Philadelphia Flyers: 12 Best Pure Snipers in Flyers' History

Dan Fremuth@@hometownphanContributor IIISeptember 14, 2012

Philadelphia Flyers: 12 Best Pure Snipers in Flyers' History

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    Defense wins championships.

    That phrase is one of the most overused cliches in sports. Yes, a team's overall defensive efforts are a pivotal component to any successful squad.

    But that's only part of the equation. No one ever won a 0-0 Super Bowl. No team ever won a best-of-seven World Series without scoring a run. And no NHL squad can win a game, let alone a Stanley Cup, without eventually finding the back of the net.

    With two Stanley Cups and more than 1,750 wins in the record books, the Philadelphia Flyers have been one of the NHL's most successful franchises over the last 40 years. And while defense has contributed to that overall success, offense has played a big part too.

    With that, here's a look at the 12 best pure snipers in the Flyers' history.

12. Jeff Carter

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    Carter is the absolute definition of a sniper.

    Of the 202 goals he's scored to date, 181 came in a Flyers sweater. In six seasons in Philadelphia, Carter managed 20 or more goals five times and paced the Orange and Black in goals scored in three straight campaigns, including a career-best 46 strikes during the 2008-09 season.

    From 2007 to 2011, Carter missed just 10 games over four seasons while compiling an impressive 144 goals.

11. Rick Tocchet

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    Unlike Carter, Tocchet isn't your prototypical sniper. But he sure did have a nose for the net.

    Tocchet scored more than half of his 440 career goals with the Flyers and recorded four straight seasons of 30 or more goals from 1987-1991.

    In parts of 11 seasons in Philadelphia, Tocchet notched 232 goals and paced the Flyers in scoring three times (1987-88, 1989-90, 1990-91) in a four-year period.

10. Mark Recchi

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    With 577 career goals, Recchi should probably be higher on this list.

    Only 232 of those tallies though came in a Flyers uniform. Still, in seven full seasons in Philadelphia, Recchi managed at least 20 goals in each of those campaigns.

    Even more impressively, Recchi led the Flyers in goals scored in two different decades pacing the club during the 1992-93 campaign and repeating that feat 11 seasons later.

9. Eric Lindros

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    There was a time when it was believed Lindros would top a list like this for many years to come.

    Still, The Big E cracks the top 10 after scoring 290 of his 372 career goals in a Flyers sweater. Lindros produced 20 or more goals in all eight of his seasons in Philly and managed 40 goals on four different occasions with the Flyers.

    Surprisingly, he only led the team in goals scored twice, including his MVP campaign during the 1994-95 season.

8. Simon Gagne

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    Like Lindros, Gagne struggled with injuries in the latter half of his career but still managed to produce some impressive totals.

    A model of goal-scoring consistency, Gagne registered 20 or more goals seven times during his tenure in Philly, including four seasons of at least 30 goals. The Quebec native paced the team in goal scoring three times, including twice in the post-lockout, more defensive-minded NHL.

    Of his 283 career goals, Gagne recorded 259 of them during his 10-year stint in Philadelphia.

7. Reggie Leach

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    The first player on this list to have tallied more than 300 goals with the Flyers, Leach notched 306 of his 381 career markers in Philadelphia.

    He managed at least 20 goals in each of his eight seasons with the Flyers, including a franchise record 61 goals during the 1976-76 season. Moreover, the Manitoba native poured in 30 or more goals in six of those eight campaigns.

    Leach led the Orange and Black in goals four times in a six-year from 1974-1980.

6. Rick MacLeish

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    MacLeish spent all but 105 games of his 14-year NHL career with the Flyers and notched 328 of his 349 career goals in Philadelphia.

    From 1972-1981, MacLeish registered nine straight seasons with at least 20 goals and, in the midst, recorded seven campaigns that produced at least 30 tallies.

    During the dominating Flyers era in the 1970s, MacLeish led the team in goal scoring twice (1972-73, 1976-77).

5. John LeClair

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    One of the all-time great power forwards, LeClair notched 333 goals with the Flyers (406 in his career).

    In 10 seasons in Philadelphia, he tallied at least 20 goals eight times, including three straight 50-goal seasons from 1995-1998. 

    Even more impressively, LeClair, as part of Philly's vaunted "Legion of Doom" line, paced the team in goals for five straight years (1995-2000).

4. Bobby Clarke

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    The face of the Flyers, Clarke played 15 seasons in the NHL: all in the City of Brotherly Love.

    In that time, the Manitoba native tallied 358 goals, including nine seasons with 20 or more tallies. In a five-year stretch from 1971-1976, Clarke recorded 30 or more goals in four out of five seasons.

    The Flyers' captain and two-time Stanley Cup champion led the team in goals scored three times in a four-year period (1970-71, 1971-72, 1973-74).

3. Tim Kerr

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    Kerr played all but 54 of his 655 career NHL games in Philadelphia. As a result, the majority of his goals came in a Flyers sweater.

    Of the 370 career goals scored by Kerr, 363 came in Philly. In 11 seasons with the Flyers, he produced eight straight campaigns with at least 20 goals but, even more impressively, managed a stretch from 1983-1987 of four straight seasons with at least 50 goals. During that time, Kerr recorded 224 goals in just 304 games.

    The Ontario native paced the Flyers in goals five times (1983-1987, 1988-89).

2. Brian Propp

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    Propp spent parts of 11 seasons in the City of Brotherly Love and managed 369 of his 425 career goals in a Flyers sweater.

    The Saskatchewan native registered 25 or more goals in each of his 10 full seasons in Philly, including five straight years in which he managed at least 39 goals from 1981-1986.

    Surprisingly, despite all of his impressive goal-scoring totals, Propp never once led the Flyers in goals scored in a single season.

1. Bill Barber

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    The most prolific goal scorer in the Flyers' history, Barber is a lock to top the list of Philly's all-time best snipers.

    He spent his entire NHL career in Philadelphia and during the course of his 12 seasons with the Flyers, Barber tallied a franchise record 420 goals. He remains the only player in NHL history to have registered over 400 goals in a Flyers sweater.

    Barber managed at least 20 goals in each of his 12 NHL campaigns and produced 30 or more tallies nine times. Unsurprisingly, he led the Flyers in goals scored four different times (1977-78, 1978-79, 1980-81, 1981-82).