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The picture featured is from the Philadelphia Phantom's 2005 Calder Cup championship.
I was a season ticket holder for their first season as the AHL's best team (1997-98), and because of this, I have a special place in my heart for some of the players who were stars in the minors, but never quite made that next step.
While I am happy Neil Little will get his day in the sun as one of the goaltenders scheduled to see time for the Flyers in the Alumni Game, if his two NHL games worth of experience (0-2, 3.87 GAA, 93 minutes) qualify him for the honor, then I'd like to see some others as well.
Frank "The Animal" Bialowas
The Phantoms No. 29 never made it onto the Flyers roster, but his 513 regular season penalty minutes from 1996-97 through 1997-98 made him an instant fan favorite in the old Spectrum.
A seventh-round draft pick of the Flyers in 1994, Forbes displayed flashes of brilliance working his way through the minors, combining a 20-30 goal touch with the toughness of a 100-plus PIM player.
But Forbes just never could get it going in the NHL, bouncing around Tampa Bay, New York, Ottawa and Washington's systems before retiring after the 2006 season. In all, Forbes played 311 NHL games from 1996 to 2006, accumulating 61 points and 213 PIM.
White led the AHL in scoring three times—twice with the Phantoms, putting up 105 points in back-to-back seasons (1996-97 and 1997-98), which were the first two years the Phantoms were in Philly.
White even married then Flyers GM Bobby Clarke's daughter, but still was never able to make an impact with the big club, putting up only 31 points through 104 games and two separate stints in orange and black.
White was the offensive force who led the Phantoms to their (and my own, as a fan) first championship, which at least deserves an honorable mention on the Alumni roster.
Over 188 games in three seasons with the Phantoms, MacIsaac was an impressive plus-72. Making that number even more impressive was MacIsaac's own lack of offensive skill, tallying only 67 points in the same time frame.
MacIsaac's hard hitting, perfect defensive positioning and dominance when he decided to drop the gloves (and his use of Diamond Dallas Page's celebratory "diamond cutter" hand gesture) inspired my own defensive play as a developing youngster learning to play the game, but I realized early on that I did not possess the natural touch needed to be an offensive playmaker.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was my own walk down memory lane. Who are some of your more obscure Flyers favorites from the past?