Ranking the 5 Best Olympic Performances in History by Philadelphia Flyers
The 2014 Olympic ice hockey competition features five members of the Philadelphia Flyers who are each competing for their respective countries. Here is a look back at the best performances by members of the Flyers at the Olympic games since NHL players started participating in the Olympics in 1998.
In order to qualify for this list, a player had to be a member of the Flyers during the Olympics in question. If he had a strong performance in the Olympics the year before or after joining the Orange and Black, it does not make him eligible for this list.
The top criteria to qualify here is the players’ individual performances at the Olympics in the specific year in question. If there is a tie, a player on a team that wins a medal will get the edge over a player who did not.
Feel free to comment on any of the players on this list or to mention anybody you feel belongs but was omitted. As always, indicate why you feel the way you do.
5. Jeremy Roenick, United States 2002
Jeremy Roenick led the Flyers in points in 2001-02 and helped lead the United States Olympic Team to a silver medal at the 2002 games at Salt Lake City.
During the Olympics, Roenick scored a goal and accumulated five points in six contests. He also added veteran leadership for the Americans and was a media-friendly face that reporters and fans could always count on for a good quote.
4. Peter Forsberg, Sweden 2006
Peter Forsberg didn't score any goals for Sweden at the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy, but his slick playmaking and veteran leadership helped the Swedes capture the gold medal.
Forsberg had six assists in six games for Sweden. He was also one of the best passers at the Olympics that year.
Forsberg also won a gold medal back in 1994, but that was before he came to play in the NHL.
3. Chris Pronger, Canada 2010
Chris Pronger enjoyed a rare season in 2010. He was an alternate captain on Canada's gold-medal-winning Olympic squad and then led the Flyers on a run to the Stanley Cup Final, where they fell just short of winning the franchise's first title since 1975.
At the Olympics, the big defenseman had five assists in seven games while playing plenty of minutes for Canada. He also provided his usual stellar defensive play, making life miserable for opposing players who attempted to reach the Canadian goal.
Pronger also won a gold medal in 2002 when he was with the St. Louis Blues.
2. John LeClair, United States 2002
John LeClair was a big reason the United States won the silver medal at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.
In six games, the Flyers' power forward scored six goals and accumulated seven points in six games during the tournament.
The former member of "The Legion of Doom" line was able to use his size and hands to make trouble for opposing defensemen and goalies alike.
LeClair also represented the United States in the 1998 Olympics, but was much more effective in 2002.
1. Antero Niittymaki, Finland 2006
Flyers goalie Antero Niittymaki surprised a lot of observers when he helped lead Finland to the silver medal at the 2006 Olympics.
How good was Niittymaki that year? He finished the Olympics with a stellar 5-1 record. His GAA was a microscopic 1.34 and his save percentage was .951. The Finnish netminder also recorded three shutouts in six games and was named the MVP of the tournament.
Because injuries ended his career prematurely, some people forget how good Niittymaki was. But anybody who remembers the 2006 Olympics will have little doubt about Niittymaki's ability to steal a game for his team.