Rick MacLeish, the smooth-skating center who scored the goal that gave the Flyers their first Stanley Cup championship in 1974, is battling multiple medical problems in a Philadelphia hospital.

MacLeish, 66, has been hospitalized for six weeks.

"We deeply appreciate all the support that's been given to our dad," said Brianna MacLeish, one of Rick's two daughters. "At this time, we want to spend time with our dad, and the family asks for our privacy."

Brianna MacLeish did not want to specify her father's medical problems.

The owner of one of the league's most dynamic wrist shots, MacLeish became the first 50-goal scorer in franchise history in 1972-73, and he finished with 349 career goals. Drafted fourth overall by Boston in 1970, MacLeish played for the Flyers, Hartford, Pittsburgh, and Detroit in a career that ended in 1984.

On May 19, 1974, MacLeish redirected Andre "Moose" Dupont's power-play drive past Boston goalie Gilles Gilbert to give the Flyers a 1-0 first-period lead in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The goal, arguably the most important tally in franchise history, was the only one scored in the epic, series-clinching game at the Spectrum.

Get-well wishes can be sent to MacLeish through the Flyers alumni group, his daughter said. They should be sent to the Flyers Alumni Association, Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19148.


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