Flyers

Should Rick Tocchet make Flyers Hall of Fame?

Should Rick Tocchet make Flyers Hall of Fame?

Going End to End today are NBC Sports Philadelphia's Brooke Destra, Katie Emmer, Taryn Hatcher, Joe Fordyce and Jordan Hall.

The topic: Should Rick Tocchet make the Flyers Hall of Fame?

Destra

Tocchet not only has a strong case to make the Flyers Hall of Fame but he also has the potential for the Hockey Hall of Fame in the future. 

Even though his 18 seasons in the NHL had been spaced out across a handful of teams, he did some of his best work in Philadelphia — starting and ending his career as a Flyer.

It’s curious to think about where he would’ve ended in the franchise leaderboards if he spent his whole time in Philadelphia, but he's currently 15th overall in points. He also ranks in the top 20 for every other main category, including games played, goals and assists. 

Now, he also found success in Pittsburgh, posting his career high in points for a single season (48 goals, 61 assists, 109 points) and also coming back and winning two Stanley Cups behind the bench. (That was making the case for the Hockey Hall of Fame, of course.) 

Emmer

Absolutely.  

Throughout his 10 seasons with the orange and black, he made quite the impact, whether it was on the score sheet or being the reliable enforcer the team needed.  

The 1988-89 season was one of Tocchet’s best scoring seasons with the Flyers — he had the seventh-highest goals per game average in the league with a 0.68 mark, and behind Tim Kerr, Tocchet was the team’s second top scorer that season with 81 points (45 goals, 36 assists). 

Though he didn’t have numerous high-scoring seasons with the Flyers, Tocchet consistently made an impact in other ways with his hockey smarts or hockey fists.  

Tocchet had a combined 1,713 PIM with the Flyers. He was the true definition of Philly tough.  

A combination of his abilities, toughness and hockey IQ helped the Flyers to two Stanley Cup Final appearances (1985, 1987). 

Tocchet started and finished his 18-year NHL career in Philadelphia, he had a passion for the city and a passion for the fans. He deserves to be in the Flyers HOF.  

Hatcher

Tocchet 100 percent gets my vote. He worked his way up from being a bottom-six guy to a player who posted back-to-back-to-back-to-back 30-plus-goal seasons, highlighted by a 45-goal season in 1988-89. He ended his Flyers career with 232 goals and 508 points. Both of those statistics put him in the franchise's top-15 all-time in those respective categories.

Not to mention he’s the Flyers' all-time leader in penalty minutes, which means he accomplished all that while spending a fair amount of time in the sin bin. Iconic.

Fordyce

If anyone not named Bobby Clarke embodied the face of Flyers hockey more than Tocchet, let me know. My dad is one of the biggest Flyers fans I know and the first hockey player he ever told me about was Tocchet.

He was tough, a great teammate, a goal-scorer and an enforcer. Whatever the orange and black needed him to be, he was. Tocchet’s three-year run from 1988-1991 is up there with anyone in franchise history, scoring 45, 37 and 40 goals, respectively, during those three seasons.

Tocchet was one of the most prominent players on the Flyers' teams that stood toe to toe with the 80s Edmonton Oilers, one of the greatest dynasties in sports history. Tocchet also served as captain for one season and later in his career returned to the Flyers as a glue guy, part of the team that beat his former team (the Penguins) in five overtimes during the 2000 playoffs. Unfortunately, Tocchet’s best season and his one Stanley Cup ring as a player came with the hated rival Penguins in between his two Flyers tenures.

Tocchet is hands down a Flyers Hall of Famer.

Hall

Maybe it's just me but I find it odd to induct a player into a franchise's Hall of Fame when he won a Stanley Cup with the organization's rival team. In fact, Tocchet has won three Cups with the Penguins — two as an assistant coach and one as a player. And good for him.

Don't get me wrong, Tocchet had a heck of a career and could have a shot at the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was that old-school power forward, a leader and a winner with impressive numbers.

But with the Flyers, he doesn't rank in the organization's top 10 for games, goals or points, and he wasn't able to hoist the Cup in Philly.

A really good Flyer and a great player, but not sure he'll get into the Flyers Hall of Fame.

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2019-20 Flyers season grades: Tyler Pitlick

2019-20 Flyers season grades: Tyler Pitlick

The 2019-20 NHL regular season has concluded and the next time the puck drops will officially kick off the race to the Stanley Cup. The Flyers are hungry and ready to battle it out, but that is thanks to the hard work from back in October. 

In an End to End series, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Brooke Destra, Joe Fordyce and Jordan Hall will be grading players based on individual performances. 

Today we will be looking at Tyler Pitlick. 

Destra

After earning his first point with the Flyers in the opening game of the season, it took a little bit of time before Pitlick found a rhythm with his new team. Little did anyone know in those opening weeks, that he would soon become a huge asset to the bottom six on the roster. 

Much like the Radko Gudas for Matt Niskanen trade in the offseason, trading Ryan Hartman for Pitlick didn’t seem too significant at the time and created more questions than answers. It turns out, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher knew exactly what he was doing. While there were a handful of rookies like Joel Farabee and Nicolas Aube-Kubel adjusting to the pros, Pitlick added a level of solidification to the bottom lines. He, alongside players like Scott Laughton and Michael Raffl — who are well-known for their steady performance — made each of the Flyers’ four lines weapons. 

Through 63 contests, Pitlick tallied 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) and would be a valuable asset moving forward with the Flyers. 

Let’s give Pitlick a B for an overall solid season. 

Fordyce 

Early in the season, you didn’t notice Pitlick much and while sometimes for a player like Pitlick not hearing his name is a good thing (as it means he’s doing his job), that was not the case for Pitlick in the early going as he struggled. As the season wore on though, Pitlick carved out a nice role for himself with the team and began to flourish.

A simple look at his game log in 2019 shows that Pitlick was a minus player 10 times, but after the calendar changed to 2020, Pitlick had a minus rating only three times. In addition, later in the season Pitlick developed more of an offensive game, chipping in with goals and assists from time to time. After struggling at the start, Pitlick overall turned into a reliable veteran down the stretch. 

He gets a B from me.

Hall

When the Flyers acquired Pitlick last summer, he explained his game:

"I'm a physical, north-skating player. I can score and make plays when I get the chance. I'm going to be physical and I'm going to create energy and compete as hard as I can."

Pitlick was a man of his word. He provided exactly that to the Flyers in the 2019-20 regular season. It's fair to say among the Flyers' other offseason acquisitions — Kevin Hayes, Niskanen and Justin Braun — Pitlick came with the least hype, but he became a pleasant surprise as a consistently effective bottom-six forward.

With each game, you never questioned Pitlick's effort because he was always noticeable by playing his active, north-south style. When you're constantly noticeable in limited minutes, you're doing something right.

Pitlick joined the club with an attractive $1 million cap hit and a contract set to expire this offseason. He then played his way into consideration to be re-signed by the Flyers. Good for him.

A well-earned B+ for Pitlick.

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NHL schedule 2020: Qualifying round to begin Aug. 1; Flyers vs. Bruins kicks off round robin Aug. 2

NHL schedule 2020: Qualifying round to begin Aug. 1; Flyers vs. Bruins kicks off round robin Aug. 2

Come Aug. 2, it will have been 145 days since the Flyers last played a game that counted.

If all goes as planned for the NHL, Aug. 2 will be when Flyers hockey officially returns — and when the team will start (or restart) its push for the 2020 Stanley Cup.

On Friday night, the NHL and NHLPA completed the ratification process of the league’s return-to-play plan and four-year CBA extension, setting up for a resumption and conclusion of the 2019-20 season in the anticipated 24-team tournament (see full details and new NHL calendar here). In the announcement, the schedule for the qualifying round/round robin was released.

As we know, the Flyers have a solid outlook in the round-robin tourney as the Eastern Conference's No. 4 seed and with a chance to climb to improve their first-round matchup (see story).

Let's analyze the Flyers' round-robin slate and outline the full Eastern Conference schedule from Aug. 1-9 in Toronto:

No. 4 Flyers vs. No. 1 Bruins, Aug. 2

The Flyers will start things off against the NHL-best Bruins, who were the last team the orange and black played before the suspension of the regular season on March 12 (see story).

Alain Vigneault's club went 2-1-0 in three regular-season matchups with Boston. The Bruins finished the regular season with an NHL-high 100 points and a league-low 2.39 goals allowed per game.

Boston goalie Tuukka Rask, a candidate for the Vezina Trophy, is 15-2-4 with a 1.94 goals-against average and .934 save percentage in 22 career games against the Flyers.

Interesting stat from the Flyers' perspective: Carter Hart has four career wins over the Bruins, tied for his most against any NHL club. The 21-year-old is 4-1-0 with a 2.71 goals-against average and .910 save percentage in five lifetime matchups vs. Boston.


No. 4 Flyers vs. No. 3 Capitals, Aug. 6

When looking at the regular-season results, this is likely the most favorable matchup for the Flyers in the round robin.

The Flyers went 3-0-1 over four regular-season matchups with the Capitals, outscoring Washington 16-8 and earning a point in all four meetings.

The Capitals are the Capitals, though, a team that scored the NHL's second-most goals per game at 3.42 and has a guy named Alex Ovechkin (he went scoreless against the Flyers during the regular season for the first time in his 15-year career).

Interesting stat from the Flyers' perspective: Washington has the NHL's top power play percentage since 2000 but the Flyers held it to 1 for 17 on the man advantage during the four regular-season matchups.

No. 4 Flyers vs. No. 2 Lightning, Aug. 9

Among the round-robin teams, the second-seeded Lightning were the club that gave the Flyers the most trouble in the regular season. The Flyers dropped two games in regulation to Tampa Bay — albeit one was a 1-0 defeat and the other was a chippy 5-3 loss with an empty-netter during the final 22 seconds (see story).

The Lightning can flat-out score, putting up a league-best 3.47 goals per game.

However, the Flyers hung with Tampa Bay in other statistical categories.

Interesting stat from the Flyers' perspective: The Flyers are 2-6-3 over the last four seasons against the Lightning.

Here's the rest of the East's qualifying round/round robin schedule (team on left signifies "road" team). Per the league Friday night, a complete broadcast schedule will be released in the coming days.


Aug. 1

• No. 11 Rangers vs. No. 6 Hurricanes

• No. 10 Panthers vs. No. 7 Islanders

• No. 12 Canadiens vs. No. 5 Penguins

Aug. 2

• Flyers vs. Bruins

• No. 9 Blue Jackets vs. No. 8 Maple Leafs

Aug. 3

• Capitals vs. Lightning

• No. 11 Rangers vs. No. 6 Hurricanes

• No. 12 Canadiens vs. No. 5 Penguins

Aug. 4

• No. 9 Blue Jackets vs. No. 8 Maple Leafs

• No. 6 Hurricanes vs. No. 11 Rangers

• No. 10 Panthers vs. No. 7 Islanders

Aug. 5

• Lightning vs. Bruins

No. 7 Islanders vs. No. 10 Panthers

• No. 5 Penguins vs. No. 12 Canadiens

Aug. 6

• Capitals vs. Flyers

• No. 8 Maple Leafs vs. No. 9 Blue Jackets

• No. 6 Hurricanes vs. No. 11 Rangers (if necessary)

Aug. 7

• No. 8 Maple Leafs vs. No. 9 Blue Jackets (if necessary)

No. 7 Islanders vs. No. 10 Panthers (if necessary)

• No. 5 Penguins vs. No. 12 Canadiens (if necessary)

Aug. 8

• Bruins vs. Capitals

• No. 11 Rangers vs. No. 6 Hurricanes (if necessary)

• No. 12 Canadiens vs. No. 5 Penguins (if necessary)

Aug. 9

• Flyers vs. Lightning 

• No. 9 Blue Jackets vs. No. 8 Maple Leafs (if necessary)

• No. 10 Panthers vs. No. 7 Islanders (if necessary)

Sports Uncovered is on all podcast platforms: click here to subscribe now!

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Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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