Lazarus “Larry” Zeidel, believed to be the only Jew ever to skate for the Philadelphia Flyers, had the chance Thursday night to catch his old squad take on the New Jersey Devils. The octogenarian played during the team’s 1967-68 inaugural season.
Robert J. Mongeluzzi, a well-know Philadelphia attorney and a hard-core Flyers fan, invited Zeidel to the game after reading an April 12 Philadelphia Daily News interview with the former pro-athlete.
The story portrayed Zeidel — who spent many years in pro-hockey and won a Stanley Cup with the 1952 Detroit Red Winds —as a hard luck case with serious medical and financials issues. According to the piece, he had been admitted to Bryn Mawr Hospital with congestive heart failure, and, upon his release, his roommate declined to take him back.
But his neighbors, Joan and George Bradley, offered to take him in. The couple have some financial issues of their own and are raising their teenage grandchildren, according to the story.
The couple has said Zeidel can stay in their basement as long as he likes.