Clement to become U.S. citizen during Flyers game tonight

Bill Clement: 'Pride for America'
Bill Clement: 'Pride for America'
Posted: November 04, 2010

Bill Clement has lived in the United States on a full-time or part-time basis since 1971.

Tonight, during the first intermission of the Flyers' battle with the Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center, Clement will become the fourth Broad Street Bully this year to officially become a United States citizen.

"I have always felt like a citizen, but I thought it was only right to actually become one," Clement said yesterday. "I think it is something that I have always toyed with but never actually had the time to do it. I can't speak for anyone else, but I know that I felt a lot of pride for America, especially after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.

"I realized then that I never had any serious intentions to move back to Canada."

Clement, who will turn 60 on Dec. 20, was born in Buckingham, Quebec, about 25 miles from Ottawa. He makes his living now as a member of the Flyers' broadcast team and lives in New Hope.

Clement's teammates, Orest Kindrachuk, Bob "The Hound" Kelly and Dave "The Hammer" Schultz, also were naturalized this year. Kelly and Kindrachuk were sworn in on Sept. 17 and Schultz took the Oath of Allegiance on Oct. 3. All three will be on hand tonight.

Fans in attendance can participate by joining Clement in his first act as a citizen by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

"I've been practicing the pledge all week," Clement said. "I have always known it, but now it has a new meaning to me."

Clement said the process for becoming a citizen - which included lots of paperwork, the oath, and a brief test about the history of the United States - was helped along by U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, D-Pa., who is a Flyers fan.

It is only fitting for Clement to fulfill the last step of the process at a Flyers game.

"It will be a special night," he said. "To combine it with so much history reminds me of the beginning of my career and coming to the U.S. If it weren't for the Flyers, I don't know if I'd still be here."

The boogie man

Flyers heavyweight Jody Shelley and Rangers tough guy Derek Boogaard have fought each other on four separate occasions. After the Flyers signed Shelley from the Rangers on July 1, the Rangers replaced him with Boogaard.

They figure to be the main card tonight, in the rivals' first meeting since the Flyers knocked New York out of the playoffs on the final day of the regular season last April. The New York Post reported yesterday that Boogaard would be reinserted into the Rangers' lineup for tonight.

Shelley, whose only two goals of the season came in that final weekend set against the Flyers, nearly cost the Flyers their spot.

The 10-year NHL vet, who has three fights this year and 158 total bouts under his belt, wouldn't add any fuel to the fire after Tuesday's practice, saying he's fought Boogaard before when they were both in the Western Conference.

"It's always fun when you play an old team," Shelley said. "I had some good relationships with those guys and I had a lot of fun in New York for the 8-10 weeks that I was there."

Slap shots

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist told the New York Post that he should be good to go for tonight's game, despite taking a puck to the neck yesterday in practice and having difficulty breathing. Former Flyer Marty Biron is the Blueshirts' backup . . . The Flyers had a complete day off yesterday . . . Goaltending prospect Nic Riopel was named the ECHL's goalie of the week for Oct. 25-31, playing for the Greenville (S.C.) Road Warriors . . . Tonight is Flyers forward Nik Zherdev's first crack at his former team. *

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