For the first time since 2016, the Flyers are set to induct a new member or members into their Hall of Fame.
The club on Tuesday announced six finalists up for induction this season: Simon Gagne, Paul Holmgren, Bob Kelly, Lou Nolan, Mark Recchi and Rick Tocchet.
The induction ceremony will take place prior to a game this season. The six finalists were selected by a nominating committee. A voting committee, which is not limited to picking only one inductee, will decide who is next to join a prestigious group in the Flyers Hall of Fame. The voting committee is made up of members from the Flyers Hall of Fame, Flyers alumni, the front office, broadcasters and the Philadelphia chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
“These six nominees have each made historic contributions to the Flyers organization, and this list of Flyers greats is a reminder of the rich history and tradition of our organization,” Comcast Spectacor chairman and CEO and governor of the Flyers Dave Scott said in a statement released by the team. “I’m looking forward to seeing the voting committee’s final decision, and we’re even more excited to honor a new member or members of the Flyers Hall of Fame at a game this season.”
Gagne, who actually played for Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault at the junior ranks during 1996-97, spent parts of 11 seasons in the orange and black. The Flyers' 1998 first-round pick scored plenty of big goals and is 10th on the club's all-time list with 264 markers, behind Claude Giroux at No. 9 with 273. Everyone among the top 10 is in the Flyers Hall of Fame aside from Gagne and Giroux. The club's current captain will one day be a slam-dunk induction.
Holmgren is a franchise icon, having remarkably served the club as president, general manager, senior advisor (his current role), assistant general manager, head coach, assistant coach and director of pro scouting. To boot, Holmgren played 500 career games for the Flyers and 67 in the playoffs. He has devoted 40-plus years to the organization.
"I was raised a Flyer," Holmgren said in July 2019. "I'd like to believe I'll always have some kind of ties to the Flyers' organization because of how I feel about them, how I feel about the city, how I feel about the people I've worked with in the organization over the number of years I've been here."
Kelly was a decade Flyer and has the two Stanley Cup rings with the organization. He ranks among the franchise's top 10 in games played (741 — tied for seventh) and postseason games played (101 — tied for seventh). Nicknamed "The Hound," Kelly was known for his toughness and team-first ways on the ice. Now, he's an instrumental piece to the Flyers' efforts in the community and with alumni events.
Nolan has astoundingly served the Flyers since the birth of the organization. The iconic and longtime public address announcer was a press box assistant during the Flyers' inaugural season in 1967-68. He then worked in the club's public relations before becoming the PA announcer, a role he has held since 1972. Nolan has truly seen it all in Philadelphia and his voice is synonymous with the Flyers.
Recchi, a Hockey Hall of Famer, has impressive accolades in the orange and black. He holds the club's single-season record for points at 123, is sixth in franchise history with 395 assists and scored 1.04 points per game wearing a Flyers sweater, just behind Bob Clarke's 1.06. Recchi and Clarke are the only the two players in franchise history to put up 100-plus points in multiple seasons. Recchi won three Stanley Cups elsewhere, but he played more games for the Flyers (602) than he did for any other team over his 1,652-game career.
Tocchet was an old-school power forward who embodied Philadelphia's spirit. He played parts of 11 seasons with the Flyers and is the organization's all-time leader in penalty minutes (1,815). He scored 40-or-more goals twice in the orange and black and finished his Flyers career with 508 points (232 goals, 276 assists) through 621 games. Tocchet has won three Stanley Cups with the Penguins — two as an assistant coach and one as a player — but is highly regarded by many as a Flyer.
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