Three days with no Flyers games and the imagination starts running wild…
Who are some of the legendary former Flyers who could have helped this existing roster become a contender?
We explored some dream players that could have saved this nightmare season.
I still have nightmares of the stick-to-the-eye that ended Pronger’s career early in the 2011/12 season.
I probably cried that night; Pronger probably just lifted weights with an eye patch on.
He was an authoritative leader on and off the ice who would notoriously call out players – even younger players – for not performing to expectations.
Realistically, Pronger would up the level of any team he joined and will go down as one of the nastiest and most effective defensemen in NHL history.
What would he bring to this 2021 Flyers team?
- Top pairing defenseman
- Played 25+ minutes/night
- Holds teammates accountable
All of the elements that drastically elude this existing lineup.
Few centers brought such a rare combination of speed, skill, tenacity, flash, and just weird locker-room antics, like Jeremy Roenick.
I recall a story during the 2004 playoffs where he and Donald Brashear were having naked swan diving competitions into the ice pools. J.R. notoriously had a disco ball he traveled with for locker room dance parties that would drive coach Ken Hitchcock insane.
But what could Hitch do? This is the player who was UNSTOPPABLE in NHL ‘94 on Sega-Genisis.
He played hard, knew how to keep a room light, and could back it all up with timely goals. None bigger for the Flyers than the Game 6 OT series clincher against Toronto.
The biggest hack on this ‘21 team is they do not compete night-in and night-out; that is something Roenick would have brought for every game he played.
We had to give a nod to the helmetless era that ACTUALLY won the Stanley Cup in Philly.
Different time, different game… blah blah blah. We’re just having fun, play along.
Reggie “The Rivington Rifle” Leach was the Flyers’ hall-of-fame winger on the LCB hall-of-fame line with Billy Barber and Bobby Clarke. Leach tallied 61 goals in the championship ‘75/’76 season, including five in a single playoff game against Boston.
And did it after being “over served” the night before… different time, different game.
What makes Leach’s style a differentiating factor to this ‘21 roster is the “shoot-first” mentality. He was known to have a solid slapper, pin-point accuracy, and a savage backhand that would surprise goaltenders.
The ‘21 roster has some solid playmakers like Giroux and Voracek – but do not have a top sniper on the wing that will shoot the puck without hesitation. You see this time and time again on odd-man rushes as the Flyers over-pass themselves right out of an opportunity.
A with the nickname “the Rifle” doesn’t get that name from over-passing…
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire