Goalie Pelle Lindbergh was coming off something of a dream season in 1985, as he became the first European goaltender to win the Vezina trophy, and led the Flyers all the way to the Stanley Cup finals, where they fell to the Edmonton Oilers. Lindbergh was only in his third season as a Flyer, and seemed well on his way to becoming a franchise cornerstone for the rest of the decade. But 14 games into the '85-'86 season, Pelle went out riding in his Porsche 930 Turbo in the middle of the night, and crashed into a short concrete wall that was part of Somerdale Elementary School. The next day, November 11th, 1985, he was taken off life support and pronounced dead.
"It was just awful," recalled team owner Ed Snider. "I felt a little guilty, because everybody knew he loved his Porsche, loved to speed. I felt like I could have done more before it happened." Other Flyers remembered how Pelle's need for speed had alarmed them previously. "He scared me" said Bobby Clarke. "We told Pelle he had to slow down." But Lindbergh's style in general was one on the edge, and the team and fans loved him for it. (Flyers beat writer and friend Al Morganti referred to him a "whack job," meant of course as the highest of compliments).
Lindbergh was saluted in a service at the Spectrum before the Flyers' next home game, a re-match with the Oilers who had vanquished them in the previous year's finals. Fans were handed out pictures of Pelle with a message: "In loving memory of Pelle Lindbergh. Our friend. Our goalie." The Flyers won the game, 5-3.
About a year ago, while in Indianapolis for the combine, the Eagles cut veteran linebacker DeMeco Ryans.
Ryans has finally found his next job ... as a coach.
The 32-year-old former linebacker has been named a defensive quality control coach on Kyle Shanahan's staff in San Francisco. Shanahan was on the Texans' staff for the first four years of Ryans' pro career. Niners defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was also on that Houston staff.
After the Eagles cut him last Feb. 24, Ryans was out of the league in 2016 after 10 NFL seasons. He played the first six years of his career in Houston, where he was a two-time Pro Bowler, before joining the Eagles through a trade in 2012.
While the Eagles cut Ryans after the 2015 season to save $3.5 million in cap space, they made a point to go out of their way to praise him on his way out. He was very well thought of in the locker room and throughout the building.
While Ryans played one season under Andy Reid, he quickly became a favorite of Chip Kelly, who frequently called Ryans the "Mufasa" of the Eagles' defense.
Kelly didn't forget about Ryans when he went to San Francisco to coach the 49ers for the 2016 season. In fact, in Kelly's questionnaire in the NFL's 2016 information guide, Kelly listed Ryans as a player who'd make a great head coach.
In the 2016 NFL Info guide, Chip Kelly named DeMeco Ryans as a player who would make a great HC. Now, he's on the next 49ers staff. pic.twitter.com/TGx0cfDr3c