Before I reveal my Flyers All-Time Lineup I want to say that I added some conditions to my selection process.
The first condition was that I wanted to try to create a team with two top scoring lines, a third line that can agitate and create, and a 4th line that can shut down the offense.
Also, I wanted all the players on this fantasy squad to have played 300 or more games for the Orange and Black.
So, without any more delays, I give you the Flyers All-Time Lineup, in my humble opinion.
Line 1: Bobby Clark [C], Bill Barber [LW], Reggie Leach [RW]
Okay, not the most original start to this roster, but how can any Flyer fan deny the greatness of the LCB line? Though they weren’t always together, when they were, they dominated the game of their day.
Those who bandy about the term “Broad Street Bullies” fail to recognize the talent epitomized by this trio. I implore them to check the numbers before pigeonholing these guys as a goon squad.
Line 2: Eric Lindros [C], Brian Propp [LW], Tim Kerr [RW]
In this world of what ifs, Eric Lindros has different parents and a much less susceptible head. Couple that with his ability to completely take over games at will, his rocket shot, his pinpoint passing and you have a near perfect Flyer.
On Lindros’ left I’ll put Brian Propp, perhaps the most gifted left-winger in Flyer history (only 34 points behind Barber in 113 fewer games). The guffaw gets a nod as well as something we’d all like to see again.
On the right of Lindros . . . Tim Kerr, the original modern-era power forward with 363 Flyer goals, 360 of which probably came from within a foot of the goal line.
Line 3: Rod Brind’Amour [C], John Leclair [LW], Rick Tocchet [RW]
In my opinion, this trio of hard-working fan favorites epitomizes Flyers hockey.
It starts with Rod Brind’Amour, who didn’t have the softest hands, but clearly had the biggest heart. I know when he raised the Cup in Carolina I was happy he got one. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only Flyer fan who felt that way.
On the left wing . . . John Leclair. His five straight seasons of 40 or more goals in an era of clutch and grab speaks to his ability to finish. I know in reality he had Lindros feeding him, so I put him here to quiet those who say he couldn’t have done it without the Big E.
At right wing, Rick Tocchet. Not a top two liner in this bunch, but not a player that should ever be left off any all-time Flyers squad. He scored, he fought, and he was so much more than a Flyer. To many fans, he was a Philadelphian.
Line 4: Dave Poulin [C], Shjon Podein [LW], Ilkka Sinisalo [RW]
Dave Poulin. Cool, calm, collected. The Selke award-winning former captain was not only a childhood favorite of mine, but perhaps one of the best two-way men the Flyers have ever dressed.
At 301 games, Shjon Podein just made the cut. This is the roster spot best defined by the term creative license. I think he fits this line nicely. One thing I remember most about Podein is how often I marveled at his ability to play every shift all out, every game.
To maintain at least a little offense, Ilkka Sinisalo takes up the right wing. While a Flyer he scored 199 goals and finished up a +135 from 1981 to 1990. He was an underrated two-way player with tremendous vision who played a very balanced game.
Defense 1: Mark Howe and Eric Dejardins
The top two D-men in Flyer history, period.
I don’t need to explain Howe, so I won’t.
I do feel the need to defend Dejardins though, since for some odd reason he was criticized a great deal. This guy’s game was so subtle that I think his effectiveness was often lost on the masses, but clearly the organization and his teammates saw things in the proper light, handing him seven Ashbee Awards as the team’s top d-man.
Defense 2: Andre Dupont and Thomas Bladon
How can Moose not be on the all-time team right? Right? I mean, here’s a guy who stood as the prototypical Flyer of his day.
As for Bladon, he put up some solid numbers in his years as a Flyer and was a very effective defenseman whose game got even better in the post season.
Defense 3: Chris Therrien and Joe Watson
That’s right. I said Chris Therrien. This guy played 753 games as a Flyer and though towards the end of his career he slowed down considerably, I had to put him here because of his tenure and because of the way he would aggravate Jagr as though it was his hobby.
Who better to pair with Therrien than Joe Watson, a defensive stalwart whose team-first attitude and positional play made him a fan favorite as well as an anchor on the blue line for Philly’s two cups.
Goaltenders: Bernie Parent and Ron Hextall
This was made easy since only these two have played 300 or more games as a Flyer. Bernie gets the nod as starter for obvious reasons. Remember, only the Lord saves more than Bernie.
So there you have it. My own personal Flyers All-Time Lineup. If I left off any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and let me know who and why. If you’ve got a roster of your own, sign up with BR and post it!