During hard times, you have to consider the small things. Things that remind us all of better days. Currently, the Philadelphia Flyers are sitting at rock bottom. The light at the end of the tunnel is dim at best.
The Flyers’ social media team deserves credit. The worst-kept secret in the NHL surrounds the state of Philadelphia hockey. Every moment includes fans calling for a change in the front office. The fans are justified, but if there is a sect of the fanbase who want a night off from their neverending misery, honoring the glory days helps. Enter the concept of ‘Throwback Thursday’ during the 2022-2023 season.
Each decade of Philadelphia hockey history will be honored during ‘Throwback Thursday’ games.
“The Philadelphia Flyers have an incredibly proud and rich history, and these Throwback Thursday games are a great way to celebrate that history and connect today’s players and fans with different eras of the Flyers’ past.”Brad Marsh; 9/8/2022
The preparation and representation of the Flyers Alumni is an improvement from last season. Last season, the Flyers Alumni Game didn’t receive much promotion; massively criticized by Chris Therien via ‘Snow the Goalie.’
- October 27th, 2022: vs. Florida Panthers (the 1960s/1970s)
- December 1st, 2022: vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (the 1980s)
- January 5th, 2023: vs. Arizona Coyotes (the 1990s)
- January 19th, 2023: vs. Chicago Blackhawks (the 2000s)
- February 9th, 2023: vs. Edmonton Oilers (the 2010s)
- March 23rd, 2023: vs. Minnesota Wild (all decades)
Above is the ‘Throwback Thursday’ schedule with the decades celebrated during each game. Below are a handful of names throughout the decades who stood out in Flyers history, sorted by impacted decade.
The 1960s and 1970s
Of course, the Philadelphia Flyers entered the NHL as an expansion team in 1967. The 1960s will combine with the 1970s as the Flyers battle the Florida Panthers before celebrating these two decades with all the others against the Minnesota Wild later. Best identified with the 1960s were players such as Gary Dornhoefer, Joe Watson, and Ed Van Impe.
Dornhoefer is immortalized via a statue outside of Xfinity Live in Philadelphia, where the Spectrum used to stand. Watson won two Stanley Cups and scored a shorthanded goal against the Red Army. Van Impe put fear into Russia, prompting a protest after leveling Valeri Kharlamov.
The franchise history began in the 1960s, but the impression of those players bled well into the 1970s.
Joining the above players are vital memories of the ‘Broadstreet Bullies’ era, such as Bob Kelly, Reggie Leach, Rick MacLeish, Bill Barber, Bernie Parent, and Bobby Clarke.
Kelly scored the Stanley Cup game-winner in 1975 against the Buffalo Sabres. Leach was the leading scorer on a line featuring Barber and Clarke; and the only 60-goal scorer in franchise history. MacLeish ranks top ten in goals, assists, points, and games played in team history; the same goes for Barber and Clarke, but top five. Parent lives in NHL history as one of the best goaltenders between a set of posts, complete with two Stanley Cups.
On December 1st, 2022, the Philadelphia Flyers host the Tampa Bay Lightning. The decade of choice on this night is the 1980s. Some players best identified with the 1980s include Brian Propp, Mark Howe, Brad Marsh, Dave Poulin, and Rick Tocchet.
Propp, a crafty NHL scorer toppling the one-thousand point milestone, spent the entire decade in the Flyers. Howe was one of the best defensemen in the NHL during the 1980s. Poulin was the best two-way forward in the NHL, winning the Frank J. Selke Trophy in 1986-1987. Marsh was a steady defenseman for Philadelphia, choosing to remain helmetless as a grandfathered exception to the rule. Tocchet is a former player this current fanbase still adores, especially when during the coaching hunt before John Tortorella accepted the offer.
On January 5th, 2023, the Arizona Coyotes visit the Wells Fargo Center. The 1990s will receive the honor during this ‘Throwback Thursday.’ Rod Brind’Amour, Eric Lindros, John LeClair, Eric Desjardins, and Ron Hextall bring back the nostalgia.
Brind’Amour has a career that spans twenty years, including two Frank J. Selke Trophies, but arguably his best hockey (601pts in 633 games) occurred while in Orange and Black. Lindros is synonymous with the number 88 in Philadelphia and an NHL Hall of Famer. LeClair was a five-time all-star with the Flyers. Desjardins was a two-time all-star towards the end of the decade. Hextall, as a player, contributed mightily in two separate stints in Philadelphia, blending between the 1980s and 1990s.
On January 19th, 2023, the Chicago Blackhawks come to town. Remember, the 2000s decade finished with a Stanley Cup Finals loss to the Blackhawks. Forwards ruled the roost during the 2000s considering Simon Gagne, Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Mark Recchi, and Keith Primeau.
Gagne ushered in a swift era of Philadelphia Flyers hockey, earning NHL All-Rookie honors by the end of 2000, and didn’t let up. Gagne, along with Richards and Carter, were along for the 2010 postseason run culminating in a Stanley Cup Finals loss to the Blackhawks. Recchi is an NHL Hall of Famer and returned for his second stint with the Flyers between 1998-2004. Primeau finished his career in Philadelphia, electric during the 2000-2001 season, scoring at a better than a point-per-game pace.
The last decade exclusive evening takes place on February 9th, 2023, versus the Edmonton Oilers. Sean Couturier could be honored the same evening he’s in the lineup. Others to celebrate are Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, and Scott Hartnell.
Couturier secured the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the 2019-2020 season. Giroux earned his captaincy during the 2012-2013 season. Voracek had an all-star season on the Philadelphia Flyers. Simmonds was the heart of the Flyers roster and secured the Mark Messier Leadership Award during the 2018-2019 season. Hartnell became a fan favorite for his hard play from 2007-2014, especially in postseason games against the rivaled Pittsburgh Penguins.
(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)