Ranking the 5 Best Scoring Defensemen in Philadelphia Flyers History

Dan FremuthContributor IIIJanuary 26, 2014

Ranking the 5 Best Scoring Defensemen in Philadelphia Flyers History

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    The 46-year history of the Philadelphia Flyers is laden with prolific scorers.

    Names like Bobby Clarke, Bill Barber, Eric Lindros, John LeClair and Simon Gagne will forever be counted among the truly great to wear the orange and black.

    But the franchise's great scorers haven't just been forwards.

    Here's a look at the top five scoring defensemen in Flyers history.

5. Behn Wilson

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    Behn Wilson jumped into Philadelphia's lineup just months after the club tabbed him with the sixth overall selection in the 1978 NHL Amateur draft and would go on to produce 59 goals, 155 assists and 214 points in just 339 career games with the Orange and Black.

    The Toronto native managed double-digit goals in three of his five seasons with the Flyers and notched better than 30 points in all five campaigns.

    Wilson reached the playoffs in all five seasons in the City of Brotherly Love and was a frequent contributor during the season's most crucial phase, recording eight goals, 24 assists and 32 points in 43 postseason outings. He never claimed hockey's ultimate prize but was a member of Philadelphia's run to the Stanley Cup Final in 1980 which ended in a six-game defeat at the hands of the New York Islanders.

    Wilson averaged 0.63 points per game during his time with the Flyers, and his 214 points rank fifth among all defenders on Philadelphia's all-time list.

4. Tom Bladon

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    Tom Bladon was a stalwart of Philadelphia's defense corps from 1972 to 1978, producing 67 goals, 163 assists and 230 points in 463 career games with the Flyers.

    Originally selected by the Orange and Black with the 23rd overall pick in the 1972 NHL Amateur draft, Bladon jumped into Philly's lineup right away and had an instant impact, notching 11 goals and 42 points during his rookie campaign.

    The Edmonton native would go on to produce five double-digit-goals campaigns in six seasons with the Flyers and only failed to reach the 30-point plateau once (29 points in 1974-75).

    A member of Philadelphia's back-to-back Stanley Cup championship teams in 1974 and 1975, Bladon helped the Flyers reach the postseason in each of his six seasons with the club and registered eight goals and 32 points in 78 playoff outings with the Flyers.

    His 463 career points with the team ranks fourth on Philadelphia's all-time list for points by a defenseman.

3. Kimmo Timonen

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    Kimmo Timonen was acquired by the Flyers in a trade with the Nashville Predators in the summer of 2007 and has been the centerpiece of Philadelphia's blue line ever since.

    In seven seasons with the Orange and Black, the Finnish native has registered 34 goals, 219 assists and 253 points over 495 games.

    A two-time All-Star while in Philadelphia, Timonen notched better than 30 points during each of his first five seasons with the team and came within one point of that mark last season, despite the lockout-shortened calendar.

    Philly's prime power-play quarterback for nearly the last decade, Timonen has tallied double-digit power-play points during each of his seven seasons with the Flyers and has eclipsed 20 man-advantage points three times.

    A four-time winner of the Barry Ashbee Trophy as the team's top defenseman, Timonen ranks third on Philadelphia's all-time list for points by a blueliner.

2. Eric Desjardins

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    Eric Desjardins was traded from the Montreal Canadiens to the Flyers on December 9, 1995 and was the featured defensive scorer in Philadelphia for the next decade.

    All told, the Quebec native racked up 93 goals, 303 assists and 396 points in 738 career outings with Philly.

    In parts of 11 seasons with the Orange and Black, Desjardins tallied double-digit goals four times and managed 30 or more points on seven different occasions. What's more, the offensive-minded defender managed back-to-back 50-point campaigns in 1998-99 and 1999-2000.

    The Flyers reached the playoffs in 10 of his 11 seasons with the club during which Desjardins accumulated 14 goals and 51 points in 97 postseason outings.

    A seven-time winner of the Barry Ashbee Trophy as the team's top defenseman, Desjardins claimed the season-ending honor an astounding six straight times from 1995 to 2000.

    His 396 career points with the Flyers rank 18th overall on Philadelphia's all-time list and second among defensemen.

1. Mark Howe

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    Only four players in Philadelphia Flyers history have ever had their jersey number retired by the team. And only one of them has been a defenseman. That one, of course, is the club's all-time leading scoring defenseman, Mark Howe.

    Originally drafted by the Boston Bruins in 1974, Howe didn't suit up for the Flyers until 1982, but once he did he was a threat to score each and every night.

    In 10 seasons with the Orange and Black, the Detroit native recorded 138 goals, 342 assists and 480 points in 594 games.

    A three-time All-Star while in Philly, Howe tallied double-digit goals in each of his first six seasons with the squad and continues to hold the club record for goals scored by a defender both in a single season (24 in 1985-86) and in a Flyers career. What's more, the 16-year veteran eclipsed 30 assists in a season six times and also continues to hold the team record for assists.

    Howe's 480 career points in a Flyers sweater not only lead all Philadelphia defensemen but also rank 14th overall on the club's all-time scoring list.

    A four-time winner of the Barry Ashbee Trophy as the team's top blueliner, Howe was elected to the Flyers Hall of Fame in 2001, the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011. His No. 2 jersey was officially retired by the club on March 6, 2012.