“Truthfully, each individual case calls for a matter of ‘when’ they should be inducted, rather than ‘if.'”Brooke Destra; 9/8/21
Accurately assessed is that statement. Nominees like Simon Gagne, Bob Kelly, Lou Nolan, and Rick Tocchet will etch their name in Flyers history. Ahead of those four nominees are two who, unsurprisingly, should be the first inducted in this batch of nominees.
Paul Holmgren and Mark Recchi left lasting impressions in Philadelphia, but they’re not exclusive to the franchise. Their perception is substantial to the sport. All the nominees for Philadelphia’s Hall of Fame resonate deeply within the franchise’s history. Holmgren and Recchi have the furthest reach.
All the nominees should eventually receive their flowers. Gagne, Tocchet, and Kelly range through three eras of Flyers hockey. Each of those players captivated the fanbase. Nolan is the voice of Philadelphia hockey. Undoubtedly, those four will find their way into the Flyers Hall of Fame.
Impression In Philadelphia
What do you do for someone who has done it all for the Philadelphia Flyers? You put them in the Hall of Fame, of course!
Paul Holmgren spent more than forty years with the Flyers organization. He’s played five hundred games for Philadelphia over nine seasons. During that time, he became the first American-born player to score a hat trick in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals.
Holmgren appeared in two Stanley Cup Finals as a player, but three more as a coach or front office member with the Flyers. His best NHL season was the 1979-1980 season, ending in a Stanley Cup Finals loss to the New York Islanders. Philadelphia went on an insane 35 game winning streak. To this day, it’s the longest such streak in all of the North American sports.
Mark Recchi spent the majority of his Hall of Fame career with the Flyers. When he arrived in Philadelphia, he was on the same roster as Rod Brind’Amour and Kevin Dineen. Recchi notched back-to-back 100+ scoring seasons before he departed for the Montreal Canadiens.
His second stint with the Flyers was impressive in its own right. Upon his return, he led Philadelphia in scoring during the 1999-2000 season, outproducing John LeClair, Eric Lindros, and Simon Gagne. Recchi played his best hockey in Orange and Black. Though the Flyers never won a Stanley Cup while Recchi graced them with his talent, he consistently performed at a high level, finishing his career as a champion at 42-years-old.
Impression in Hockey
On Thursday, Paul Holmgren joined the US Hockey Hall of Fame. Formerly, he was an original advisor for the US Men’s National Team. Additionally, he represented the United States in various Olympic and World Cup of Hockey roles.
Holmgren provided direction in the world of hockey, developing and managing all sorts of all-time talent at an Olympic and NHL level.
When speaking of the memorable ice hockey professionals, especially ones relating to the Philadelphia Flyers, Holmgren and Mark Recchi are synonymous. Both, as players, made the lineup more competitive.
Not many players win three Stanley Cups. It’s the clutch players who make those runs. Recchi, a hockey original, reached the pinnacle of the NHL as an active player and as a retired player (NHL Hall of Famer). The cherry on top would be his 1992 Ellio’s Pizza commercial, featuring Eric Lindros, Pelle Eklund, and Bobby Clarke.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre