|Home Arena||Wachovia Center|
|Colors||Black, Orange, White|
|Media||Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
WPSG-TV (CW Philly 57)
WIP (610 AM)
|General Manager||Paul Holmgren|
|Head Coach||John Stevens|
|Minor League Affiliates||Philadelphia Phantoms (AHL)
Wheeling Nailers (ECHL)
|Stanley Cups||1973-74, 1974-75|
|Conference Championships||1974-75, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1979-80, 1984-85, 1986-87, 1996-97|
|Division Championships||1967-68, 1973-74, 1974-75, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1979-80, 1982-83, 1984-85, 1985-86, 1986-87, 1994-95, 1995-96, 1999-00, 2001-02, 2003-04|
The Philadelphia Flyers are a professional ice hockey team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). Part of the 1967 NHL Expansion, the Flyers were the first of these expansion teams to win the Stanley Cup in 1974 and again in 1975. Despite five return trips to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Flyers have not won the Cup since. More recently, the team suffered the worst season in franchise history in 2006-07 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 1994 and only the 8th time in franchise history. The Philadelphia Flyers have the second best winning percentage in the NHL behind the Montreal Canadiens.
The Flyers have played their home games on Broad Street since their inception, first at The Spectrum from 1967 until 1996, and then at the Wachovia Center from 1996 to the present. They have had rivalries with several teams over the years, the most heated rival of late being the New Jersey Devils, with whom the Flyers have traded the Atlantic Division title with every season since 1995 and have faced three times in the playoffs, winning once in 2004 and losing twice in 1995 and 2000.
The city of Philadelphia had been home to an NHL team before for one season; the Philadelphia Quakers during the 1930-31 NHL season. After setting the NHL record for fewest wins in a season, they suspended operations for the next and subsequent seasons until they finally cancelled the franchise in 1936. Philadelphia waited another 30 years for the NHL to return when in 1966, the league awarded an expansion franchise to the city. Flyers was the name chosen for the new franchise as it conveyed the motion and excitement that was to be consistent with both hockey in general, as well as the new Philadelphia club.
Beginning play in 1967-68, the Philadelphia Flyers made their debut on October 11, 1967, losing 5-1 on the road to the California Seals. They won their first game a week later, defeating the St. Louis Blues on the road, 2-1. The Flyers made their home debut in front of a crowd of 7,812, shutting out their trans-Pennsylvania rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins, 1-0 on October 19. The new teams were hampered by restrictive rules that kept all major talent with the Original Six. In the NHL Expansion Draft, most of the players available were either aging veterans or career minor-leaguers before expansion occurred. Among the Flyers' 20 selections were Bernie Parent, Ed Van Impe, Joe Watson, Lou Angotti, Leon Rochefort, and Gary Dornhoefer. Angotti was named the Flyers' first captain and Rochefort was the Flyers' top goal scorer that first season with a total of 21 goals. With all six expansion teams grouped into the same division, the Flyers were able to win the division with a sub-.500 record despite being forced to play their last seven home games on the road due to a storm blowing parts of the Spectrum's roof off. Playoff success did not come so quickly, as the Flyers were upset by St. Louis in a first round, seven-game series.
Angotti left the team in the off-season and was replaced by Van Impe as team captain. Led by Van Impe and the team-leading 24 goals of Andre Lacroix, the Flyers struggled during their sophomore season by finishing 15 games under .500. Despite their poor regular season showing in 1968-69, they made the playoffs; however, they were manhandled by St. Louis in a four-game sweep. Not wanting his team to be physically outmatched again, owner Ed Snider instructed General Manager Bud Poile to acquire bigger, tougher players. While head coach Keith Allen soon after replaced Poile as GM, this mandate would eventually lead to one of the most feared teams to ever take the ice in the NHL. The keystone of those teams was acquired when the Flyers took a chance on a 19-year-old diabetic from Flin Flon, Manitoba named Bobby Clarke with their second draft pick, 17th overall, in the 1969 NHL Amateur Draft. Keeping to Snider's mandate, the team also drafted future enforcer Dave Schultz 52nd overall.
By the time training camp came around it was clear that Clarke was the best player on the team, and he quickly became a fan favorite. His 15 goals and 31 assists in his rookie season earned him a trip to the NHL All-Star Game. Despite his arrival, the team struggled in 1969-70 recording a franchise worst (as of completion of the 2006-07 season) in wins (17). They lost the tiebreaker for the final playoff spot to Oakland, missing the playoffs for the first time. In 1970-71 the Flyers returned to the playoffs, but were swept by the Chicago Black Hawks in the first round. Even though the team had improved their record in his second season behind the bench, head coach Vic Stasiuk was replaced by Fred Shero in the off-season.
Clarke continued to progress as he led the team in scoring in 1971-72 and became the first Flyer to win an NHL award, the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. However, in the season's final game, the Flyers needed a win or a tie against the second-year Buffalo Sabres to beat out Pittsburgh for the final playoff spot. The score was tied late in the game, but with just four seconds on the clock, former Flyer Gerry Meehan took a shot from 80 feet away that somehow eluded Flyers goalie Doug Favell. The Flyers lost the tiebreaker to Pittsburgh and missed out on the playoffs for the second time in three years.
It was during the 1972-73 season that the Flyers shed the mediocre expansion team label and became the intimidating Broad Street Bullies, a nickname coined by Jack Chevalier and Pete Cafone of the Philadelphia Bulletin on January 3, 1973 due to the team's brawling ways. That same month, Clarke was the youngest player (at that time) in NHL history to be named team captain, replacing Ed Van Impe. Rick MacLeish became the first Flyer to score 50 goals in a season and the Flyers recorded their first winning season. An overtime goal by Gary Dornhoefer in Game 5 turned the tide of their first round series with the Minnesota North Stars in the Flyers' favor, as the Flyers got their first playoff series win in six games. They were outmatched in the semifinals by the Montreal Canadiens, however, losing in five games. After the season, Clarke was awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's Most Valuable Player.
Come playoff time, the Flyers swept the Atlanta Flames in four games in the first round. In the semifinals, the Flyers faced the New York Rangers. The series, which saw the home team win every game, went seven games. Fortunately for the Flyers, they had home ice advantage as they advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals by winning Game 7. Their opponent, Bobby Orr and the Boston Bruins, took Game 1 in Boston, but Bobby Clarke scored an overtime goal in Game 2 to even the series. The Flyers won Games 3 and 4 at home to take a 3-1 series lead, but Boston won Game 5 to stave off elimination. That set the stage for Game 6 at the Spectrum. The Flyers picked up the lead early when Rick MacLeish scored a first period goal. Late in the game, Orr hauled down Clarke on a breakaway, a penalty which assured the Flyers of victory. Time expired as the Flyers brought the Stanley Cup to Philadelphia for the first time. Parent, having shutout Boston in Game 6, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Playoff MVP.
In 1974-75, Schultz topped his mark from the previous season by setting an NHL record for penalty minutes (472 in all). Clarke's efforts earned him his second Hart Trophy and Parent was the lone recipient of the Vezina Trophy. The Flyers as a team improved their record slightly with a mark of 51-18-11, the best record in the league. After a first-round bye, the Flyers easily swept the Toronto Maple Leafs and were presented with another New York-area team in the semifinals. The Flyers looked to be headed toward another sweep against the New York Islanders after winning the first three games. The Islanders, however, fought back by winning the next three games, setting up a deciding seventh game. The Flyers were finally able to shut the door on the Islanders, winning Game 7, 4-1.
Facing Buffalo in the Stanley Cup Finals, the Flyers won the first two games at home. Game 3, played in Buffalo, would go down in hockey lore as The Fog Game due to an unusual May heat wave in Buffalo which forced parts of the game to be played in heavy fog, as Buffalo's arena lacked air conditioning. The Flyers lost Games 3 and 4, but won Game 5 at home in dominating fashion, 5-1. On the road for Game 6, Bob Kelly scored the decisive goal and Parent pitched another shutout (a playoff record fifth shutout) as the Flyers repeated as Stanley Cup Champions. Parent also repeated as the playoff MVP, winning a second consecutive Conn Smythe Trophy.
The highlight of the 1975-76 season had no bearing on the season standings. On January 11 at the Spectrum, the Flyers, as part of the Super Series '76, played a memorable exhibition game against the Soviet Union's dominant Central Red Army team. As the Bullies had put intimidation to good use the past three years, the Flyers' rugged style of play led the Soviets to leave the ice midway through the first period, protesting a hit on Valeri Kharlamov, whom Clarke had slashed on the ankle in the famous Summit Series '72, by Ed Van Impe. After some delay, the Soviets returned after they were warned that they would lose their salary for the entire series. The Flyers went on to win the game rather easily, 4-1, and were the only team to defeat the Red Army outright in the series. Head coach Fred Shero would proclaim, "Yes we are world champions. If they had won, they would have been world champions. We beat the hell out of a machine."
The Flyers recorded the best record in team history (points wise) with a record of 51-13-16. The LCB line, featuring Reggie Leach at right-wing, Clarke at center, and Bill Barber at left-wing, set an NHL record for goals by a single line with 141 (Leach 61, Clarke 30, Barber 50). Clarke, on his way to a third Hart Trophy, set a club record for points in one season with 119. Heading into the playoffs, the Flyers squeaked past Toronto in seven games and defeated Boston in five games, Game 5 featuring a five-goal outburst by Leach, the Riverton Rifle, to head to a third straight appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals. However, the Flyers didn't come close to a third straight championship without an injured Bernie Parent, as they ran into an up-and-coming dynasty in Montreal, and were swept in four straight games. Despite the loss, Leach was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for scoring a record 19 goals in 16 playoff games.
Dethroned, the heyday of the Broad Street Bullies came to an end, as prior to the 1976-77 season, tough-guy Dave Schultz was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. Despite a slight drop-off in performance, the Flyers dominated the Patrick Division with what proved to be their 4th straight division title. After disposing of Toronto in six games, the Flyers found themselves in the semifinals for the fifth consecutive season. Pitted against Boston, the Flyers lost Games 1 and 2 at home in overtime and would not return home as they were swept in four straight games. The Flyers lost their hold on the Patrick Division in 1977-78 and settled for second place. After sweeping the Colorado Rockies in 2 games in the preliminary round, the Flyers moved on to beat Buffalo in five games. They faced Boston in the semifinals for the second consecutive season, and lost again, this time in five games. Following the season, the Flyers were stunned when head coach Fred Shero left to take the general manager and head coaching jobs with the Rangers. As compensation for The Fog, the Flyers received the Rangers' first-round draft pick in 1978.
Bob McCammon, who had just coached the Flyers' first year AHL Maine Mariners farm club to a Calder Cup title, replaced Shero behind the bench. After a slow start in 1978-79 the Flyers switched McCammon with Pat Quinn, Shero's previous assistant coach, who had replaced McCammon with the Mariners. Adding to the problems, Bernie Parent suffered a career-ending eye injury. The Flyers rallied under Quinn and finished in 2nd place. Matched-up against the Vancouver Canucks in the preliminary round, the Flyers won the series in three games. The Flyers' season came to an end against Fred Shero's Rangers in a five-game quarterfinal loss.
The Flyers began the 1979-80 season with a somewhat controversial move by naming Clarke a playing assistant coach and giving the captaincy to Mel Bridgman. While Clarke was against this initially, he accepted his new role. The Flyers would go undefeated for a North American professional sports record 35 straight games (25-0-10), a record that still stands to this day. In doing so, the Flyers wrapped up the Patrick Division title with 14 games to spare and the No.1 overall seed in the playoffs. Their regular-season success continued into the playoffs, as the Flyers swept a young Wayne Gretzky and his Edmonton Oilers in the first round, then went on to get revenge against Fred Shero and his Rangers by beating them in five before disposing of Minnesota in five to lock up a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals. Facing the Islanders for the Cup, the Flyers would ultimately lose in six games on Bob Nystrom's overtime Cup-winning goal. The end result of the series was marred by controversy, as the Islanders' fourth goal in that game was clearly offside, but no whistle was forthcoming. Linesman Leon Stickle admitted after the game that he had blown the call.
The Flyers made early playoff exits the next four years, including three first round exits in a row. After a tough, five-game preliminary round series win against the Quebec Nordiques, the team's 1980-81 season came to an end as they lost in the quarterfinals to the Calgary Flames in seven games. They lost to the Rangers two years in a row in 1981-82 and 1982-83 and then were swept by the Washington Capitals in 1983-84. It was after the latter of these playoff losses that Bobby Clarke retired and was named Vice President and General Manager of the team.
Mike Keenan, a relative unknown at the time, was hired in 1984 to coach the team, and named second-year player Dave Poulin team captain. Behind the goaltending of Pelle Lindbergh (who led the league with 40 wins and won the Vezina Trophy), the Flyers posted a record of 53-20-7, good enough to be the best in the NHL. The Flyers would roll through the playoffs by sweeping the Rangers in three games, defeating the Islanders in five, and beating Quebec in six to return to the Stanley Cup Finals. Though they defeated the defending Stanley Cup Champion Oilers in Game 1 by a score of 4-1 at home, Edmonton won the next four games and the series. A month into the 1985-86 season, Pelle Lindbergh was fatally injured in a car accident. The team rallied and showed perseverance by garnering the best record in the Wales Conference and matching their win total (53) from the previous year. Tim Kerr scored 58 goals and the defense pairing of Howe and Brad McCrimmon led the league in plus/minus, a +85 and a +83 respectively. Bob Froese filled in admirably in net for Lindbergh, being named a 2nd Team All-Star and sharing the William M. Jennings Trophy with teammate Darren Jensen. Despite their regular season success, an emotionally exhausted Flyers team lost in the first round of the playoffs to an underdog Rangers team in five games.
In 1986 the rejuvenated Flyers found another Vezina Trophy goaltender between the pipes with a rookie named Ron Hextall from Brandon, Manitoba. He became the third Flyers goaltender to win the Vezina Trophy, joining Parent and Lindbergh. With Hextall providing the critical stops at crucial times, the Flyers captured a third-straight Patrick Division title, and were able to gain revenge on the Rangers by beating them in six games, as well as surviving a tough seven-game test from a gritty Islanders club. By the time the Flyers defeated the defending Stanley Cup Champion Canadiens in six to win the Wales Conference and return to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Flyers had again been decimated by injuries, including losing Tim Kerr for the remainder of the playoffs. As a result, the Flyers lost in heartbreaking fashion to Edmonton in seven tough, hard-fought games. Oddly enough, Hextall was voted playoff MVP, the second such time a Flyer won the Conn Smythe Trophy despite being on the losing team, the other being another Manitoban, Reggie Leach, in 1976.
The Flyers stumbled in 1987-88, finishing third in the Patrick Division (after a first-place finish the previous three years). Hextall became the first NHL goaltender to score a goal by firing the puck into an empty net in a December 8 game against Boston. In their first round playoff series with Washington, the Flyers blew a 3-1 series lead as Washington forced a Game 7. They then blew a 3-0 lead in Game 7 as Washington won in overtime 5-4. It was because of this playoff collapse that "Iron Mike" was fired. Paul Holmgren was named Keenan's replacement, the first time a former Flyer was named the club's head coach. Despite finishing at the .500 mark in 1988-89, the Flyers made the playoffs for the 17th consecutive season. Facing first-place Washington in the first round, the Flyers pulled off the upset in six games. Ron Hextall managed to score another empty-net goal in the waning moments of Game 5, becoming the first NHL goalie to score a goal in the playoffs. The Flyers then defeated Pittsburgh in seven games to make the Wales Conference Finals before bowing out to Montreal in six games.
The 1989-90 season got off to a bad start for the Flyers, and continued to get worse. Hextall missed all but eight games due to suspension, contract holdout issues and injury, the suspension given for attacking Chris Chelios at the end of the Montreal playoff series the previous spring. Holmgren replaced Dave Poulin as captain in December with Ron Sutter, which led to Poulin's (and later that season, Brian Propp's) trade to Boston. As a result, the Flyers missed the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 1972. Bob Clarke, having been with the Flyers organization since he was drafted in 1969, was fired and replaced as GM by Russ Farwell. Hextall continued to be hampered by injuries during the 1990-91 season. He only played in 36 games and as a result the Flyers missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year, finishing fifth in the division and three points short of a playoff spot after a late-season collapse.
Prior to the 1991-92 season, the Flyers acquired Rod Brind'Amour from St. Louis. Brind'Amour led the Flyers in goals (33), assists (44), and points (77) in his first season with the club. With Ron Sutter gone to St. Louis in the Brind'Amour trade, Rick Tocchet was named team captain. As the Flyers continued to flounder, Paul Holmgren was fired midway through the season and replaced by Bill Dineen, father of Flyer Kevin Dineen. On February 19, the Flyers and Pittsburgh made a major five-player deal which featured Tocchet — who never grew comfortably into the role of captain — heading to Pittsburgh and Mark Recchi coming to Philadelphia. Recchi recorded 27 points in his first 22 games as a Flyer, but the team missed the playoffs for the third consecutive year, due in large part to an awful road record (10-26-4).
In June 1992, the Flyers began putting their plan for returning to their place amongst the NHL elite in action, as they won the arbitration battle for 1991 #1 overall pick Eric Lindros against the Rangers. It was determined that Quebec had made a deal with the Flyers before making a deal with the Rangers. In order to acquire Lindros' rights, the Flyers parted with six players, trading Steve Duchesne, Peter Forsberg, Ron Hextall, Kerry Huffman, Mike Ricci, Chris Simon, a 1993 first round draft pick (Jocelyn Thibault), a 1994 first round draft pick (Nolan Baumgartner), and $15 million to Quebec.
The trio of Lindros, Recchi, and Brent Fedyk would form the Crazy Eights line in Lindros' first two years in the league, the eights being the player's jersey numbers (88, 8, and 18 respectively). In 1992-93, Recchi set the franchise record for points in a season with 123 (53 goals, 70 assists) and Lindros scored 41 goals in 61 games. After struggling early the Flyers made a run at the playoffs, but came four points short of the last spot. Head coach Bill Dineen was fired at the season's end. For 1993-94, Terry Simpson was hired as the new head coach in hopes that the Flyers would finally return to playoff contention after four consecutive off-years. Recchi would record 107 points (40 goals, 67 assists) and Lindros 97 (44 goals, 53 assists) while Mikael Renberg set a Flyers rookie record with 82 points. Offense was generated yet the Flyers still failed to clinch a playoff berth, again falling four points short of the final playoff spot. Jay Snider stepped down as President, forcing his father Ed Snider to take over day-to-day operations. The elder Snider had decided he had seen enough of Farwell as GM, and began courting Bob Clarke to leave his GM post with Florida to return to Philadelphia. Farwell's last move as GM was firing Simpson after a lackluster performance.
Bob Clarke returned to the General Manager position prior to the 1994-95 season and immediately began putting his stamp on the team. New head coach Terry Murray replaced Kevin Dineen as team captain with Lindros prior to the start of training camp. In order to shore up the defense, Ron Hextall was re-acquired from the Islanders and high-scoring winger Recchi was traded to Montreal for John LeClair, Eric Desjardins, and Gilbert Dionne early in the abbreviated season. Lindros and LeClair teamed with Renberg to form the Legion of Doom line, a mix of scoring talent and physical intimidation. Lindros came in second to Jaromir Jagr by a tiebreaker in the race for the Art Ross Trophy, but made up for it by capturing the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's MVP. The playoff drought came to an end as the Flyers won their first division title in eight years and clinched the No.2 seed in the Eastern Conference. After dispatching Buffalo in five and sweeping the defending Stanley Cup champion Rangers, the Flyers lost in the Eastern Conference Finals to the eventual-champion New Jersey Devils in six games.
Lindros eclipsed the 100-point mark for the first time in 1995-96, gathering 115 points, and LeClair scored 51 goals, as the Flyers repeated as Atlantic Division champs and clinched the No.1 seed in the East. Facing the 8th-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning, the Flyers dropped two of the first three games. They rallied by winning three straight games to win the series. After taking two of the first three games against their second-round opponent, Florida, the Flyers were defeated in overtime in Game 4 and double-overtime in Game 5. An upstart Florida club with stellar goaltending from John Vanbiesbrouck ended the Flyers' season in Game 6. The Flyers said goodbye to the Spectrum and prepared to open a new arena - the CoreStates Center - for the next season.
Though Lindros missed 30 games in 1996-97, LeClair still managed to score 50 goals for the second consecutive year. Despite finishing just one point shy of a third straight Atlantic Division title, the Flyers blitzed their way through the Eastern Conference playoffs. Backstopped by the goaltending tandem of Hextall and Garth Snow, the Flyers dominated Pittsburgh, Buffalo and the Rangers all in five games apiece to win the Eastern Conference championship, and clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1986-87. However, their opponent, the Detroit Red Wings, swept the Flyers in four straight games. After Game 3, Terry Murray said that the team was in a "choking situation". It is said this remark cost Murray his job, as he was fired soon after.
The man picked to replace Murray, Wayne Cashman, was deemed ill-suited for the job as the Flyers played inconsistently throughout the 1997-98 season and so Roger Neilson was hired in March to take over the head coaching duties. John LeClair was able to score at least 50 goals for the third consecutive year (netting 51), the first time for an American-born player, and goaltender Sean Burke was acquired at the trade deadline. Burke proved ineffective in net, as the Flyers were eliminated in the first round by Buffalo in five games. In the off-season, the Flyers went looking for a new goaltender. Burke was let go and Hextall was about to enter his final season as a backup. They chose to sign former Panther John Vanbiesbrouck over former Oiler Curtis Joseph, who ended up signing with Toronto. The 1998-99 season was marred by a life-threatening injury sustained by Eric Lindros on April Fools' Day during a game against the Nashville Predators, a season-ending injury later diagnosed as a collapsed lung. Up until that point, Lindros was having an MVP-type season with 40 goals and 53 assists in 71 games. Without Lindros, the Flyers had trouble scoring in the playoffs even after having re-acquired Mark Recchi at the trade deadline. Although Vanbiesbrouck allowed nine goals to Joseph's eleven allowed, the Flyers lost their first round series with Toronto in six games.
One of the most tumultuous seasons in franchise history, 1999-2000, actually started in July three months prior to the start of the regular season. In the span of a few days, longtime broadcaster Gene Hart died due to illness and defenseman Dmitri Tertyshny, coming off his rookie season, was fatally injured in a freak boating accident. The season itself was no better as head coach Roger Neilson was diagnosed with bone cancer, forcing him to step aside in February 2000 to undergo treatment. The team was left in the hands of interim coach Craig Ramsay for the rest of the season. In January, longtime Flyer and fan favorite Rod Brind'Amour was shipped to Carolina for Keith Primeau, with the intention of acquiring a big center to complement Eric Lindros. Meanwhile, the strife between Flyers management (particularly GM Bob Clarke) and Lindros, continued to worsen. Less than a month after Ramsay took over, Lindros suffered his second concussion of the season. He played several games after the initial hit and afterwards criticized the team's training staff for failing to initially diagnose the concussion after it happened. It was after this that the Flyers' organization decided to strip Lindros of the captaincy on March 27 and sew the C on the sweater of defenseman Eric Desjardins.
With Lindros out indefinitely, the Flyers rallied to overcome the distractions and a 15-point deficit in the standings to win the Atlantic Division and the No. 1 seed in the East on the last day of the regular season. They easily defeated their first round opponent, Buffalo, in five games. Primeau's goal in the fifth overtime of Game 4 against the team's second-round opponent, Pittsburgh, turned that series in the Flyers' favor as they won in six games, coming back from a 2-0 series deficit. After dropping Game 1 to New Jersey in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Flyers peeled off three straight wins to take a 3-1 series lead. But New Jersey refused to give up. After New Jersey won Game 5, Lindros returned to the lineup for the first time since March for Game 6 in another losing effort. Early in Game 7, Lindros was on the receiving end of a hit by Scott Stevens, giving him another concussion and leaving the Philadelphia crowd deflated. Without Lindros, the Flyers lost the decisive game by a score of 2-1. It was the 2nd time in franchise history the team lost a series after being up 3 games to 1. To add insult to injury, New Jersey went on to win the Stanley Cup.
The Big E would never don Philly's orange and black again, as Lindros sat out the season awaiting a trade. Also, Craig Ramsay retained the head coaching position as Neilson was not asked to return, which became a matter of some controversy. Ramsay only lasted until December when he was replaced by former Flyer great Bill Barber. Brian Boucher, who as a rookie backstopped the Flyers' playoff run the previous season, couldn't duplicate his performance in 2000-01 and therefore lost the starting goaltending job to Roman Cechmanek, a former star goalie in the Czech Republic. The performance of Cechmanek, worthy of a Vezina nomination, helped the Flyers stay afloat, but they lost in the first round to Buffalo in six games.
In the off-season, the Flyers re-vamped their lineup by signing Jeremy Roenick and finally trading Lindros to the Rangers for Kim Johnsson, Jan Hlavac, Pavel Brendl, and a 2003 3rd-round draft pick. Desjardins stepped down as team captain eight games into the season and was replaced by Primeau. The Flyers began 2001-02 with high expectations and with Roenick leading the team in scoring the Flyers finished with an Atlantic Division title. The power play was one of the NHL's worst however, so Adam Oates, the third leading point-producer in the league at the time, was acquired from Washington at the trade deadline. It was of no benefit as the Flyers couldn't muster much offense, scoring only two goals in their five-game, first-round playoff loss to the Ottawa Senators. It turned out there was much discontent in the locker room as Bill Barber was fired. The Flyers hired a proven winner when they turned to former Dallas Stars and Stanley Cup-winning head coach Ken Hitchcock.
In 2002-03, Roman Cechmanek had a 1.83 GAA and the Flyers acquired Sami Kapanen and Tony Amonte prior to the trade deadline; however, they fell one point short of a second straight Atlantic Division title. As a result, the Flyers endured a long, brutal seven-game first round match-up with Toronto that featured three multiple overtime games, all in Toronto. After winning Game 7, 6-1, the Flyers fought Ottawa in the second round with equal vigor as they split the first four games of the series, Cechmanek earning shutouts in both wins. Cechmanek's inconsistency showed through, however, as he allowed ten goals in the final two games and Ottawa advanced in six games. Cechmanek was traded to Los Angeles for a 2004 second round draft pick during the off-season despite having the second-best goals-against average in the league over his three years in Philadelphia.
With the NHL preparing for looming labor unrest, the Flyers let their leading scorer, Mark Recchi, leave for Pittsburgh during the off-season. Unsure about what the future would bring, the Flyers were unsure about Recchi's worth. The NHL Lockout would force the cancellation of the 2004-05 NHL season. The Flyers were one of the more active teams once the NHL Lockout came to an end. Replacing the high-profile names of Amonte, LeClair, and Roenick were superstar Peter Forsberg, along with defensemen Derian Hatcher and Mike Rathje, as well as several players from the Calder Cup-winning Philadelphia Phantoms. When all was said and done, the team had experienced a turnover of nearly two-thirds of the roster.
The Flyers began the season with lofty expectations. Despite being hampered by injuries prior to and during 2005-06, the Flyers lived up to those expectations in the first half of the season, reaching the top of the league standings in January while simultaneously holding a ten-point lead in the Atlantic Division. The Deuces Wild line of Forsberg, Gagne, and Mike Knuble recorded 75, 79, and 65 points respectively while Gagne, with Forsberg feeding him, scored a career high of 47 goals. However, the injuries began to accumulate and take their toll, the most crippling of which was Keith Primeau season-ending concussion. All told, the Flyers were third in the NHL with 388 man-games lost to injury, tops amongst playoff teams. The second half of the regular season was defined by a record hovering around .500, sending the Flyers on a steady slide in the standings. The Flyers fell short of an Atlantic Division title, finishing second by tie-breaker to New Jersey, drawing the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference and a first round match-up with fourth-seeded Buffalo. The Flyers lost the series in six games.
The changes did little to improve the Flyers fortunes in 2006-07 as setting franchise records for futility became the norm. They had several multiple-game losing streaks including a franchise worst 10-game losing streak and a 12-game home losing streak that stretched from November 29 to February 10. Ultimately, the Flyers finished with a 22-48-12 record, the most losses in franchise history and the worst record in the league. They also set the NHL record for the biggest points drop off in the standings in a one-year span (101 points in 2005-06 to 56 points in 2006-07, a difference of 45 points).
With the team clearly on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time in 13 years, Holmgren set his sights on rebuilding the team and preparing for the future. Forsberg, unwilling to commit to playing next season, was traded to Nashville for Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent, and 2007 1st and 3rd-round draft picks. Veteran defenseman Alexei Zhitnik was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers for prospect defenseman Braydon Coburn and disappointing off-season acquisition Kyle Calder was sent to the Detroit Red Wings via Chicago in exchange for defenseman Lasse Kukkonen. The Flyers also acquired goaltender Martin Biron from the Buffalo Sabres for a 2007 2nd-round pick. Given wide praise for his efforts, the Flyers gave Holmgren a two-year contract and removed the interim label from his title.
In the off-season, the Flyers made a June 18th trade which sent the first round draft pick they had acquired in the Forsberg trade back to Nashville for the rights to negotiate with impending unrestricted free agents Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell. Both were signed to six-year contracts. After much speculation as to whether the Flyers would trade the 2nd overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Flyers stayed put and selected New Jersey native James vanRiemsdyk.
The Flyers wasted no time in addressing their free agent needs. On July 1, the Flyers signed Buffalo co-captain Daniel Briere to an 8-year, $52 million contract. Continuing to revamp their defensive core, Joni Pitkanen and Geoff Sanderson were traded to Edmonton for Oilers captain Jason Smith and Joffrey Lupul. On October 1, 2007, Smith was named captain, while Simon Gagne and Mike Richards both received the alternate captain designations.
The Flyers' logo was a creation of artist Sam Ciccone. Like the name, the idea behind the logo was to convey the motion and speed of hockey, while referring to both the sport and the city. Ciccone came up with the now iconic stylized Flying P containing an orange hockey puck, with four wings coming off the back. This simple yet powerful looking logo was reflective of both the team's new name and the city of Philadelphia. Although Ciccone created other designs, the Flying P was almost instantly the clear choice for all involved and has been very popular with the fans ever since. The Flyers unveiled a "3D" version of this logo with metallic accents during the 2002-03 season which was used on untraditionally styled orange 3rd jerseys, up until the start of the 2007-08 NHL season.
Orange and white primary colors, with black accents, numbering, and lettering, have been the Flyers colors since the founding of the franchise. The history of these colors in Philadelphia hockey goes even deeper, as they were also the colors of the city's previous NHL team, the Philadelphia Quakers. These colors were chosen in a city-wide vote, conducted by mail-in ballots obtained from the Philadelphia Inquirer, in which residents of Philadelphia could choose the color combination for their new hockey team. James Hamer, whose orange/white/black choice won for its tie-in to the Philadelphia Quakers, was awarded season tickets for the Flyers' inaugural season. The Flyers' home jersey was primarily white, with orange 'shoulders', up until the 2003-04 season. Conversely, the team's away jersey was orange with white shoulders up until the 2000 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The only minor alteration to this general design came prior to the 1982-83 season.
However, in line with many sports franchises in the 1990s, who market tested darker colors and found black to be popular with the coveted urban/hip-hop demographic, the Flyers introduced a primary black jersey in 1997-98. Styled similarly to the traditional orange and white uniforms, this black version served simply as a third jersey until the 2000 Stanley Cup Playoffs. At that point it became the team's primary road jersey, with the traditional orange jersey being retired completely after the 2000-01 season. In 2002-03 a new predominantly orange uniform was re-introduced as a third option. However, it has only a passing resemblance to the more traditionally styled uniforms, with a different color layout, metallic accents added to the lettering/numbering, and is also the only version sporting the aforementioned metallic "3D P".
Entering the 2007-08 season, the Flyers unveiled new home and road jerseys. The black home jersey now features white shoulders with orange and black sections at the elbow and black cuffs. The white road jersey features orange shoulders with black and white sections at the elbow, and black cuffs.
The Flyers debuted a shortlived skating mascot named "Slapshot" in 1976 but dropped the character by the next season. It remains the only mascot in Flyers' team history, although the team occasionally employs the services of "Phlex," the mascot of the team's minor league affiliate and next door neighbors, the Philadelphia Phantoms. Also of note is the fact the Flyers were the first, and one of only two (the Hartford Whalers being the other), NHL teams to wear Cooperalls, hockey pants that extend from the waist to the ankles, in 1981-82. They wore them the following season as well, but returned to the traditional hockey pants in 1983-84.
This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the Flyers. For the full season-by-season history, see Philadelphia Flyers seasons
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes
Records as of April 8, 2007.
|2001-02||82||42||27||10||3||97||234||192||1242||1st, Atlantic||Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 1-4 (Senators)|
|2002-03||82||45||20||13||4||107||211||166||1003||2nd, Atlantic||Lost in Conference Semifinals, 2-4 (Senators)|
|2003-04||82||40||21||15||6||101||229||186||1357||1st, Atlantic||Lost in Conference Finals, 3-4 (Lightning)|
|2004-05||Season cancelled due to 2004-05 NHL Lockout|
|2005-061||82||45||26||—||11||101||267||259||1187||2nd, Atlantic||Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 2-4 (Sabres)|
|2006-07||82||22||48||—||12||56||214||303||1285||5th, Atlantic||Did not qualify|
|2007-08||In progress (see 2007-08 Philadelphia Flyers season)|
As of December 3, 2007.
|#||Player||Catches||Acquired||Place of Birth|
|30||Antero Niittymaki||L||1998||Turku, Finland|
|43||Martin Biron||L||2007||Lac-Saint-Charles, Quebec|
|#||Player||Shoots||Acquired||Place of Birth|
|2||Derian Hatcher||L||2005||Sterling Heights, Michigan|
|3||Mike Rathje (IR)||L||2005||Mannville, Alberta|
|5||Braydon Coburn||L||2007||Calgary, Alberta|
|6||Randy Jones||L||2003||Quispamsis, New Brunswick|
|8||Rory Fitzpatrick||R||2007||Rochester, New York|
|21||Jason Smith – C||R||2007||Calgary, Alberta|
|28||Lasse Kukkonen||L||2007||Oulu, Finland|
|44||Kimmo Timonen – A||L||2007||Kuopio, Finland|
|#||Player||Position||Shoots||Acquired||Place of Birth|
|9||Scottie Upshall||RW||L||2007||Fort McMurray, Alberta|
|12||Simon Gagne (IR) – A||LW||L||1998||Sainte-Foy, Quebec|
|15||Joffrey Lupul||RW||R||2007||Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta|
|17||Jeff Carter||C||R||2003||London, Ontario|
|18||Mike Richards – A||C||L||2003||Kenora, Ontario|
|19||Scott Hartnell||LW||L||2007||Regina, Saskatchewan|
|20||R.J. Umberger||C||L||2004||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
|22||Mike Knuble||RW||R||2004||Toronto, Ontario|
|24||Sami Kapanen||RW||L||2003||Vantaa, Finland|
|32||Riley Cote (Suspended)||LW||L||2004||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|34||Jim Dowd||C||R||2007||Brick, New Jersey|
|36||Jesse Boulerice (Suspended)||RW||R||2007||Plattsburgh, New York|
|48||Daniel Briere||C||R||2007||Gatineau, Quebec|
|53||Denis Tolpeko||C||L||2006||Moscow, U.S.S.R.|
|55||Ben Eager||LW||L||2004||Ottawa, Ontario|
Hall of Famers: The Flyers currently have at least thirteen personnel in the Hockey Hall of Fame. At least seven have been inducted into the players category, at least four in the builders category and at least one in the broadcasters category. Inducted as players were Goaltender Bernie Parent in 1984, forward Bobby Clarke in 1987, forward Bill Barber in 1990. Paul Coffey, Dale Hawerchuk, Darryl Sittler and Allan Stanley were also inducted as players, each having played no more than two and a half seasons for the Flyers. Inducted as builders were Keith Allen who was Head coach (1967-69), GM (1969-83) and Executive VP (since 1980), Roger Neilson, Head coach (1997-2000), mainly for his overall NHL coaching career, Bud Poile the Flyers GM (1967-69) and Ed Snider the Flyers majority owner (1967-96) and Chairman (since 1996). Gene Hart (1967-95), was inducted as a broadcaster.
Retired numbers: The Flyers have retired four of their jersey numbers and taken a number out of circulation. The Flyers have retired number 1 for goaltender Bernie Parent (1967-71 & 1973-79) on October 11, 1979, number 4 for defenseman Barry Ashbee (1970-74) on April 3, 1975, number 7 for left-winger Bill Barber (1972-84) on October 11, 1990, and number 16 for center Bobby Clarke (1969-84) on November 15, 1984. The number 99 has been retired league-wide for Wayne Gretzky on February 6, 2000. The number 31 of goaltender Pelle Lindbergh (1981-86), was taken out of circulation after his death in November 1985 and is considered unofficially retired.
Philadelphia Flyers games are broadcasted by Comcast SportsNet (CSN), The CW Philly 57 (WPSG), and The Comcast Network (CN8). WPSG has been broadcasting Flyers games since 1999. The 2007 season will be the first season for CN8. These two stations are used when conflicts exist with Philadelphia 76ers games. Games can also be heard on 610 WIP.
|Stanley Cup Champions
|Philadelphia Flyers seasons|
|1960s||1967-68 | 1968-69 | 1969-70|
|1970s||1970-71 | 1971-72 | 1972-73 | 1973-74 | 1974-75 | 1975-76 | 1976-77 | 1977-78 | 1978-79 | 1979-80|
|1980s||1980-81 | 1981-82 | 1982-83 | 1983-84 | 1984-85 | 1985-86 | 1986-87 | 1987-88 | 1988-89 | 1989-90|
|1990s||1990-91 | 1991-92 | 1992-93 | 1993-94 | 1994-95 | 1995-96 | 1996-97 | 1997-98 | 1998-99 | 1999-2000|
|2000s||2000-01 | 2001-02 | 2002-03 | 2003-04 | 2004-05 | 2005-06 | 2006-07 | 2007-08|
|Team||History • Players • Award Winners • Records • Seasons • Draft Picks • The Spectrum • Wachovia Center|
|Head Coaches||Allen • Stasiuk • Shero • McCammon • Quinn • McCammon • Keenan • Holmgren • Dineen • Simpson • Murray • Cashman • Neilson • Ramsay • Barber • Hitchcock • Stevens|
|Division titles||1967-68, 1973-74, 1974-75, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1979-80, 1982-83, 1984-85, 1985-86, 1986-87, 1994-95, 1995-96, 1999-2000, 2001-02, 2003-04|
|Conference Championships||1974-75, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1979-80, 1984-85, 1986-87, 1996-97|
|Stanley Cups||1973-74, 1974-75|
|Affiliates||Philadelphia Phantoms (AHL), Wheeling Nailers (ECHL)|
|National Hockey League (2007-08)|
|Eastern Conference||Western Conference|
|New Jersey Devils||Boston Bruins||Atlanta Thrashers||Chicago Blackhawks||Calgary Flames||Anaheim Ducks|
|New York Islanders||Buffalo Sabres||Carolina Hurricanes||Columbus Blue Jackets||Colorado Avalanche||Dallas Stars|
|New York Rangers||Montreal Canadiens||Florida Panthers||Detroit Red Wings||Edmonton Oilers||Los Angeles Kings|
|Philadelphia Flyers||Ottawa Senators||Tampa Bay Lightning||Nashville Predators||Minnesota Wild||Phoenix Coyotes|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||Toronto Maple Leafs||Washington Capitals||St. Louis Blues||Vancouver Canucks||San Jose Sharks|
|Seasons (structure) · Stanley Cup (Playoffs–Finals–Champions) · Presidents' Trophy · All-Star Game · Draft · Players (Association) · All-Star Teams · Awards|
|History · Timeline · Defunct teams · NHA · Original Six · 1967 Expansion · WHA · Streaks · Droughts · Hall of Fame (members) · Rivalries · Arenas · Rules · Violence|