The Philadelphia Flyers picked him up in the 1972 Entry Draft and he went right to work for the club the following year. The success of his rookie campaign was a welcome experience for Bladon although the longer-term fallout didn't always make life easy. Because he netted most of his 42 points during that first year while on the right point on power plays, comparisons were frequently made with another famous blueliner who'd scored about the same number of points from the same post--Bobby Orr.
But Tom Bladon, by his own admission, was no Bobby Orr. On a good day, there were few rearguards who were as offensively effective. But on his off nights, which were not infrequent, he appeared to fight the puck as though dumbstruck by its arrival.
Through the highs and lows, however, Bladon fought on. On the upside, he savoured two Stanley Cup victories with the "Broad Street Bullies" in 1974 and 1975. On the down side, his medications, one for allergies and the other for sleeping, were incorrectly mixed during the 1974-75 campaign. He was skating around like a slug for some time. The fans would boo him at every turn until the problem was discovered and corrected.
Bladon hung on with the Flyers until 1978. He was then traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins where he played one final season of less-than-stellar hockey. The following year, he put in brief showings with Edmonton, Winnipeg and Detroit before heading down to Adirondack of the AHL where he retired in 1981.
Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame
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