Former Philadelphia Flyers Still Being Snubbed for the Hall of Fame
The Philadelphia Flyers have had many great players since they entered the NHL in 1967. A handful have already been given the sport's highest individual honor: induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Here is a list of former Flyers who deserve induction but have yet to get the call from the hall.
So far, Bernie Parent, Bobby Clarke, Bill Barber and Mark Howe are in the Hockey Hall of Fame for their time with Philadelphia. As of this year, coach Fred Shero is also in the hall.
Keep in mind that to be included on this list, players had to at least play at a high level for the Flyers for at least a few seasons. They also had to have an NHL career worthy of strong Hall of Fame consideration. Coaches, broadcasters and people who would be inducted in the "builders" category will not be discussed in this article.
Feel free to comment on the list or add anybody you feel deserves to be on it. As always, please indicate why you feel that way you do.
Honorable Mention: Chris Pronger and Mark Recchi
Both Chris Pronger and Mark Recchi should be in the Hall of Fame, but they only score an honorable mention here because they are not yet eligible for induction because the traditional three-year waiting period after retirement has yet to pass.
Pronger is technically still active in the NHL although he hasn't set foot on the ice since the 2011-12 season and is unlikely to play again. He is still on the Flyers' long-term injury list although it is unlikely he will ever be able to resume his career. Once he officially retires, Pronger should be a lock to enter the Hall of Fame.
Although Pronger only spent three seasons in Philadelphia, they were memorable ones and his strong defensive play and leadership were a major factor in the Flyers' run to the Stanley Cup Final.
Recchi had two stints with the Flyers and spent parts of 10 seasons with the club. His best season came in 1992-93 when he scored 53 goals and 123 points.
Recchi finished his NHL career with 577 goals and 1,533 points. He retired in 2011 and will be eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014.
4. Ron Hextall
Ron Hextall is one of the most popular Flyers of all-time. His combative, physical style and his success between the pipes make him one of the most memorable players in Flyers history.
Hextall's career members probably fall a bit short of Hall of Fame territory, but there are a number of reasons you can make a case for him to be considered.
Hextall was the first NHL goalie to shoot the puck into the opposing goal. He was always a threat to score a goal and that added an element of excitement to his game.
He also picked up a lot of penalty minutes, including an NHL-record 113 in 1988-89.
As a rookie, Hextall made a huge splash, winning the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie and the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, and being named to the league's All-Rookie Team. He finished second in the voting for the Calder Trophy for the league's top rookie to Luc Robitaille and was a first-team postseason All-Star.
Hextall won the Conn Smythe for his strong play in the postseason. The Flyers reached the Stanley Cup Final and took the Wayne Gretzky-led Edmonton Oilers to a seventh and deciding game.
The reason Hextall probably falls short is because he failed to follow up the excellence of his rookie season. After that, he was good, even very good at times, but never won any more league awards other than playing in the 1988 All-Star Game.
Hextall finished with 296 career wins, a 2.98 GAA and 23 shutouts. He is a member of the Flyers Hall of Fame, but will probably need a ticket to visit the Hockey Hall of Fame unless he later makes it in the builder category.
3. Jeremy Roenick
Jeremy Roenick is considered one of the greatest American-born players in NHL history and has already been inducted to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
He finished his career with 513 goals and 1,216 points which are good enough numbers to get him serious consideration for the Hockey Hall of Fame.
"JR" spent three seasons with the Flyers and was productive in all three. He won the Bobby Clarke Award as team MVP in 2001-02 and recorded his 1,000th career NHL point in a Flyers uniform that season. Roenick led the team in assists and points and represented them in the NHL All-Star Game.
He led the Flyers in goals and points in his second season with the club and helped them reach the Eastern Conference Final in his third and final campaign in Philadelphia.
Roenick's present stint as a broadcaster may actually be hindering his Hall of Fame prospects. Roenick is candid and speaks his mind which may upset some people in the hockey world.
It is probably a question of when, rather than if, Roenick eventually is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
2. Rod Brind'Amour
Rod Brind'Amour spent nine seasons with the Flyers and remains one of the great leaders in franchise history.
He topped the 30-goal mark four times during his stint in Philadelphia and won the Bobby Clarke Trophy as team MVP in 1992.
The Ottawa native finished his NHL career with 452 goals and 1,184 points. He won a Stanley Cup in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes and also won a pair of Selke Trophies as the league's best defensive forward while with Carolina.
Brind'Amour played in 484 straight games while with the Flyers which remains a franchise record. He also helped the Flyers reach the Stanley Cup Final in 1997.
Brind'Amour was a smart, consistent and classy player who led by example. He should eventually find his way into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
1. Eric Lindros
The question many voters ask themselves when deciding if someone should get their Hall of Fame vote is "Can you write the history of the NHL without mentioning this person?" By this standard, there is no doubt that Eric Lindros belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Had his career not been cut short by injuries, there is little doubt that Lindros would already be a Hall of Famer.
In his prime, Lindros was simply dominant. He won the Hart Trophy as league MVP in 1995 and was a two-time postseason All-Star. Lindros was also selected to play in seven NHL All-Star Games.
Lindros had four seasons of 40 or more goals and scored a career-high 115 points in 1995-96. He was a part of the "Legion of Doom" line along with John LeClair and Mikael Renberg, which was the most feared line in the league while they were together.
He helped lead the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final in 1997 and served as captain of the team.
Lindros still finished with 372 goals and 865 points in 760 career games. For seven seasons, he was one of the most dominant players in the game. Despite the fact that injuries shortened his career, he still deserves to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.