If you’ve been a Flyers fan for any length of time, I can almost guarantee you’ve heard “1975” from an opposing fanbase. Hundreds of players have donned the orange and black since the last Flyers Cup win and have all failed to bring Lord Stanley back to the City of Brotherly Love. Whether it be franchise icons or just guys passing through, who were the best Flyers to not win the Stanley Cup?
Number 5- Claude Giroux
Giroux is the only player on this list that still has a chance to finally win, but the countdown is starting. Now approaching his 32nd birthday, one has to wonder how many good years he has left. The good news is he is one year removed from the best season of his career where he registered 34 goals and 102 points, both career bests. Most of his tenure as a Flyer have been during the rebuilding years, so his talent has been squandered, now it is time to see if he can outlast the process for a Stanley Cup win.
Number 4- Tim Kerr
Kerr joined the Flyers in 1980 as an undrafted free agent where he fit the role of a “Bully” perfectly. He was known as a sniper who racked up four-straight 50-goal seasons, though a string of injuries ultimately limited his superstardom to five seasons. Kerr still sits third in goals in Flyers history, but the Stanley Cup eluded him. However, he did help the Flyers reach the Cup Finals in 1985 and again in 1987, losing to the Oilers both times.
Number 3- Brian Propp
The best left winger in Flyers history made his debut in 1979, four years after the Flyers last Cup win. During his rookie season he helped carry the Flyers to the Cup Finals with a 75-point season, good enough for third on the team. The Flyers would make the playoff every season of his Flyers career (except 1989-90 but he was traded before the end of the season) including three Cup appearances. Propp still sits second all-time in Flyers goals and assists and third in points.
Number 2- Eric Lindros
Even though Lindros posted back-to-back 40-goal seasons to open his Flyers career, the Flyers failed to qualify for the playoffs both years. Things would turn around in 1994-95 as the Flyers made it all the way to the Conference Finals before losing to the Devils in six games. Two years later when the Legion of Doom was at its peak, Big E would help lead the Flyers to the Finals, but would be swept by the Red Wings.
Number 1- Mark Howe
Even though he spent his early career in the World Hockey Association, which would later become the Hartford Whalers when the NHL absorbed the WHA in 1979, Howe became a Flyer in 1982 at the ripe age of 27. Falling to the same fate as both Propp and Kerr, Howe’s Flyers would make it to the Finals in 1985 and 1987, but failing both times. Philly would not qualify for the playoffs during his lat three seasons in orange and black, mainly due Howe’s mounting injuries.
Dave Poulin– Even though Poulin is mostly remembered for his clutch playoff performances, including a five-on-three shorthanded goal that beat the Quebec Nordiques in game six, he has never able to capture the Cup.
Pelle Eklund– A solid playmaker for the Flyers throughout the 1980’s and 90’s, including three 50-assist seasons, he helped carry the Flyers to the 1987 Cup Finals. His NHL career came to an end suddenly after he was traded to the Stars after his scoring declined.
Daniel Briere– Even with five 60-point seasons under his belt, he was never able to win the big one, even with 11 Stanley Cup Playoff appearances in his career. He earned the nickname “Mr. Playoffs” after his impressive 30-point effort during the Flyers 2010 Cup run.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: fastphillysports.com