Happy Birthday to Dave “the Hammer” Shultz. Born in Waldheim, Saskatchewan, the Hammer is widely considered one of the most prolific enforcers in NHL history. What most people don’t realize, however, is that while he was going through Juniors, Schultz was considered a scoring prospect. It wasn’t until he began playing with the Salem Rebels in the Eastern Hockey League that Schultz began fighting and “the Hammer” earned his moniker.
Schultz was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 1969, but wouldn’t break into the NHL until 1972. With Schultz enforcing the ice, the Flyers jumped 19 points in the standings from the previous season and made it to the playoffs after missing the previous season. With other teams fearing the Hammer, the Flyers young scorers were able to open up more of the ice and increase their overall scoring by more then 250 points from the previous season. His style of play spread throughout the locker room and lead to the team’s nickname, “The Broad Street Bullies.”
Across his 10 year career in the NHL, Schultz won 2 Stanley Cups with the Philadelphia Flyers (’73-’74 and ’74-’75), score 79 goals, notch 121 assists and rack up 2,294 penalty minutes. He also broke the record for most penalty minutes in a season by accumulating 472 penalty minutes during the ’74-’75 regular season. The record still stands today. Happy 71st Schultz!