All-time Flyers roster
In this time of great uncertainty, everyone needs some good old-fashioned water-cooler talk. In the absence of actual water coolers with most non-essential businesses closed for the foreseeable future, let's call this a social distancing chat.
Today’s topic: the Flyers' all-time roster — four forward lines, four defense pairings and two goaltenders.
Here it goes ...
(All photos are from AP Images and USA Today Images)
Forwards: First line
Bill Barber, Bob Clarke, Reggie Leach
Not sure how much needs to be said about this line — two Hockey Hall of Famers and all three in the Flyers Hall of Fame.
Clarke is the best player in the history of the franchise and the LCB line, as it was dubbed, is the best forward line in franchise history.
Forwards: Second line
John LeClair, Eric Lindros, Tim Kerr
If only this trio had gotten to play together as a line. When healthy, Lindros may have been the most talented player ever to put on a Flyers jersey.
LeClair and Kerr are two of the best goal-scorers this franchise has ever seen. LeClair registered three straight 50-goal seasons, while Kerr accomplished the feat in four consecutive seasons.
Forwards: Third line
Simon Gagne, Claude Giroux, Mark Recchi
This trio’s statistics stack up with anyone in franchise history.
Giroux seamlessly took over as team captain after the Flyers traded Mike Richards and Jeff Carter in 2011 and his résumé speaks for itself.
Gagne has scored some of the biggest goals in the Flyers’ recent history, including capping off the dramatic 3-0 comeback against the Boston Bruins in 2010.
Recchi had two productive tenures with the Flyers and his statistics are among the best in team history. Unfortunately, his hardware came from the rival in the Western part of the state.
Forwards: Fourth line
Rick Tocchet, Dave Poulin, Brian Propp
The Flyers in the mid-to-late 80s stood toe to toe with the NHL’s best teams and that was in large part because of the contributions of these three players.
Poulin was the captain of the Flyers team that reached two Stanley Cup Finals.
Tocchet was an integral member of those teams and later served as captain for one season.
Propp eclipsed the 40-goal mark four times during the 80s and was an offensive force.
Defensemen: First pair
Mark Howe, Barry Ashbee
One is a Hockey Hall of Famer, both are in the Flyers Hall of Fame and both have had their numbers retired by the franchise.
Howe was the true definition of a top defenseman, while Ashbee was one of the top defensemen on a two-time Stanley Cup-winning team.
Ashbee tragically died after a short battle with leukemia in 1977. Each year, the Barry Ashbee Trophy is awarded to the Flyers' best defenseman.
Defensemen: Second pair
Brad McCrimmon, Jimmy Watson
Watson was a top defenseman on a two-time Stanley Cup-winning team, while McCrimmon was a top defenseman on a two-time Wales conference champion during the 80s.
Watson is a member of the Flyers Hall of Fame and many argue McCrimmon, who died tragically in a plane crash before coaching his first game in the KHL in Russia, should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Defensemen: Third pair
Eric Desjardins, Chris Therien
During the mid-to-late 90s and early 2000s, Eric Desjardins and Chris Therien were the top defensive pair.
Desjardins is in the Flyers Hall of Fame (and arguably should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame), while Therien has played more games as a defenseman for the Flyers than anyone in history.
Defensemen: Fourth pair
Kimmo Timonen, Joe Watson
Watson was a top defenseman for a back-to-back Stanley Cup champion and has remained a pillar in Flyers history.
Timonen was rock solid both offensively and defensively and was an integral member of the 2010 Eastern Conference champions.
Bernie Parent, Ron Hextall
There’s really no way to debate these two, the only argument being the unrealized potential of Pelle Lindbergh, who tragically died in an automobile accident in 1985.
So, that's quite a team. Let the debating commence while we wait for the current Flyers team to get back on the ice.