Philadelphia Flyers: Kris Versteeg and the Top 15 Trades in Flyers History
The Philadelphia Flyers were already considered amongst the Stanley Cup favorites before adding winger Kris Versteeg on a happy Valentine's Day for Flyers fans.
Versteeg was a member of the Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks, who beat Philadelphia in the finals last season, so the Flyers know firsthand what he can do.
Versteeg will play a supporting role for the Flyers, much like he did for the Blackhawks, probably on a line that will be counted on both offensively and defensively.
After being so close last year, can the Flyers win it all this year? Is Versteeg the missing piece that will put them over the top for the first time since 1975?
The Flyers have often made big trades in hopes of ending their Stanley Cup drought, and, while some haven't turned out as hoped, some have worked out incredibly well.
Here are the top 15 trades in Flyers history.
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Honorable Mention: February 14, 2011–Kris Versteeg
If the Flyers do win the Stanley Cup this season, the Kris Versteeg trade will move up this list.
Right now, it's too early to tell if acquiring Versteeg is one of the best trades the Flyers have ever made.
Honorable Mention: June 2, 1978–Ken Linesman
Three seasons after coaching the Flyers to back-to-back Stanley Cup victories, head coach Fred Shero left the Flyers, under questionable circumstances, to sign with the New York Rangers.
While it wasn't technically a trade, the Rangers gave the Flyers their first-round pick in the upcoming Amateur Draft, which the Flyers used to select center Ken Linesman.
Linesman went on to score 807 points in 860 career games in the NHL. In 1981-82, his last season with the Flyers before being traded, he scored 92 points and logged 275 penalty minutes in 79 games.
No. 15: January 20, 1982–Darryl Sittler
In 1982, the Flyers acquired Maple Leaf star Darryl Sittler in exchange for Rich Costello and a second-round draft pick.
Most famous for scoring 10 points in a single game, Sittler was very good in two-and-a-half seasons with the Flyers, putting up 178 points in 191 games.
No. 14: January 23, 2000–Keith Primeau
In January 2000, the Flyers sent Rod Brind'Amour, Jean-Marc Pelletier and a second-round draft pick to the Carolina Hurricanes for Keith Primeau and a fifth-round draft pick.
This trade was a rare win-win, as Brind'Amour and Primeau both had great careers after being traded.
Primeau was the ultimate power forward for the Flyers, and was their captain until concussions forced him into retirement in 2005.
No. 13: June 20, 1992–Eric Lindros
On June 20, 1992, the Flyers made one of the biggest trades in NHL history, and it was key in building an NHL powerhouse, not for the Flyers, but for the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche.
The Flyers sent Steve Duchesne, Ron Hextall, Kerry Huffman, Mike Ricci, Chris Simon, Peter Forsberg, a first-round pick in 1993 (Jocelyn Thibault), a first-round pick in 1994 (Nolan Baumgartner) and $15 million for Eric "The Next One" Lindros.
While it's widely considered one of the most lopsided trades in NHL history, Lindros was an absolutely dominant force during his time with the Flyers.
Much like Forsberg, Lindros' style of play led to significant injury problems throughout his career, but he still scored 659 points in just 486 games for the Flyers. He also won the Hart and Lester B. Pearson trophies in 1994-95.
No. 12: June 26, 2009–Chris Pronger
The Flyers paid a hefty price of Luca Sbisa, Joffrey Lupul, two first-round picks and a third-round pick, all to get Chris Pronger.
The move has already paid off, as Pronger was a key member of the Flyers Cup finalist team last season.
Pronger is one of the most decorated defensemen in the NHL and is the only defenseman since Bobby Orr to win the Hart Trophy.
He's won a Norris Trophy, two Olympic gold medals and a Stanley Cup. He's looking to add a second Stanley Cup this season.
No. 11: February 19, 1992–Mark Recchi, Part 1
In 1992, the Flyers acquired Mark Recchi for the first time, from the Pittsburgh Penguins, along with Brian Benning and a first-round pick (Jason Bowen).
They gave up Rick Tocchet, Ken Wregget, Kjell Samuelsson and a third-round draft pick to get Recchi.
Recchi put up back-to-back 100-point seasons for the Flyers, including 53 goals and 123 points in 1992-93.
No. 10: February 26, 2010–Ville Leino
The Flyers took advantage of the Detroit Red Wings' desperate need to clear cap space by robbing them blind in acquiring Ville Leino.
All the Flyers had to give up was Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, who hasn't played an NHL game since the trade, and a fifth-round draft pick.
Leino, meanwhile, has put up 44 points in 70 regular season games and had an astounding 21 points in 19 playoff games last season.
No. 9: September 22, 1991–Rod Brind'Amour
Just prior to the start of the 1991-92 NHL season, the Flyers sent Murray Baron and Ron Sutter to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Rod Brind'Amour and Dan Quinn.
Brind'Amour was a fan favorite in Philly and developed into one of the best two-way players in the league. Brind'Amour put up 601 points in 633 games and was an assistant captain for most of his tenure with the Flyers.
No. 8: August 20, 1982–Mark Howe
In 1982, the Flyers sent Greg Adams, Ken Linesman, a first-round draft pick (David Jensen) and a third-round pick (Leif Karlsson) to the Hartford Whalers in exchange for defenseman Mark Howe and a third-round pick (Derrick Smith).
Howe became one of the best defensemen in Flyers history and was a three-time runner-up for the Norris Trophy. Howe scored 480 points in 594 games with the Flyers.
No. 7: March 10, 1999–Mark Recchi, Part 2
In March 1999, the Flyers re-acquired Mark Recchi, from the Montreal Canadiens, in exchange for Dainius Zubrus, a second-round pick (Matt Carkner) and a sixth-round pick.
Recchi scored 91 points in his first full season back with the Flyers and put up 365 points in 402 games in just over five seasons with the Flyers.
Zubrus never developed into the player the Canadiens thought he would be, making the Flyers definite winners in this deal.
No. 6: July 2, 2001–Jeff Carter
In the summer of 2001, the Flyers sent Daymond Langkow to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for a first-round pick in 2003 (Jeff Carter) and a second-round pick (later traded again).
Jeff Carter has already put together a season of 46 goals and 84 points, has been an NHL All-Star and is a key part of the Flyers core going forward.
Langkow never put up 30 goals or 65 points for the Coyotes and appears to be nearing retirement due to a freak injury with the Calgary Flames last season.
No. 5: June 18, 2007–Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell
Just prior to the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Flyers sent Nashville's first-round pick (previously acquired for Peter Forsberg) back to them, in exchange for Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell.
Both Timonen and Hartnell were upcoming unrestricted free agents, and the Predators didn't believe they could sign them. Philadelphia signed each of them to six-year contracts immediately after the trade.
Timonen and Hartnell were both key parts of the Flyers team that went to the Stanley Cup Finals last year and both will play prominent roles if the Flyers are going to win the Cup this year.
No. 4: February 9, 1995–Eric Desjardins and John LeClair
Mark Recchi makes the list for the third time, but this time it's for being traded away from the Flyers.
The Flyers sent Recchi and a third-round pick (Martin Hohenberger) to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Eric Desjardins, John LeClair and Gilbert Dionne.
Recchi never posted better than 80 points with the Canadiens, before being traded back to the Flyers, but John LeClair had four straight seasons with at least 87 points as part of the Legion of Doom line.
Desjardins was a fixture on the Flyers blueline for the next 11 seasons.
This might be the best trade the Flyers ever made that didn't lead to a Stanley Cup.
No. 3: January 31, 1971–Rick MacLeish
In 1971, the Flyers acquired Rick MacLeish, Bruce Gamble, Danny Schock and a first-round pick (Pierre Plante) as part of a three-way trade between Philadelphia, Boston and Toronto.
The trade sent Mike Walton to the Bruins and Bernie Parent and a second-round pick (Rick Kehoe) to the Leafs.
MacLeish spent 12 seasons in Philadelphia, including seasons of 49 and 50 goals. MacLeish was also key in the Flyers Stanley Cup wins, scoring 22 and 20 points in 17 games each playoff.
No. 2: May 24, 1974–Reggie Leach
Just five days after winning the first Stanley Cup in franchise history, the Flyers substantially bettered their roster for the following season by acquiring blossoming sniper Reggie Leach.
The Flyers gave up Larry Wright, Al MacAdam and a first-round draft pick (Ron Chipperfield) to pick up Leach.
Leach scored 45 goals in his first season with the Flyers and helped them to repeat as Cup champions.
His second season with the Flyers was amongst the best ever. He scored 61 goals in the regular season, and then scored 19 in just 16 playoff games–it's the record for most goals in a single playoff, and it still stands today.
He was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner for his work, which was the first time in history the Conn Smythe winner wasn't on the Stanley Cup-winning team.
No. 1: May 15, 1973–Bernie Parent
Just after the end of the 1972-73 season, the Flyers added the most important piece for their Stanley Cup wins: Bernie Parent.
The Flyers sent a first-round pick (Bob Neely) and Doug Favell to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Parent and a second-round pick (Larry Goodenough).
Parent's seasons in 1973-74 and 1974-75 are still largely considered the best consecutive seasons ever by a goalie.
In 1973-74, Parent set NHL records for wins in a season with 47 (broken in 2006-07 by Martin Brodeur) and shutouts in a season with 12 (broken in 1997-98 by Dominik Hasek). He also had a goals against average of 1.89.
In 1974-75, Parent matched his shutout record and posted 44 wins, to go along with a goals against average of 2.03.
Parent won the Vezina Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy both seasons and was, arguably, most responsible for the Flyers' Stanley Cups.
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