I am missing hockey so much that the other day, I was driving around thinking of when I was younger and loving the mid-80’s when I really got into hockey. Let’s start by saying I have been a die-hard Flyers fan since I can remember. My first game was when they were wearing Cooperalls.
When I was six, I attended a hockey clinic at the Havertown Skatium where I met Brad Marsh. I am sure the coach of the Flyers’ Warriors would remember me. My favorite Flyer was Brian Propp, GUFFAW. I loved the 80’s teams with Tim Kerr, Peter Zezel, Pelle Lindbergh and my other favorite, Mark Howe, pictured above.
One of the coolest things about hockey players is when you meet someone you idolized, you usually aren’t disappointed. They usually are great people. Having met Brian Propp at a charity event a few years ago, I wasn’t disappointed. He came into our dressing room to take pictures and sign autographs. What a classy individual!
Onto my favorite non-Flyer of all time:
Luc Robitaille #20
I first heard of Robitaille when he won the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year after the 1986-87 Season. Ironically he just beat out Ron Hextall for the award. It wasn’t until two years later when Wayne Gretzky joined the Kings the Robitaille became a household name. The left-winger was lethal before Gretzky showed up in southern California, however his presence gave the Kings a one-two punch that led them to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1993.
Robitaille is one of those amazing stories. He was drafted in the ninth round of the 1984 NHL draft, 171st overall. Although he scored 155 goals in 197 games in the QMJHL, the knock was that Robitaille wasn’t a good skater. In fact, MLB Hall of Fame Pitcher Tom Glavine was drafted by the Kings over 100 picks before Luc in the fourth round.
From the beginning, Robitaille had a knack for finding the back of the net. He scored 45 goals in his rookie season. What is even more impressive is that he scored no less than 44 goals in his first eight seasons. In his 19 year career, Robitaille was held below 22 goals just three times. He finished his Hall of Fame Career as the NHL all-time leading scoring left-winger with 668 goals and 726 assists. An eight-time all-star, he won the Stanley Cup in 2001 with the Detroit Red Wings and is the Kings’ all-time leading scorer. He would add two more Stanley Cups as an executive with the Kings. Not too shabby for a guy drafted behind a major league pitcher
We will continue with the newest dad in the PSN family. Here is what DBobb had to offer:
There are so many players to choose from when talking favorite players outside of the Flyers. This may sound like somewhat of a cop-out, but I’ve always enjoyed watching Alexander Ovechkin play.
When Ovechkin started, the common knock on his game was that he couldn’t play both sides of the ice. He was putting up numbers that were out of this world. Four of his first five seasons, Ovie broke 100 points on the season. He had 46 or more goals in each of those seasons. He was mesmerizing. His defense, however, was lacking.
Years passed, and he rounded his game out to become a more complete player. While he never broke the 100 point plateau after his fifth season in the league, he still never scored less than 32 goals on the year. His one-timer is lethal, and his cut-back into the slot from the dot is unprecedented. To put it curtly, Ovechkin isn’t human.
Watching Ovechkin develop has been an absolute treat, even if I am a Flyers fan. While he has a knack for showing up against the Flyers (59 points in 57 games,) every time he takes the ice is can’t-miss hockey.
I am only 20 years old but have been a hockey fan my whole life. There’s one guy that is a really basic answer here, but he makes any non-Flyers hockey game fun.
Alex Ovechkin is my favorite non-Flyer of all time. He dominates on the ice and has such a pure scoring ability that I am honestly unsure if anyone else has had in history. Ovi also can back up his play, too. Not only can he score at will, but he plays with an edge too. The Russian machine (second to Ivan Provorov, of course) plays hard and hits clean, and can fight when he needs to. He just plays a fun game overall
There’s also a story that goes with this too. Before my dad passed away, there was one place that he loved more than anything. As a special treat, he and I went to Del Friscos in Philly. The Caps were in town for a game the following night, and Ovi was there. Not only did Ovi go out of his way to say hi to almost every fan, but he also talked to my dad and me as well. After hearing the story of everything going on, he gave us tickets to the game the next night. He is one of the nicest athletes I’ve met in person.
There aren’t many players that aren’t Philadelphia guys that I root for to win a cup, but when Ovi raised it, it was well deserved. And let’s not forget to mention how much fun the dude was having when he had it.
My favorite player to not be a Philadelphia Flyer is Henrik Lundqvist. Yes, an NHL Metropolitan Division rival. For so long, he was dominant and the success of Carter Hart is just within this year and the last. The loss to the New York Rangers at the Winter Classic in Philadelphia was a tough pill to swallow, but that only helped the case. “King” Henrik is my pick because Peter Forsberg and Jaromir Jagr in Orange and Black was a reality.
Who is your favorite player that never donned the Flyers sweater?
Mandatory Credit – © Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Matt is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a degree in Journalism. After College he was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army where he was an Airborne Ranger and served with the famed 101st Airborne Division. RAKKASAN! When not at work you can find him coaching his son and daughter’s sports teams. Follow Matt, AKA the Delco Dope on twitter at https://twitter.com/delco_dope