History of a Number: 5

Hockey sweaters are one of the most iconic pieces of sports memorabilia in the world. For many players, they have their own special meaning for the number the select. Whether it be from a childhood hero or just an available number, going through a number’s history is fascinating.

The first man to wear number 5 in Flyers history was the late Jean Gauthier, who the Flyers claimed from Montreal during the 1967 expansion draft. Gauthier was only a Flyer for one season as he was claimed the following summer by the Bruins. The number was next claimed by defenseman Dick Cherry, who the Flyers also claimed during the expansion draft, but but was playing junior hockey in Kingston during the Flyers first season.

On June 9, 1970, Cherry was reclaimed by the Bruins during a intra-league draft. On May 20, 1970 the Flyers acquired defenseman Brent Hughes from the LA Kings for forward Mike Byers. Hughes spent the next two seasons in Philadelphia before being drafted by the NY Raiders of the WHA in the general player draft.

The fourth man to wear number 5 was defenseman Serge Lajeunesse, who the Flyers acquired in a trade with Detroit on May 15, 1973. Lajeunesse played one game for the Flyers in the 1973-74 season, and five games during the 1974-75 season before he retired that summer.

Reggie Leach wore number 5 for his first few games as a Flyer after being acquired by the Flyers in May of 1974 before switching to his famous number 27. Mike Boland wore number 5 for both games he played as a Flyer in 1975.

Larry Goodenough was next to wear number 5, who joined the Flyers in late 1975. He won the Stanley Cup with the Flyers in 1975. Goodenough was a Flyers until he was dealt to Vancouver on January 20, 1977.

The number only lay unworn for only a month as the Flyers acquired defenseman Rick Lapointe from the Red Wings on February 17, 1977. Lapointe played 146 games in Philadelphia over the next two seasons until he was traded to the Blues in the summer of 1979. Defenseman Frank Bathe would claim number 5 after Lapointe was traded and would wear the number until he retired in October of 1983.

The Flyers first round pick in 1981 was defenseman Steve Smith. Smith played 15 games as a flyers from 1981 to 1988, specifically wearing number 5 for four of those games. Defenseman Kevin McCarthy wore number 5 88 games from 1977 to the early part of the 1978-79 season before he was traded to the Canucks in December of 1978.

Kerry Huffman was drafted 20th overall by the Flyers in 1986 and made his Flyers debut at the end of the 1986-87 season. Huffman played 207 games as a Flyer over the course of seven seasons before he was part of the package that the Flyers sent to the Nordiques for young star Eric Lindros on June 30, 1992.

Later that summer, the Flyers signed free agent defenseman Ric Nattress. He played only a single season in Philadelphia before announcing his retirement two days before the 1993-94 season started. the Number 5 missed all of 26 games of the beginning of the 1993-94 season before the Flyers acquired journeyman Rod Ramage from the Canadiens. Ramage only played 15 games as a Flyer before he retired.

In June of 1994 the Flyers acquired defenseman Kevin Haller from the Canadiens and he became the 15th player to wear number 5. Haller spent two and a half years with the Flyers until he was traded to Hartford on December 15, 1996.

The Flyers re-acquired Darren Rumble during the summer of 1995 and wore number 5 for a very brief period before switching to number 3.

Number 5 laid dormant until Dmitri Tertyshny wore it for the 1998-99 season. unfortunately, he passed away in the summer of 1999 in a boating accident.

After two years of going unclaimed, it was picked up by defenseman Kim Johnsson after he was acquired front he Rangers before the 2001-02 season. Johnsson wore number 5 for five years before he signed with Minnesota as a free agent in the summer of 2006.
Number 5 was claimed the following season by Nolan Baumgartner for six games before they lost him on waivers in February of 2007. Just a few weeks after Baumgartner was claimed, the Flyers acquired Braydon Coburn from the Thrashers on February 24, 2007. Coburn wore number 5 all eight seasons he played in Philadelphia until he was traded to the Lightning at the 2015 trade deadline.

Number 5 was then worn by Samuel Morin late in the 2017-18 season.


By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)

photo credit: NHL.com

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