Flyers Alumni 2021 Hall of Fame Game

 

WELCOME TO THE 2021 FLYERS ALUMNI HALL OF FAME GAME

Co-hosted by the Flyers Alumni Association and Flyers Charities, the 2021 Flyers Alumni Game at the Wells Fargo Center is one of the largest-ever gatherings of Flyers Alumni from every generation in one place. There is a dual purpose for the evening: celebrating the impending Flyers Hall of Fame inductions of Rick Tocchet and Paul Holmgren while raising money for worthy causes in the Delaware Valley. All proceeds from the Hall of Fame Game benefit Flyers Charities and the Flyers Alumni Association.

Seven members of the Flyers Hall of Fame will directly participate in the game, in either a playing or coaching capacity. Ten others – including the likes of franchise icons Bob Clarke, Bernie Parent, Bill Barber and Dave “the Hammer” Schultz – are in attendance as off-ice participants. In total, there are more than 50 Flyers Alumni on hand for this special event.

Over the course of the night, we will also hear from several Alumni who are unable to attend in person but who want to leave special messages for “Tocc” and “Homer”.

The participating Alumni represent every generation of franchise history.

The oldest on-ice participant is 78-year-old Flyers Hall of Fame defenseman and two-time NHL All-Star Joe Watson. Joe began his NHL career during the 1964-65 season, was a member of the inaugural 1967-68 Flyers team and won the Stanley Cup with the club in both 1974 and 1975. His NHL career ended during the 1978-79 season.

The youngest on-ice skater is Scottie Upshall, who turned 39 on Oct. 7. Scottie, a member of the Flyers from the latter portion of the 2006-07 season until the late stages of the 2008-09 campaign, played in the NHL until 2018 and completed his final pro season in Switzerland during the 2019-20 season.

In order to maximize the number of attending Alumni, the Hall of Fame Game has been arranged as an all-Flyers exhibition game: Team Holmgren (coached by Paul) and Team Tocchet (co-coached by “Iron” Mike Keenan and Tocchet). Among the participating players are the likes of Hockey Hall of Famers Eric Lindros and Mark Howe along with fellow Flyers Hall of Fame inductees Reggie Leach, Brian Propp, and John LeClair. Other familiar faces include the likes of Pelle Eklund, Scott Mellanby, Simon Gagne, Daniel Briere, Dan McGillis, Derian Hatcher and Scott Hartnell.

In Philadelphia, some of the biggest fan favorites at the Spectrum have been the team’s tough guys. For this event, we’ve welcomed back the likes of Dave Brown, Donald Brashear (playing in his first Flyers Alumni game), Riley Cote and Todd “Fridge” Fedoruk.

 

HISTORY OF THE FLYERS HALL OF FAME

Founded in 1988, the Flyers Hall of Fame was created to honor individuals who made outstanding contributions in service to the Philadelphia Flyers organization. There are no separate categories for induction: the candidacies of players, coaches and/or executives are considered by the same criteria.

After Flyers co-founder and chairman Ed Snider passed away in 2016, the Flyers Hall of Fame temporarily halted inductions. In 2021, Comcast Spectacor chairman and CEO David Scott launched a new two-phase process consisting of a Nominating Committee and a Selection Committee (comprised of Flyers Alumni, executives, broadcasters and members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association).

The Nominating Committee, after discussing a wide range of potential candidates for 2021, narrowed the list down to six finalists. Alphabetically by surname, the finalists were Simon Gagne, Paul Holmgren, Bob “the Hound” Kelly, Lou Nolan, Mark Recchi and Rick Tocchet. From there, the list of six finalists went to each of the members of the Selection Committee for a vote.

Ultimately, the Selection Committee voted for Holmgren and Tocchet to be the 2021 inductees. On Nov. 16, 2021, “Tocc” and “Homer” will become the 26th and 27th inductees into the Flyers Hall of Fame.

Bernie Parent, March 1988
Bobby Clarke, March 1988
Keith Allen, March 1989
Bill Barber, March 1989
Ed Snider, March 1989
Rick MacLeish, March 1990
Fred Shero, March 1990
Barry Ashbee, March 1991
Gary Dornhoefer, March 1991
Gene Hart, Feb. 1992
Reggie Leach, Feb. 1992
Joe Scott, Apr. 1993
Ed Van Impe, Apr. 1993
Tim Kerr, March 1994
Joe Watson, Feb. 1996
Brian Propp, March 1999
Mark Howe, Apr. 2001
Dave Poulin, March 2004
Ron Hextall, Feb. 2008
Dave Schultz, Nov. 2009
Eric Lindros, Nov. 2014
John LeClair, Nov. 2014
Eric Desjardins, Feb. 2015
Rod Brind’Amour, Nov. 2015
Jimmy Watson, Feb. 2016
Paul Holmgren, Nov. 2021
Rick Tocchet, Nov. 2021

The Newest Flyers Hall of Famers: Rick Tocchet and Paul Holmgren 

 

 

On Oct. 7, 2021, the Flyers announced that Rick Tocchet and Paul Holmgren are the two newest inductees into the Flyers Hall of Fame. Both will be inducted during a special ceremony at the Wells Fargo Center on Nov. 16, 2021, before the Flyers play the Calgary Flames.  

Here’s a look at the two newest inductees. 

RICK TOCCHET 

One of the toughest power forwards of his era, hard work and determination enabled Rick Tocchet to become a perennial overachiever in the National Hockey League in an 1,144-game career that included separate stints with the Flyers at the beginning (1984-85 to 1991-92) and end (1999-2000 to 2001-2002) of his playing career.

The Scarborough, Ontario native was originally a sixth-round pick (121st overall) in the 1983 NHL Draft. Little did the rugged Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds winger suspect at the time that he’d make it to the NHL just one year later, bypassing the American Hockey League. 

“I just remember as a kid, being 19 years old, and [legendary Flyers public relations director] Joe Kadlec taking me to the Spectrum for the first time, as a draft pick. I remember looking out at either side of the Walt Whitman Bridge at how big Philly was and it was like, ‘Where am I?” And that area, the people there, became like family to me. I grew up there,” Tocchet recalled in an episode of the Flyers Daily podcast. 

“I still have a lot of friends in the Philadelphia area. They really helped me. You know, when you’re 19 years old and you’re going to a big city, it can be overwhelming. Ed Snider had that family-like atmosphere, which really helped me a lot. I owe them a lot for getting me to the career I ultimately had.”

Tocchet was not a natural-born star in the NHL, nor did success come overnight despite graduating to the world’s top league at the tender age of 20. It was his intense competitiveness and work ethic that turned him from a third-line caliber forward best known for his fighting prowess into one the NHL’s top power forwards of the late 1980s to mid 1990s. He reached the Stanley Cup Final with the Flyers in 1985 and 1987 (falling just one win short of hockey’s ultimate prize) plus the Wales Conference Final in 1989. 

At the time, it was a whirlwind of activity and an emotional rollercoaster for everyone involved. Only years later has Tocchet gained full perspective on what an extraordinary era it was.

The Flyers were the youngest team in the NHL, with a ultra-intense rookie head coach in Mike Keenan, when Tocchet made his NHL debut in 1984-85. He forged close bonds with a host of teammates, especially the likes of Murray Craven, Derrick Smith, and the late Peter Zezel.  

The team as a whole had to rally around each other following the tragic death of Vezina Trophy winning goalie Pelle Lindbergh in November 1985, and their shared grief over Lindbergh, as well as the two runs to the Cup Finals, left everyone spent emotionally. 

“[Lindbergh’s death] really hit me a day or two later. I remember right afterward that Mike Keenan had everyone over at his house, kind of like a group therapy talk about it. I think it was the second or third night, and it really hit me. I broke down. My teammates were unbelievable. Dave Poulin was our captain and he did an incredible job to keep our group together. That was a very tight-knit group,” Tocchet recalled on Flyers Daily. 

“I’ve gotta tell you. I played 18 years and had a lot of good memories, Stanley Cups and stuff, but that group was the closest I’ve ever been involved with. Just incredible people. And a hard-working group. We dealt with all of it together. We had strong leadership and a strong organization.” 

The 1987 run, backstopped by rookie goalie Ron Hextall, was the culmination of that era of Flyers hockey. Tocchet made a statement by his playoff performance — 11 goals and 21 points — that he’d arrived as a true impact player in the NHL. Ultimately, the injury-riddled Flyers dropped a hard-fought Game 7, 3-1, to the Edmonton Oilers at the height of their dynasty.

“I’ll go golfing sometimes with Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey, who’ve become good friends of mine, and I’ll tell them, ‘We would have won Game 7 if Timmy Kerr was able to play.’ He was a perennial 50-goal scorer, and he scored a power play goal almost every game. He would have scored in that game. They kind of laugh about it and bust on me a little. But there’s no doubt how great that Edmonton team was,” Tocchet said. 

Although he didn’t always understand or agree with Keenan’s methods of coaching his personnel, Tocchet says in retrospect that the coach got the most out of the club. A host of Keenan’s players, both in Philadelphia and in subsequent coaching stops, played the best hockey of their career during their time playing for “Iron Mike.” 

“The thing with Keenan is that I think, for that era, we were the best-conditioned team in the league. He put us to the grindstone, but we were in great shape and that’s something I will always remember,” Tocchet said. 

The Flyers of the mid-to-late 1980s only had one player — defenseman Mark Howe — who ultimately earned a place in the “big” Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. There was plenty of talent and depth but not as much star power as the Oilers dynasty of the mid-1980s to 1990 or the New York Islanders dynasty of 1980 to 1983. During his Flyers years, Tocchet learned lessons that he late applied to coaching: chemistry, depth and work ethic are indispensable.

“I really believe you have to have four lines, and everyone has to fit in the puzzle. Sometimes you can have the best players, but it doesn’t work. You have to have the best total puzzle. Our teams, everyone was a puzzle piece, and guys just accepted their role. That was the biggest key. Everybody wants more, and I understand that, but you’ve got to accept being a team player,” Tocchet said. 

Tocchet’s own niche expanded over time. The term “power forward” first came in vogue leaguewide during Tocchet’s heyday, referring to players who combined a tenacious physical style of play, a willingness to drop the gloves will all comers and goal-scoring prowess to top it off. Tocchet became one of the very best power forwards in the NHL, along with the likes of Cam Neely and Brendan Shanahan. 

Tocchet achieved his first 20-goal season in his third NHL campaign. He just kept improving from there. “Tocch” scored 31 goals in 1987-88 and then, in 1988-89, attained his first of three 40-goal campaigns. 

During the mid-to-late 1980s, Tocchet was one of the team’s resident heartthrobs along with Peter Zezel. Tocchet was named Flyers captain on Oct. 2, 1991, and served in that capacity until he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 19, 1992, in a blockbuster trade that brought Mark Recchi to the Flyers. Tocchet went on to win the Stanley Cup with the Penguins that spring and achieved his lone 100-point season (48g, 61a) in 1992-93. 

After spending parts of three seasons with the Penguins, Tocchet had stints with the LA Kings, Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals (briefly) and the Coyotes before he was reacquired by the Flyers. 

Tocchet returned to the Flyers on March 8, 2000, in a one-for-one trade with the Phoenix Coyotes that brought former Legion of Doom right wing Mikael Renberg’s second Flyers stint to an end. Tocchet was a valuable addition down the stretch and the playoffs in 1999-2000.  

The hard-nosed veteran notched 11 points in 18 playoff games, as the team fell a 2-1 Game 7 loss to New Jersey short of a return trip to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1997. 

“That was another great group, when I came back to the Flyers. When I see those guys, we always talk about, ‘Wow, just one inch here, one inch there.’ You know, just little things. We had a team that was good enough to win. I think we could have beat Dallas [in the Stanley Cup Final]. There’s a lot of what ifs. But I gotta tell you, that year, I had such a blast. I was an older guy, on the back-nine of my career, but it was a great time. Just seeing those guys, like Craig Berube, Keith Jones, Chris Therien, we had a very close team,” Tocchet recalled. 

“There was a lot of stuff going on, like with Eric Lindros getting hurt and wondering if he was going to come back or not, we dealt with a lot. Brian Boucher coming into his own. I mean, it was a real good game. Patrik Elias scoring late in the [seventh] game, kind of broke our hearts. But, you know, I look back at Game 5. We [came in leading three games to one but] just weren’t ready to play. We came in, and we were kind of distracted and stuff. That was a game we just gave ’em. Then we lose it in seven.”

For his two-stint Flyers career, Tocchet scored 232 goals (tied for 10th in franchise history) and 508 points in 621 regular season games. He is franchise’s all-time leader in penalty minutes (1,817). In 95 career playoff games, he produced 27 goals, 33 assists, 60 points and 349 penalty minutes. He is also the all-time franchise leader in Gordie Howe Hat Tricks (nine). 

Following his playing days, Tocchet went on to careers in coaching and broadcasting. He was elected to the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in 2020. 

PAUL HOLMGREN 

This will be a double induction year for Paul Holmgren. In December, he will be inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame as a member of their Class of 2021. 

Born on December 2, 1955 in St. Paul, Minnesota. “Homer” holds the unique distinction of being the only person in franchise history to serve the organization as a player, assistant coach, head coach, assistant general manager, general manager and club president. He now serves as a senior advisor. 

Holmgren began skating as a toddler and, along with older brother Mark, was playing in a youth hockey league by age six. He was a two-sport athlete at Harding High School in St. Paul, playing football (offensive guard) as well as hockey. 

 In 1973-74, he played for the St. Paul Vulcans of the Midwest Junior Hockey League in 1973-74. The promising young forward was selected to be part of the US junior national team to compete in the 1974 World Junior Championships – which had not yet gained status as an “official” tournament sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation – in Leningrad. The Americans finished fifth.  

The player was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the third round (38th overall) of the 1974 World Hockey Association (WHA) Draft. The Flyers selected the 6-foot-3, 210-pound right winger in the sixth round (108th overall) of the 1975 NHL Draft. 

Already an aggressive player who willingly initiated and took contact, Holmgren racked up 108 penalty minutes in 37 games for the University of Minnesota in 1974-75 while also posting 31 points. 

Before joining the Flyers, Holmgren split most of the 1975-76 season between the Johnstown Jets of the infamous North American Hockey League – the team and league that inspired the Charlestown Chiefs in “Slap Shot” – and the WHA’s St. Paul Saints, who had purchased his rights from the Oilers.  

While with Johnstown, his teammates included Bruce Boudreau, brothers Jeff and Steve Carlson (who portrayed two of the “Hanson brothers” in Slap Shot) and Dave “Killer” Hanson (who was the inspiration for Slap Shot’s Dave “Killer” Carlson character and portrayed the Jack Carlson inspired character called Jack Hanson).  

The Saints experienced severe financial difficulty and were on the brink of folding when Holmgren joined the Flyers late in the 1975-76 season. He played six games for the American Hockey League’s Richmond Robins (four goals, four assists, eight points, 23 penalty minutes) and made his NHL debut for the Flyers. 

Near-tragedy struck soon after his arrival. Suffering an eye injury in an AHL game, Holmgren was called up to the Flyers but the situation grew more serious. 

“I got called up to the Flyers and my eye continued to get worse,” Holmgren recalled to the late Jay Greenberg. 

“I played my very first game against the New York Rangers and the next day we flew to Boston. We were going to play a Saturday afternoon game against the Bruins. On Friday night, we had a team meeting that Fred Shero always planned. Barry Ashbee and Bob Clarke grabbed me and rushed me to the hospital. They ended up having to do emergency surgery on my eye. I had a corneal laceration that had to be repaired. 

“During the operation, I had some sort of allergic reaction to the anesthesia and apparently my heart stopped for some period of time. They had to bring the paddles out to restart my heart. Heck, I didn’t find out about it until my dad told me later that day or the next.” 

Holmgren recovered and went on to play 500 regular season games and 67 playoff matches as a Flyer. He scored 138 regular season goals and 19 playoff goals, 309 regular season points and 50 postseason points for his Flyers career, while compiling 1,600 regular season penalty minutes and 181 playoff penalty minutes.   

As a rookie in 1976-77, Holmgren handily beat Dave “the Hammer” Schultz in a fight in Schultz’s first game against the Flyers after being traded to the Los Angeles Kings. The rookie went on to produce 14 goals, 26 points and 201 penalty minutes in just 59 games. 

Although best known as a player as one of the most fearsome and prolific fighters in the NHL, Holmgren slowly but steadily made himself into what would be called a “power forward” in today’s parlance. He was a fitness fanatic and dedicated to self-improvement. 

Holmgren’s best season came in 1979-80 as a member of the Rat Patrol line with Ken Linseman and rookie Brian Propp. During the regular season, Holmgren achieved a 30-goal, 65-point season 74 games to go along with 267 penalty minutes. “Homer” was also a career-best plus-35 that season. 

In the 1980 playoffs, he posted 10 goals and 20 points in 18 games. In Game Two of the 1980 Stanley Cup Final against the New York Islanders, Holmgren became the first American-born player in NHL history to score a hat trick in the Cup Final. The following year, Holmgren once again averaged better than a point-per-game in the playoffs, contributing five goals and 14 points in 12 games. 

Holmgren’s Flyers career came to an end on February 23, 1984. The Flyers traded him to the Minnesota North Stars for forward Paul Guay and a third-round pick in the 1985 NHL Draft (Darryl Gilmour). 

After his playing days ended, Holmgren began a second career as a Philadelphia coach. After four seasons as a coach and general manager with the Hartford Whalers and conquering personal demons, he started a third career as a member of the Flyers’ hockey operations and then front office figure.  

At different junctures after his playing days, Holmgren served the organization as a Flyers assistant coach, head coach, director of pro scouting, director of player personnel, assistant general manager, general manager and, starting in 2014, team president. 

As head coach: Holmgren was the head coach during the Flyers’ surprise run to Game 6 of the 1989 Wales Conference Final, including an upset of Pittsburgh. Previously, Holmgren served as an assistant coach under Mike Keenan, and part of the 1986-87 staff on a team that fell just one win shy of the Stanley Cup championship. 

As Director of Player Personnel and Assistant GM: General manager Bob Clarke delegated oversight of scouting and drafting operations to Holmgren, who also served as the de facto general manager of the Philadelphia Phantoms. Holmgren was an important figure in building the two Phantoms Calder Cup championship winning rosters (1997-98, 2004-05). He was also deeply involved in the decision process for the drafting of Justin Williams in 2000, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards in 2003 and Claude Giroux in 2006. 

As general manager: Holmgren took over from Clarke as general manager during the worst season in franchise history (2006-07). One season later, the team reached the Eastern Conference Final. After a 99-point season in 2008-09, the Flyers reached an overtime Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2009-10. In 2010-11, the Flyers posted 106 points (their highest output of the 2000s). In 2011-12, the team had 103 points in the regular season and then upset the favored Penguins in the first round. The team had a bad year in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season and then, after an awful start, rebounded to reach the playoffs and took the New York Rangers to a 2-1 Game 7 in the 2014 Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Thereafter, he turned over the GM reins to Ron Hextall, as the franchise embarked on a farm system restock. 

Behind the scenes: Holmgren neither seeks nor wants any publicity for the many ways through the years that he’s helped people (including but hardly limited to players and Alumni) who need opportunities or second chances in their professional and personal lives. It’s his way of paying forward what he received in his own life.  

Apart from Ed Snider himself, there has perhaps been no person who has quietly helped more people behind the scenes — and fought harder to preserve the “family” identity of the organization — than Paul Holmgren. 

 

2021 Flyers Hall of Fame Game Participation Roster 

Excluding Flyers Alumni who cannot attend the 2021 Hall of Fame Game in person but have left video messages that fans will see over the course of evening, the following is a list of all participating Flyers Alumni who will be part of the event.  

PLAYERS 

Donald Brashear (LW)

One of the most fearsome NHL tough guys of the mid-1990s to late 2000s, Brashear spent all or portions of five years with the Flyers in the early 2000s.  Only the bravest willingly went toe-to-toe with “Brash”. In non-fighting situations, Brashear was effective along the boards and was very difficult to take off the puck in battles along the walls. He also had an underrated touch around the net when deployed in situations where he could chip in some supplementary offense.  

Daniel Briere (C/RW)

 After signing with Philadelphia as an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2007, Briere spent six seasons with the Flyers. For his Philadelphia regular season career, “Danny” compiled 124 goals and 283 points in 365 regular season games. Briere was one of the best playoff performers in Flyers franchise history. In 68 playoff games, he racked up 37 goals (13 power play goals), 35 assists, 72 points (1.06 points per game) and nine game-winning goals. His performance in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs was extraordinary. Briere played a pivotal role in bringing the Flyers to within two victories of the Stanley Cup as he produced 12 goals and 30 points in 23 games.  

Dave Brown (RW)

“Brownie” was one of the top enforcers in the NHL from the mid-1980s to mid 1990s.  In two separate playing stints with the Flyers, Brown played a combined 552 regular season games with 78 points (39 goals, 39 assists) and 1,382 penalty minutes. The hulking right winger also dressed in 80 career playoff games (two goals, five points, 209 penalty minutes). A member of the 1990 Stanley Cup winning Edmonton Oilers, Brown played 26 career playoff games with the Oilers and 54 with the Flyers. As a Flyer, Brown had four career playoff points (two goals, two assists) and 173 penalty minutes. Few policemen in Flyers – or NHL – history understood and executed their role better than Dave Brown during his two stints in orange and black.  

Lindsay Carson (LW)

A hard-nosed two-way forward, Carson was on the penalty kill and played a gritty brand of hockey, Carson had 67 goals, 137 points and 495 penalty minutes over his 346-game regular season career in Philadelphia. He also dressed in 44 playoff games. As a member of Mike Keenan’s 1984-85 squad that reached the Stanley Cup Final, Carson had the lone 20-goal season of his NHL career. Two years later, in the 1987 Stanley Cup Final against the Edmonton Oilers, Carson scored the goal that started the famous comeback in Game 6. The Flyers trailed 2-0 as the game moved 27-plus minutes into regulation. Carson scored to cut the deficit in half. Later, goals by Brian Propp and J.J. Daigneault tied and then won the game for the Flyers to force Game 7.  

Riley Cote (LW)

A member of the Philadelphia Phantoms’ 2004-045 Calder Cup winning team. Cote wound up spending three full seasons – including two as a lineup regular – with the big club. Overall, Cote dressed in 156 regular season games with the Flyers (411 penalty minutes) and three playoff games in 2008. Cote, who had seven career NHL points, scored his lone NHL goal on Feb. 17, 2008, late in the third period of a 5-3 home loss to the Montreal Canadiens. His most memorable fight was a one-punch knockout of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Andre Roy in the second period of a Flyers’ 3-2 home win on March 6, 2008.  

Per-Erik “Pelle” Eklund (LW/C)

Eklund was one of the smoothest skaters and gifted playmakers to play for the Philadelphia Flyers. “Pelle” spent eight seasons in Philly. One of the best passers in Flyers’ franchise history,  Eklund won the Bobby Clarke Trophy as the Flyers’ most valuable player during the 1990-91 season. He reached to 50-assist milestone three times during his Philadelphia career and topped 40 assists four times. He was dominant in the Wales Conference Final against the Montreal Canadiens in 1987, taking over the series with his speed in transition and soft hands.  

Robert Esche (G)

Nicknamed “Chico” after former Islanders, Devils and Flyers goaltender Glenn “Chico” Resch, Esche was a much more aggressive goaltender than the laid back Resch. He handled the puck well and was an above-average puck stopping goalie when one-on-one against the shooter. Esche spent four seasons with the Flyers. In his first season as a Flyer, Esche appeared in 30 games as the backup to Roman Cechmanek and the duo split the NHL’s Jennings Trophy for the lowest goals against average. Esche’s best run in Philadelphia, however, came as the starter during the club’s 2004 run to within one win of reaching the Stanley Cup Finals.  

Todd Fedoruk (LW)

Nicknamed “Fridge,” Fedoruk used his large frame to be an effective physical presence as well as a player willing to drop the gloves with all comers. In total, Fedoruk dressed in 545 NHL regular season games, recording 1,050 penalty minutes and 97 points (32 goals, 65 assists). He also dressed in 25 career playoff games. His Flyers totals consisted of 268 regular season games, 39 points (13 goals, 26 assists) and 575 penalty minutes as well as seven appearances in playoff games.  

Simon Gagne (LW/C)

During Gagne’s  two-stint Flyers career, he compiled an extensive list of accomplishments: a member of NHL All-Rookie team in 1999-2000, two-time winner of the Bobby Clarke Trophy as team MVP (2005-06 and 2006-07), Pelle Lindbergh Award winner as the team’s most improved player of the 2000-01 season, two-time NHL All-Star Game selection (2000-01, 2006-07), two-time 40-goal scorer (2005-06 and 2006-07) on a line with Peter Forsberg and Mike Knuble, Olympic participant for Team Canada in 2002 (gold medal) and 2006, three-time Toyota Cup winner as the Flyers player with the most three-star selections in the 2001-02, 2005-06 and 2006-07, and an important member of the 2009-10 team that reached the Stanley Cup Final as well as the 1999-2000 and 2003-04 squads that fell one win short of the Finals. In the playoffs, Gagne scored three of the biggest goals in the post-2000 history of the Flyers’ franchise. In 2004, Gagne tallied the overtime goal in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final to force a seventh and deciding game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. In 2010, Gagne played through injury to score the overtime goal in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals that started the Flyers historic comeback from a three-games-to-zero deficit against the Boston Bruins. In Game 7, the Flyers trailed 3-0 in the first period only to storm back and win, 4-3. Gagne capped it with the series-winning goal scored with 7:08 remaining in the third period.  

Adam Hall (C/RW)

As a Flyer, Hall served as a penalty killing specialist who was very strong on faceoffs. He spent 117 regular season games (four goals, 13 points) with the Flyers over two seasons. In 2014, he dressed in all seven games of the team’s Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers.  

Scott Hartnell (LW)

A nine-time 20-plus goal scorer in the NHL, Hartnell hit the mark five times in seven years with the Flyers, including seasons of 37 (2011-12) and 30 (2008-09) goals. He topped the 100 penalty minute mark (with a high of 159 in 2007-08) in all but the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. Hartnell was part of three different Flyers line combinations that achieved considerable success together. In his 30-goal season of 2008-09, Hartnell mostly played on a line with Jeff Carter and Joffrey Lupul. During the 2010 playoffs, Hartnell was placed with Danny Briere and Ville Leino in a trio that scored at a torrid pace (including eight goals and 17 points for Hartnell) after it was put together. The line remained intact for the 2010-11 season. In 2011-12, Hartnell enjoyed his career year on a line with Claude Giroux and the legendary Jaromir Jagr.  

Derian Hatcher (D)

One the toughest and most physically punishing NHL defensemen of the 1990s until the late 2000s, “Hatch” served as the team captain or an alternate captain during the late-career stint with the Flyers.  For his NHL career, Hatcher dressed in 1,045 regular season games (80 goals, 251 assists, 331 points, 1,581 penalty minutes) and 133 playoff games (seven goals, 26 assists, 33 points, 248 penalty minutes).  During the Flyers’ portion of his career, Hatcher played 203 regular season games (nine goals, 24 assists, 33 points, 193 penalty minutes while averaging roughly 23 minutes of ice time per game. Several of his goals came when being used as a net-front forward on power plays in addition to his blueline duties. Hatcher dressed in 21 playoff games as a Flyer (one goal, five points, 50 penalty minutes). After his playing days ended, Hatcher spent several seasons as a Flyers player development coach. 

Mark Howe (D)

Almost universally regarded as the best offensive and best all-around defenseman in Flyers franchise history, the Hockey Hall of Famer made a mid-career switch (at age 25) from high-scoring left wing to full-time defenseman. As a Flyer, Howe was a three-time top runner-up for the Norris Trophy. His +85 rating in 1985-86 was the best in that category in Flyers franchise history and among the top in NHL history. That season, Howe won the Bobby Clarke Trophy as Flyers MVP as well as one of his four Barry Ashbee Trophies as the Flyers’ top defenseman.  No matter who was his partner – Glen Cochrane, Brad McCrimmon or Kjell Samuelsson – Howe excelled. However, his most effective duo came alongside the late McCrimmon; affectionately nicknamed “the Beast.” Howe’s fearsome wrist shot, deft passing touch and speed — the same elements that previously made him a top top left winger – served him well as a defenseman, too. He also had a very quick defensive stick and outstanding hockey sense that more than compensated for whatever he lacked in terms of size.  

Mike Knuble (RW)

A two-stint Flyer, Knuble’s NHL career was very unique. He was of the NHL’s ultimate late-bloomers. Knuble scored 228 of his career 278 regular season NHL goals from age 30 onward. After signing with the Flyers as a free agent on July 3, 2004, his Flyers debut was delayed by a year-long NHL work stoppage that forced the cancellation of the 2004-05 season. When play resumed in 2005-06, Knuble began a stretch of scoring between 27 to 34 goals in all four of his seasons in Philadelphia during his first stint (2005-06 to 2008-09). During his first two seasons, Knuble was the right wing on a highly successful line with veteran superstar Peter Forsberg and blossoming star Simon Gagne. The trio was dubbed the “Deuces Wild Line” because Knuble wore uniform no. 22, Forsberg wore No. 21 and Gagne wore No. 12. Off the ice, Knuble was a locker room leader and one of the NHL’s most articulate and analytical players. 

Mitch Lamoureux (C)

A legendary player for the Hershey Bears when they were the Flyers’ AHL affiliate and a member of the American Hockey League Hall of Fame, Lamoureux also had brief NHL stints with the parent club. A prolific scorer with a Tasmanian devil-like style on the ice, the feisty 5-foot-6 forward hit the 35-goal milestone four times (with a high of 45 goals and 105 points) for the Bears. Lamoureux was pretty much a career minor leaguer but dressed in 73 NHL games, scoring 11 goals and 20 points. For the Flyers, Lamoureux dressed in three NHL regular season games for Mike Keenan’s squad in 1987-88.  

Reggie Leach (RW)

Playing along Hockey Hall of Fame inductees Bobby Clarke and Bill Barber on the LCB Line, Leach’s goal-scoring prowess earned him a spot in the Flyers Hall of Fame. He tallied 45-plus goals three times as a Flyer. To this day, Leach still holds numerous Flyers goal-scoring records. In 1975-76, he set a still-standing mark for the most goals in season (61) and postseason (19, setting an NHL record that he still shares with Jari Kurri). That same spring, he set club records for the most goals in a single playoff game (five, against Boston) and 10 consecutive playoff games in which he scored a goal. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the NHL’s playoff MVP in 1976. Leach was best known for overpowering slapshot but he also possessed a tricky backhander. He also had underrated skating ability. Leach played in three separate Stanley Cup Final series as a Flyer and was part of the 1974-75 squad that won the championship.  

John LeClair (LW)

 

For the Philadelphia portion of the United States Hall of Fame and Flyers Hall of Fame career, the big winger racked up 333 goals and 643 points in 649 games. Along with Tim Kerr, LeClair is the only player in Flyers’ franchise history to score 50 or more goals in three straight seasons. LeClair’s stellar production came during an era in which clutch-and-grab hockey and heavily use of neutral zone trapping systems contributed to a league-wide decline in scoring on almost an annual basis. Although he did not play an overtly “mean” game and tended to be slow to anger, LeClair was plenty physical. It was a common sight for opposing players to be left sprawled on the ice near LeClair. He simply had to dip his shoulder and it was almost always the opponent who took a seat. LeClair scored most of his goals within five feet of the net. He was also blessed with a howitzer of a slapshot and would score about six to eight goals per season by winding up and blasting an overpowering shot past the goaltender from anywhere from the blueline to the mid-slot.  

Eric Lindros (C)

The Hockey Hall of Fame and Flyers Hall of Fame inductee centered the Crazy Eights line (with Mark Recchi and Brent Fedyk on the wings) and the Legion of Doom (flanked by LeClair and Mikael Renberg): two of the most successful combos in team history. Although plagued by injuries during his career, the 6-foot-5 Lindros mixed a rare combination of brute force and skillful finesse to make for an often-unstoppable force when healthy. The Flyers’ franchise all-time points-per-game leader (1.35 points per game), Lindros racked up 659 points (290 goals, 369 assists) in 468 regular season games with the team, along with 946 penalty minutes. In 50 playoff games, Lindros posted 57 points (24 goals, 33 assists). Winner of the Hart Trophy and Lester Pearson Award (now called the Ted Lindsay Award) in 1994-95, a finalist for the Hart the next season, Lindros played in six NHL All-Star Games during his years in Philadelphia. He captained the 1994-95 Flyers team that came within two wins of the Stanley Cup Final and the 1996-97 squad that won the Eastern Conference Championship in route to the reaching the Stanley Cup Final. During his time with the Flyers, Lindros also represented Team Canada at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and captained the Canadian entry at the 1998 Olympics.  

Neil Little (G)

In tandem with Brian Boucher, Little provided strong goaltending play for the Phantoms’ first Calder Cup winning team in 1997-98. He later backed up Antero Niittymaki on the Phantoms’ second Calder Cup championship squad of 2004-05. Apart from his solid play in the Phantoms’ net, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Little was known for relishing getting involved physically from time to time, most memorably in literally jumping atop the pile in a line brawl and for a one-sided beatdown of Hershey Bears goalie Sinuhe Wallinheimo. During his career, Little was frequently called up to the Flyers to serve as a backup goaltender. However, he only appeared in two games – a road start against the Carolina Hurricanes on March 28, 2002 and a home relief appearance in substitution for injured starting goaltender Robert Esche against the Tampa Bay Lightning on February 2, 2004.

 

Brad Marsh (D)

A heart-and-soul player, Marsh was also a team leader during his eight seasons in Philadelphia. Marsh was a solid positional defenseman who took away the slot and net-front from opposing forwards and used his size and strength (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) to ride his check off the play. While he lacked straight-ahead speed, Marsh compensated by maximizing the things he did well. He was an outstanding shot blocker and savvy penalty killer. When Marsh pinned an attacker to the boards, his check wasn’t about to spin out with the puck. That gave Marsh’s teammates a chance to claim the puck. “Marshy” also had an underrated defensive stick and made a much better first pass up to the forwards than his modest NHL point totals would suggest. He also came to keep himself in outstanding physical condition under the auspices of Pat Croce during the Mike Keenan era. Today, Marsh serves as the president of the Flyers Alumni Association as well as the Flyers Director of Community Development and the head coach of the Philadelphia Warriors hockey team.  

Dan McGillis (D)

A mainstay on the Flyers’ bluelines of the latter 1990s to early 2000s, McGillis brought board-rattling bodychecks and a heavy point shot as his main assets. McGillis earned the trust of head coaches Roger Neilson, Craig Ramsay and Bill Barber, routinely playing more than 20 minutes per game on average. Offensively, his best campaign came in 2000-01 when he racked up 14 goals and 49 points. He also killed penalties and pulled an average 23:23 of ice time per game. McGillis posted a cumulative +64 rating for his Flyers career.  

Mike McKenna (G)

McKenna worked his way up the hockey ladder one rung at a time, starting with portions of two seasons with the ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers. Most of his subsequent career was spent in the American Hockey League, where he was often a standout at that level, including backstopping the Syracuse Crunch to the 2017 Calder Cup Finals and repeating the feat for the Texas Stars the next year. McKenna had playing stints with seven teams, including playing for the Flyers in 2018-19. During his brief time with Lehigh Valley Phantoms, he rapidly became a fan favorite.  

Scott Mellanby (RW)

The first chapter of the accomplished power forward’s lengthy and distinguished NHL career unfolded as a member of the Flyers under head coaches Mike Keenan and Paul Holmgren. For the Flyers’ portion of his career, Mellanby played 355 regular season games (83 goals, 114 assists, 197 points, 694 penalty minutes) and 50 games in the Stanley Cup playoffs (nine goals, 11 assists, 20 points, 90 penalty minutes). He went on to play a total of 1,431 NHL games, producing 840 points and 2,479 penalty minutes. After retirement, he moved on to the NHL assistant coaching and front office roles.   

Brian Propp (LW)

Flyers Hall of Fame member Propp played in five NHL All-Star games as a Flyer and five Stanley Cup Finals overall (three with the Flyers). For his NHL career, he racked up 425 goals and 1,004 points in 1,016 regular season games plus 148 points in 160 playoff games. Additionally, his Flyers career plus-311 rating ranks fourth in franchise history behind only Hockey Hall of Fame inductees Bobby Clarke, Mark Howe and Bill Barber. During the decade-long Flyers portion of his career, “Propper” played 790 regular season games. He compiled 849 points, with 369 goals and 480 assists. To this day, Propp ranks second to Clarke in all-time Flyers playoff scoring, compiling 112 points in 116 games. Propp scored the tying goal in the third period of the Flyers’ Game Six comeback against the Edmonton Oilers in the 1987 Stanley Cup Final.  

Kjell Samuelsson (D)

Standing 6-foot-6, Samuelsson learned how to use his wingspan and positional savvy to his advantage. He also played with a mean streak as part of a physical and courageous style that often saw him sacrifice his body willingly to block opposition shots. A late-bloomer, the blueliner known as “Sammy” or “Duke” (after the Marmaduke comic strip character)  did not debut in the National Hockey League until he was 28 years old but he went on to carve out a solid career that saw him play 813 regular season games (48 goals, 138 assists, 186 points, 1,225 penalty minutes) and 123 playoff games (four goals, 20 assists, 24 points, 178 penalty minutes). As a two-stint Flyer, Samuelsson played 545 regular season games, posting a cumulative plus-103 rating and 141 points (35 goals, 106 assists) to go along with 815 penalty minutes. He dressed in 70 playoff games, contributing 16 points (four goals, 12 assists), 98 penalty minutes and a plus-24 rating. After his playing days, he returned to the Flyers organization as a coach.  

Nick Schultz (D)

A veteran of more than 1,000 games in the NHL, Schultz spent the final three seasons (189 regular season games played as a Flyer). An above-average skater who played a defense-first style at the pro level, Schultz was a mainstay on the Minnesota Wild blueline for a decade. As a Flyer, his best season came in 2014-15. He provided a calming presence, 166 blocked shots, 113 credited hits and was charged with just 23 giveaways in 80 games while averaging 19:02 of ice time, including an average 2:42 per game on the penalty kill. On January 13, 2016, Schultz played in his 1,000th NHL regular season game. By the end of the 2015-16 season, he had 1,041 regular season games and 32 playoff matches to his credit.  Today, he serves as a Flyers development coach.  

Ron Sutter (C)

A hard-working, unselfish and gritty two-player who exuded competitive drive, Ron Sutter was a valuable part of the Flyers’ overachieving teams of the mid-to-late-1980s. In terms of point production, Ron Sutter’s best seasons saw him score 26 goals in just 55 games (1988-98) and post 60 points in 75 games in 1985-86. That year he was also the runner-up for the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward. Ron became the Flyers captain during the 1990-91 season. On Sept. 22, 1991, the Flyers traded Sutter and defenseman Murray Baron to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Rod Brind’Amour and Dan Quinn. Sutter concluded his Philadelphia career with 555 regular season games and 69 playoffs to his credit, as well as 137 regular season goals, six playoff goals, 359 regular season points and 33 playoff points, 854 regular season penalty minutes and 149 playoff penalty minutes.  

Chris Therien (D)

Even before Therien’s longstanding defensive pairing with Eric Desjardins was formed by Terry Murray midway through Therien’s third NHL season, the player nicknamed “Bundy” proved to be a mainstay on the Flyers’ blueline. Therien was an NHL All-Rookie Team selection in 1994-95 with Dmitri Yushkevich as his primary partner and generally performed well in his second season with veteran Kjell Samuelsson as his most frequent partner. Thereafter, Therien formed a successful tandem with Flyers Hall of Famer Desjardins. After his first Flyers stint ended near the 2003-04 trade deadline when he was traded to the Dallas Stars, for whom he played 11 games, Therien returned to the Flyers for a second stint in 2005-06 before retiring. Therien played 753 regular season games for the Flyers; a franchise record among defensemen. He chipped in 159 points (29 goals, 130 assists), 583 penalty minutes and a combined plus-125 rating. In the playoffs, he played 99 games, posting 12 points (two goals, 10 assists), 68 penalty minutes and a plus-one rating. His best run came in 1997, when he posted seven points and a plus-14 for a Flyers team that reached the Stanley Cup Final. After his playing days, he embarked on a lengthy broadcasting career.  

Scottie Upshall (RW)

A fan favorite and popular player in the locker room wherever he played, Upshall was noted for his high-energy style of play and fun-loving personality off the ice. In 134 games as a Flyer, he scored 27 goals and 64 points. Upshall had multiple strong performances in the Flyers run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2008, just one season after the club suffered through the worst year in franchise history. Upshall had seven points in 17 playoff games that year, including two goals and three points in the Flyers five-game upset of the Montreal Canadiens.  

Joe Watson (D)

The pride of Smithers, British Columbia and the older brother of fellow Flyers Hall of Fame defenseman Jimmy Watson, Joe was a member of the inaugural Flyers team and worked for the Flyers for nearly 54 years before retiring in 2021. As a player, Joe was a two-time NHL All-Star and a two-time Stanley Cup winner. Among all defensemen in franchise history, only Chris Therien appeared in morer regular season games than Watson. Whether preventing opposition scoring chances as a mainstay on the Flyers’ blueline, working as a pro scout or in the organization’s sales and marketing departments, Watson earned his keep and served with distinction. He was elected to the Flyers Hall of Fame in 1996. Back in 1984, Watson co-founded the Flyers Alumni Team and served as its team manager and on-ice mainstay for most of its history.  

COACHES

Paul Holmgren (Team Holmgren coach)

A new inductee in the Flyers Hall of Fame for his combined legacies as a player, assistant and head coach, assistant and head general manager, team president and senior advisor, the biggest highlights of “Homer’s” days behind the bench came with the Flyers. He was an assistant coach under Keenan for the 1987 squad that reached Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. Two years later, as Flyers head coach, Holmgren steered the team to Game 6 of the 1989 Wales Conference Final despite a slew of injuries.

Rick Tocchet (Team Tocchet co-coach)

A brand-new inductee in the Flyers Hall of Fame along with Paul Holmgren, Tocchet was the prototypical NHL power forward – and the quintessential Flyer with his combination of toughness, will-to-win and overachieving productivity that was greater than the sum of his natural-born abilities. One of the toughest players of his era, hard work and determination enabled “Tocc” to become a perennial overachiever in the National Hockey League in an 1,144-game career that included separate stints with the Flyers at the beginning (1984-85 to 1991-92) and end (1999-2000 to 2001-2002) of his playing career.

Mike Keenan (Team Tocchet co-coach)

As a young NHL head coach, “Iron Mike” led the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final in both 1985 and 1987. Later, he coached the Chicago Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup Final run and won the Stanley Cup with the 1993-94 New York Rangers; the organization’s first and only Stanley Cup championship since 1940. This game marks Keenan’s first time behind the bench for a Flyers Alumni game. He coached the New York Rangers Alumni side against Pat Quinn for the Flyers Alumni at the 2012 Winter Classic Alumni game, won 3-1 by the Flyers side.

 

Assistant Coaches and Attending Alumni

Thirteen additional Flyers Alumni — including five Flyers Hall of Famers — have been confirmed to participate in the Hall of Fame Game in non-playing or coaching capacities. The attending Alumni are as follows: 

Flyers Hall of Famers 

Bill Barber

A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Barber was arguably the NHL’s best all-around left-winger of the mid-1970s to early 1980s. Spending his entire playing career and most of his post-playing career with the Flyers organization, he’s the franchise’s all-time leading goal scorer and a member of both the 50-goal, and 100-point clubs (of which only Mark Recchi and the late Rick MacLeish are fellow members of both). His famous No. 7 has been retired by the team. Later, as a head coach, Barber steered the Philadelphia Phantoms to the 1997-98 Calder Cup championship and subsequently won the Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL’s Coach of the Year . 

Bob Clarke

Arguably the most iconic figure in franchise history along with Ed Snider and Bernie Parent. As a player, “Bobby” Clarke won the Hart Trophy three times as the most valuable player in the NHL. He captained the Flyers to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships, centered the legendary LCB line with Reggie Leach and Bill Barber on his wings, and stands as the franchise’s all-time leader in games played, assists and points. The Bobby Clarke Trophy, awarded to the Flyers’ MVP, was created in Clarke’s honor after his retirement in 1984. As a general manager, “Bob” Clarke presided over three teams (1984-85, 1986-87 and 1996-97) that reached the Stanley Cup Final plus four others (1988-89, 1994-95, 1999-2000, and 2003-04) that reached the Conference Final. 

Gary Dornhoefer

As a member of the inaugural 1967-68 team and the 1973-74 and 1974-75 Stanley Cup championship squads, “Dorny” personified tenacity, grit and stoic toughness in playing through injury. He scored 214 regular season goals and 17 playoff tallies in his NHL career. After being selected by the Flyers from the Boston Bruins in the 1967 NHL Expansion Draft, Dornhoefer remained with Philadelphia the rest of his career. For the Flyers portion of his career, he scored 202 goals, 316 assists, 518 points and recorded 1,256 penalty minutes in 725 regular season games. In the playoffs, Dornhoefer played a total of 80 games, contributing 17 goals, 36 points and 203 penalty minutes. Later, Dornhoefer had a lengthy career as a color commentator on Flyers telecasts and his video breakdown segments during intermissions (“Stop it right there!…. OK, let ‘er go.”) were especially instructive in explaining the details that lead up to notable plays. 

Dave “the Hammer” Schultz

The left winger’s defining legacy was the fact that he topped 300 penalty minutes in three consecutive seasons (topping out at an astounding 472 in 1974-75), he also had a knack for coming through in the clutch. The Hammer scored 20 goals in the Flyers’ first Stanley Cup season and played an important role in each of the three playoff series the Flyers won on the way to claiming the 1973-74 championship. During the regular season that year, Schultz answered questions about his non-fighting prowess by scoring two hat tricks within a week. In the playoffs, it was Schultz who scored the quarterfinal series clinching goal against the Atlanta Flames on the same night he laid a bloody beating on Flames forward Bryan Hextall Jr. (the father of future Flyers Hall of Fame goaltender and current-day general manager Ron Hextall). In the semifinals against the Rangers, Schultz’s lopsided Game Seven pummeling of Rangers defenseman Dale Rolfe was demoralizing to the Blueshirts. In the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins, it was Schultz who set up Bobby Clarke for the Flyers captain’s iconic Game Two overtime goal that proved critical to the Flyers winning their first Stanley Cup. For his Flyers career, Schultz played in 297 regular season games recording 51 goals, 115 points, 1,386 penalty minutes and a plus-70 rating at even strength. In 61 playoff games, he had seven goals, 16 points and 363 penalty minutes. 

Jim Watson

One half of the only brother duo in the Flyers Hall of Fame along with older sibling Joe, “Jimmy” Watson was a five-time NHL All-Star during his playing career and a two-winner of the Stanley Cup. A serious back injury prematurely ended his career, forcing his retirement at age 30. A smooth skater, excellent defender and fine puck mover (although not a big point-producer), the younger Watson brother was also a locker room leader.  

Flyers Alumni non-playing participants

Bill Clement

A speedy and reliable two-way forward during his playing days, Clement scored an insurance breakaway goal in the third period of Game 6 of the 1975 Stanley Cup Final.  After his playing days, Clement enjoyed a prolific broadcasting career on the local, national and even international levels. He will emcee off-ice features during the Alumni Hall of Fame Game. 

Murray Craven

Perennially underrated, speedy and a highly effective player with or without the puck, Craven was versatile enough to play any forward position as needed. He topped the 75-point mark twice during his Flyers career and had at least 60 points in four of his seven-plus seasons in Philadelphia. Over that span, the player known as “Crafty” or “Muzzy” notched 25-plus goals three times, hitting the 30-goal plateau once. His best season offensively came in 1987-88, when he tallied 30 goals (six on the power play, two shorthanded) and 46 assists for a team-leading 76 points in 72 games.   

Bob “the Hound” Kelly

Scorer of the Stanley Cup winning goal in Game 6 of the 1975 Stanley Cup Finals, Kelly was a bundle of energy on the ice. A member of both Flyers Stanley Cup championship teams, Kelly spent a decade in orange and black without ever playing a single game in the minor leagues. Off the ice, Kelly’s good-natured sense of humor and outgoing personality made him a favorite of teammates, fans, and reporters alike. A consummate team player, Kelly was a sparkplug in the Flyers Stanley Cup engine. After his playing days, he’s been a passionate and tireless “Ambassador of Hockey” for the organization at countless events and locales throughout the Delaware Valley. 

Orest Kindrachuk

A hard-working and highly effective two-way center who played with some feistiness to his game, Kindrachuk was an important part of the underrated core of depth players that set the Broad Street Bullies era Flyers apart from the rest of the league. A third-line center who could move up if needed, he knew his role and played it to the hilt.  For his Flyers career, Kindrachuk played 360 regular season games, recording 260 points (79 goals including 11 power play goals and six shorthanded tallies, 181 assists), 465 penalty minutes and a cumulative plus-116 rating. He dressed in 69 Stanley Cup playoff contests, recording 16 goals, 19 assists, 35 points and 46 penalty minutes. In his best NHL offensive season of 1975-76, Kindrachuk racked up 26 goals and 75 points in 76 games to go along with 101 penalty minutes. Unofficially the player with the most nicknames in Flyers’ history, he was known as “Little O” (basketball’s Oscar Robertson was Big O), “Ernie” (after the Sesame Street character), “Chuck” or “Chuckles” (playing off his surname). 

Ian Laperriere

“Lappy” was a fan favorite in the Wells Fargo Center and deeply respected by teammates on the 2009-10 team. Wherever he went, the player epitomized grit, self-sacrifice and toughness across an NHL career that reached the 1,000-game milestone before it was curtailed by post-concussion issues. After his playing days, Laperriere became a coach in the Flyers organization. In 2021-22, he assumed the mantle of Lehigh Valley Phantoms head coach. 

Jason Smith

The captain of the 2007-08 Flyers team that reached the Eastern Conference Final one year after the worst season in franchise history. Smith was a no-frills but highly competitive and physical defensive defenseman. His pain tolerance, which included playing in the 2008 playoffs with separations to both of his shoulders, was legendary among teammates. In 2021-22, Smith returned to the organization as an assistant coach for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. 

Rich Sutter

Half of the only set of identical twins to play for the Flyers, Rich joined brother Ron on the Flyers in 1983-84. Rich had a little less offensive ability than Ron but no less tenacity, grit or devotion to the team. Rich’s best seasons in Philadelphia saw him score 16 goals (1983-84) and 39 points (1985-86). On June 6, 1986, the Flyers traded Rich Sutter to the Vancouver Canucks in a trade that brought defenseman J.J. Daigneault to Philadelphia. For his Flyers career, Rich Sutter posted 83 points (36 goals, 47 assists) and 381 penalty minutes in 204 regular season games and five points (five goals, zero assists) and 44 penalty minutes in 19 playoff games. 

Public Address AnnouncerLou Nolan

Anthemist: Lauren Hart. 

 

“Coatesy”: Steve Coates

 

Speedy Recovery, Bernie! 

 

Legendary Flyers goaltender Bernie Parent, a Hockey Hall of Famer and charter member of the Flyers’ Hall of Fame whose famous No. 1 jersey is retired, was slated to participate off-the-ice in the 2021 Hall of Fame Game. Unfortunately, Bernie recently had to undergo back surgery (disc removal, insertion of stabilizing screws), and will not be able to attend the event. The Flyers, Flyers Alumni Association and Flyers Charities all extend best wishes for a speedy recovery and a hope to see him very soon.  

 

About the Flyers Alumni Association and Flyers Charities 

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the 2021 Flyers Alumni Hall of Fame game will benefit the Flyers Alumni Association and Flyers Charities. The funds are channeled into supporting the greater Philadelphia community.  

The Flyers Alumni Association, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, was first created in 1984. Today, the Alumni Association’s signature programs include Every Child Deserves a Bike (adaptative bicycles customized and donated by the Alumni to special needs children), 12 Days of Christmas Season Giving (a dozen or more donations of money and/or volunteer hours to local charities and community-based poverty and food-uncertainty relief programs) and annual support of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation. For more information, visit http://flyersalumni.net 

 

 

Flyers Charities invests in the health of our community by: 1) Honoring the organization’s legacy of supporting local families impacted by cancer; 2) Growing our game’s inclusive of new and diverse participants and audiences, and 3) supporting continuous improvement in sustainability and environmental responsibility. Flyers’ Charities’ commitment to community, service, inclusion, and legacy guides our work and provides opportunities to engage our fans, visitors, employees, and neighbors in its impact. For more information, visit FlyersCharities.com.

From the Vault: Memorable Flyers Alumni Games 

The Flyers Alumni Association was created in 1984 for the purpose of the Alumni Team to play fundraising games for charities and community organizations. It was also created to provide an outlet for Flyers Alumni to continue to play hockey together and organize both off-ice fundraising events and social activities together. 

For most of the Flyers Alumni Team’s history, co-founder Joe Watson served as the team manager as well as a player. In more recent years, Flyers community development director Brad Marsh became the Flyers Alumni Association president. Marsh organized the large-scale events on the Alumni Team calendar while Watson continued to be in charge of the ad hoc fundraising games in local rinks. The team has also played other NHL Alumni clubs across North America and traveled internationally to represent the Flyers famous crest in Switzerland, Norway, Finland and Russia, among other countries.

Some of the most memorable and successful Flyers Alumni Games of the last 30 years include the following events:

1992: Flyers Alumni vs. Heroes of Hockey (Spectrum)

As part of the NHL All-Star Game festivities at the Spectrum, the Flyers Alumni Team played against the Heroes of Hockey squad. The biggest highlight of the All-Star weekend, however, was Flyers legend Bob Clarke (then the general manager of the Minnesota North Stars) being welcomed back with a lengthy standing ovation.

1995: Flyers Alumni vs. Team USA 1980 Lake Placid Alumni (Spectrum)

The famous LCB line of Reggie Leach, Clarke and Bill Barber,along with a host of other notables from the 1970s and 1980s including Joe Watson, Rick MacLeish, Brian Propp, Dave “the Hammer” Schultz, Bob Kelly, Terry Murray and many more suited up against a team comprised of multiple players who were part of Team USA’s “Miracle on Ice” gold medal run at the 1980 Olympics. Notable participating Team USA players included goalie Jim Craig and team captain Mike Eruzione. 

The Flyers Alumni, intent on proving a point that no one was going to beat them at the Spectrum, jumped out to a 6-1 lead by the first intermission. The Alumni scaled down their attack and the Team USA veterans chipped away at the deficit until they got back within 6-5 early in the third period.

At that point, the Flyers Alumni side got serious again. Ray Allison completed a hat trick for a 7-5 lead. Shortly thereafter, Schultz scored on a breakaway to restore a three-goal lead. After the Team USA team got the next goal, the Flyers Alumni scored two straight to seal a 10-6 final score.

1996: Flyers Alumni vs. Hollywood All-Stars (Spectrum)

Well-known figures ranging from Alan Thicke, Matthew Perry, Richard Dean Anderson, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Alex Trebek, Kelsey Grammer and Mike Meyers toured major rinks around the United States, supplemented by a handful of NHL Alumni. The Flyers Alumni won handily.

Joe Watson, naturally, played for the Flyers Alumni side in this game, as did his brother and fellow Flyers Hall of Fame Joe Watson. However, elsewhere on the tour, the elder Watson brother played for the Hollywood All-Stars side.

2012 Winter Classic: Flyers Alumni vs. Rangers Alumni (Citizens Bank Park)

More than 45,000 fans packed Citizens Bank Park on Dec. 31, 2011, in what was perhaps the biggest on-ice and off-ice reunion of Flyers players from every era of team history. The Flyers won the game, 3-1, on goals by Shjon Podein, John LeClair and Mark Howe (penalty shot).

The biggest stories of the game: Bernie Parent, at age 65, started the game in goal for the Flyers and played the first five minutes of the game. Most notably, Parent made a save on a Ron Duguay breakaway (which Duguay gallantly flipped softly into the goalie’s pads so he could bask in the crowd reaction). Parent entered the ice and exited the ice to two separate standing ovations.

This game also marked the first time that Eric Lindros donned a Flyers uniform since Game 6 of the 2000 Eastern Conference Final. Ever since then, Lindros has been part of some of the biggest Alumni events.He’s also since been inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame and Hockey Hall of Fame. In 2018, the Flyers retired Lindros’ No. 88 jersey.

Other notables on the Flyers’ side: Mark Recchi, Joe and Jim Watson, the LCB Line, Eric Desjardins, Jeremy Roenick, Orest Kindrachuk, Bob Kelly, Chris Therien, Rick Tocchet, Dave Poulin, Brian Propp, Ken “the Rat” Linseman and many more. The late Pat Quinn coached the Flyers side while Mike Keenan was behind the Rangers’ bench.

2016: Flyers Alumni Team White vs. Alumni Team Orange (Reading, PA)

The kickoff event for the Flyers Alumni’s $2 million pledge to help the Ed Snider Hockey create a signature rink for use by Snider Hockey kids was an intrasquad Alumni Game at Santander Arena in Reading. The game featured a rare goal by defensive defenseman Marsh, appearances by recently retired Alumni such as Danny Briere and Kimmo Timonen as well as participating by Alumni who are not typically part of these events such as longtime NHLer Ric Nattress. Robert Esche appeared in net during this game.

2017: 50th Anniversary Alumni Game vs. Penguins Alumni (Wells Fargo Center)

On January 13, 2017, the Flyers held a VIP reception at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia; an event that included more than 75 Alumni including most of the surviving members of the inaugural 1967-68 team, 1973-74 and 1975-76 Stanley Cup teams, and a host of Alumni from the 1980s through early 2010s.

The next night, all of the Alumni returned for a game at the sold-out Wells Fargo Center against the Pittsburgh Penguins Alumni. This game featured the first and only time the complete Legion of Doom (LeClair, Lindros and Mikael Renberg), LCB and 1980s trio of Propp, Dave Poulin and Tim Kerr were together on the same ice. Simon Gagne made his Flyers Alumni Game debut, and the likes of the Watson brothers, Desjardins, Therien, Mark Howe, Marsh, Kjell Samuelsson, Dave Brown (who scored a goal in the game) and Timonen. Brian Boucher and Neil Little handled goaltending duties.

In the third period, the Penguins shortened the bench and double-shifted their youngest Alumni, including Tyler Kennedy and Ryan Malone to rally to tie the game while some of the much older Flyers Alumni were on the ice. 

Most notably, though, this game marked the final time that Hockey Hall of Famers Clarke and Barber participated in a playing capacity. 

2017 Russia Tour: Kazan, St. Petersburg and Moscow

In February 2017, Flyers Alumni squad featuring Joe Watson, Marsh, Podein, Al Secord, Terry Carkner, Chychrun, Chase Watson (Jim’s son, Joe’s nephew), Andrei Kovalenko, AHL Hall of Fame goalie Freddy Cassivi (Hershey Bears) and a host of guest players, including former NHLers Bobby Carpenter, Andrei Nikolishin and world famous jazz saxophonist Igor Butman were part of a three-city hockey tour. 

The first game was in Kazan against “Team Tatarstan”. Their team included the president of Tatarstan, Rusam Minnikhanov, as well as former Russian national team and/or KHL players. The middle game, in St. Petersburg, was against the SKA Alumni in front of a sold-out crowd. The SKA side had a host of players who were either recently retired pros or notables in team/KHL administration.

The final event was a no-rules shinny on Red Square in Moscow. As a thank you to the Flyers Alumni for assisting him in a local kids clinic one day earlier, longtime NHL standout Alexei Yashin donned a Flyers Alumni uniform as a special guest player. No score was kept nor were fixed minimums or maximums for players on the massive ice surface. There were no off-sides, icings, etc.

On the final day of the tour, Russia’s then deputy prime minister, Arkady Dvorkovich, greeted the Flyers Alumni at their Moscow hotel.

2017 Return Match: Flyers Alumni vs. Penguins Alumni (Reading, PA)

Two months after the game at the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers Alumni and Penguins Alumni rematched at Santander in Reading. There were a few roster changes for this game, including winger Arron Asham and defenseman Jeff Chychrun and winger Arron Asham (who played on the Penguins side at the 50th Anniversary Game) suiting up for the Flyers Alumni. Paul Holmgren played in this game, too.

As it turned out, though, the biggest addition to the Flyers Alumni side was Daniel Carcillo. During the game, Carcillo racked up a hat trick and two assists for a five-point game. The Flyers Alumni also got two goals apiece from Lindros and LeClair. Unlike the tied outcome in the higher-profile 50th Anniversary Game, this one turned into a victory (8-6) for the Flyers side.

2018: Flyers Alumni vs. Bears Alumni (Hershey Park Stadium)

One day after Lindros’ jersey retirement ceremony and one day before the Lehigh Valley Phantoms played the Hershey Bears in the AHL’s Outdoor Classic, the Flyers Alumni Team played an outdoor game at Hershey Park Stadium. 

The full Legion of Doom suited up for this game, as did Briere, Kelly (in one of final Alumni Games as a player), Chychrun and others. Barber, Al Hill (a fan favorite and later a coach in Hershey), Holmgren and Bernie Parent were among the guest coaches and off-ice honorees on the Flyes side. Rob Zepp, in his first Flyers Alumni All-Star Game took over in net after Neil Little got the start. 

The Hershey team, with special guest coach Ray Bourque (whose son, Chris, was still an active player on the Bears and on hand for the pregame ceremonies), won the game. Their notable players included the likes of longtime NHLer Vaclav Prospal and AHL Hall of Famer Mitch Lamoureux. 

2018 Flyers Alumni vs. Bruins Alumni (Portland, ME)

To celebrate the creation of the rebooted ECHL Maine Mariners franchise and the heritage of the original Maine Mariners of the AHL — a highly successful Flyers farm team and later a Bruins farm team — the Flyers Alumni Team took on the Boston Bruins Alumni. 

There was a particular Maine flavor to this game with the likes of Mariners/Flyers Alumni such as Terry Murray, Len Hachnborn, Frank Bathe, Danny Lucas and Steve Tsujiura on the Flyers side. The game also featured Briere, mid-1990s Flyers center Bob Corkum and goalie Zepp (who played all 60 minutes and made 40 saves in the win). The Boston side, notably, included Ken Linseman.

Lindros was on hand for the game but a baggage handling snafu at the airport (his equipment did not arrive in time for the game) limited him to a guest-appearance role on the Flyers bench.

2019: Flyers Alumni vs. Snider Hockey (Class of 1923 Arena)


The Flyers Alumni celebrated the completion of the Class of 1923 project with a game against the Alumni of Snider Hockey. The game took place one night before the 2019 Stadium Series game at Lincoln Financial Field. Participating Alumni included Briere, Timonen, Hartnell, Propp, and Samuelsson.

2021: Flyers Alumni vs. Flyers Warriors Showcase (Ice Works, Aston)

Partially a weekend long retirement tribute to Joe Watson and partially a fundraising event on behalf of the Flyers-affiliated Flyers Warriors hockey program. The game and subsequent VIP receptions were a complete sell-out. The Flyers Alumni Team played three periods while each of the Flyers Warriors Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 rosters played 20 minutes apiece. 
  
Participating Flyers Alumni included Howe, LeClair, Briere, Mike Knuble, Joe Watson, Marsh, Therien, Jody Shelley, Dave Brown, Scott Daniels, Adam Hall, Jesse Boulerice, Esche and many more. 

 

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