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Points by Ben Simmons during Game 3 victory over Nets

Choosing an all-time Flyers team

Posted by Eric Fisher On January 11

The Flyers have had many wonderful players during their 50 years of existence. But what if we had to whittle down the list of those who have worn the orange and black to four lines, three defensive pairings, two goalies and a few healthy reserves? Who would be in the lineup?

The following is PhillyPhanatics.com’s all-time Flyers team. Selections are based on players’ performance with the Flyers, so, for example, the outstanding careers of center Peter Forsberg and defensemen Paul Coffey, Chris Pronger and Derian Hatcher with other teams won’t help them make this team. Length of service also is a factor.

FIRST UNIT

Center: Bob Clarke The iconic leader of the Flyers. The captain to whom all other captains will (unfortunately) be compared. Clarke won the Hart Memorial Trophy (NHL MVP) 3 times in 4 seasons. His franchise-best 1,210 points are 217 more than the runner-up (Bill Barber). His 852 assists are 372 more than the runner-up (Brian Propp). Leads Flyers in shorthanded goals (32), plus-minus (plus-506) and won the Frank Selke Award (best defensive forward), so Clarke played both ends of the ice. Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame.

Left wing: Bill Barber The franchise leader in goals (420) and runner-up in points (883). An excellent two-way player, Barber ranks second in shorthanded goals (31) and power play goals (104). Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame.

Right wing: Tim Kerr Ranks first in power play goals (145) by a wide margin. Scored between 54 and 58 goals in four straight seasons (1983-84 through 1986-87). Third in goals (363) in franchise history. Tied with Eric Lindros for most goals per game (.60).

Defense: Mark Howe Second in franchise history in plus/minus (plus-349), including an incredible plus-85 during the 1985-86 season. A 3-time runner-up for the Norris Trophy (best defenseman). Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame.

Defense: Eric Desjardins Named Barry Ashbee Award-winner as teams top defenseman 7 times, including his first six seasons with the team. Finished Flyers career with 396 points (575 career points, including 7 seasons with Canadiens).

Goalie: Bernie Parent Could it be anyone else? Won Vezina Trophy (best goalie) and Conn Smythe Award (Playoff MVP) during the Flyers’ two Stanley Cup-winning seasons. Registered 50 shutouts with the Flyers. Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame.

SECOND UNIT

Lindros entranceCenter: Eric Lindros One of the most incredible physical forces in NHL history. Lindros (left) is 6th in points in franchise history, but is far and away the leader in points per game (1.36, .28 higher than runner-up Tim Kerr) with 659 points in 486 games. Tied with Kerr for first in franchise history in goals per game (.60). Won Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP) for 1994-95 season. Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame.

Left wing: John LeClair Ranks 5th in goals (333), 7th in points (643) in franchise history. Ranks first in game-winning goals (61). Scored at least 40 goals in 5 straight seasons, including 3 straight with 50 of 51 goals.

Right wing: Reggie Leach Won Conn Smythe Award (Playoffs MVP) in 1975-76 even though Flyers lost in Stanley Cup Finals. Scored 19 goals, registered 24 points in 16 playoff games that year. Set Flyers’ single-season record with 61 regular-season goals in 1975-76. Ranks 7th in franchise history with 306 goals.

Defense: Kimmo Timonen Won Barry Ashbee Award (Flyers’ best defenseman) 5 times in 7 seasons with Flyers. Steady and calming presence on blue line.

Defense: Jim Watson Ranks 5th in career plus-minus rating (plus-295). Was plus-65 during 1975-76 season. A 5-time All-Star.

Goalie: Ron Hextall Franchise leader in wins (240) and losses (172). Won Vezina Award (Best goalie) and Conn Smythe Award (playoff MVP) during his rookie season (1986-87) even though Flyers lost to Oilers in Stanley Cup Finals. Beloved by fans and teammates for his spirit and determination. Currently general manager of Flyers.

THIRD UNIT

Center: Rick MacLeish Fourth in franchise history in career points (697), sixth in career goals (328). Registered 50 goals, 50 assists during 1972-73 season. Led Flyers in playoff scoring during both of their Stanley Cup-winning seasons, with 22 points in 17 games during 1973-74 postseason and 20 points in 17 games during 1974-75 postseason.

Left wing: Brian Propp Ranks second in career goals (369) and assists (480). Ranks third in career points (849), behind only Bill Barber and Bob Clarke. Ranks third in power play goals (103) and seventh in shorthanded goals (20).

Right wing: Mark Recchi Ranks fourth in career assists (395) and eighth in career points as a Flyer (627). Established Flyers record with 123 points during 1992-93 season.

Defense: Brad McCrimmon Ranks 7th in plus-minus (plus-223) despite playing just 5 seasons with Flyers. Compiled remarkable plus-83 rating during 1985-86 season. Recorded career-high 43 assists during 1985-86 season.

Defense: Bob Dailey “The Count” provided a physical presence and contributed at the offensive end. Scored 21 goals, registered 36 assists during 1977-78 season.

FOURTH LINE

Flyers-Brind'AmourCenter: Rod Brind’Amour Ranks 8th in assists (366), 10th in goals (235) and 9th in points (601). Excellent at face-off and a fixture in shorthanded situations, Brind’Amour (left) known for his conditioning and toughness. He played in 484 consecutive games.

Left wing: Simon Gagne Ranks 9th in goals (264). Gagne a smooth two-way player. Scored game-winning goal in Game 7 of comeback from 3-0 deficit against Bruins during 2009-10 postseason.

Right wing: Rick Tocchet Combines toughness and skill. Flyers’ all-time penalty leader (1,817 minutes), Tocchet also scored 232 goals and registered 276 assists.

Reserves: Claude Giroux, Dave Poulin, Barry Ashbee, Chris Pronger, Jeff Carter, Pelle Lindbergh

Owner: Ed Snider Without Snider, there is no Flyers franchise. He set the tone for this first-class franchise for 50 years.

General manager: Keith Allen Keith “The Thief” traded for Bernie Parent, drafted Bobby Clarke in the second round and hired Fred Shero for his first NHL head coaching job. And that’s just a few of the moves that helped the Flyers win two Stanley Cups.

Coach: Fred Shero The mysterious and innovative coach guided the Flyers to two Stanley Cups.

Broadcaster: Gene Hart Mike Emrick has become the best play-by-play broadcaster in the country – perhaps in any sport – but Hart taught the game of hockey to Delaware Valley fans and taught them to love the game with his enthusiastic and informative style.

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