything, except maybe play goal.
"I'm a little vacant in a way now, but it's no problem. It's not like being fired with no place to go. I'm going to a good club."
There was a minimum of flutter over Kelly's departure in Philadelphia, where General Manager Keith Allen confirmed the deal, then crossed the street to watch the Phillies play baseball.
"He's made some big clutch goals for us through the years," Allen said by way of farewell to Kelly.
Although Kelly netted only 128 goals in 10 seasons, 15 a year ago, he will always be remembered for one tiebreaker in Buffalo in 1975, because it elevated him into the elite group of players producing Stanley Cup winning goals.
In a twist of fate, Kelly's arrival probably dooms Gary Rissling to minor-league obscurity. Rissling was formerly in charge of shaking up Capital opponents.
In Philadelphia in April, while the Capitals were nursing a 2-0 lead over the complacent Flyers in their next-to-last game with a playoff berth beckoning, Rissling nailed Kelly to the boards with a vicious check. Kelly got up and fought Rissling, and just about everybody else fought, too, and the suddenly animated Flyers blew Washington's playoff dreams away, 4-2.