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.
Number 10 was claimed during the inaugural Flyers season in 1967 by three-year veteran forward Brit Selby, who the Flyers plucked from Toronto during the expansion draft. He played in Philly for a season and a half before he was traded back to the Leafs in exchange for Gerry Meehan, Bill Sutherland, and Mike Byers on March 2, 1969.
Sutherland ended up wearing number 10 upon his arrival in Philadelphia. He played parts of four seasons as a Flyer before he was claimed on waivers by the Buffalo Sabres on October 19, 1970.
A little over two months later in late December, the Flyers claimed Cliff Schmautz off of waivers from the Sabres. He spent just short of one year in Philly before he was traded to Portland for cash considerations in September 1971.
The next man to wear number 10 was the Flyers first round draft pick in 1971, Larry Wright. He played all of 36 games as a Flyer from 1971 to 1973 before he was traded to the California golden Seals on May 24, 1974 for Reggie Leach.
Once Wright was traded, he was replaced in the lineup by AHL call-up Willie Brossart, who wore the number for four games. He was also the first defenseman to wear number 10.
The number was once again claimed during the 1972-73 season by 22-year-old forward prospect Bill Clement. He would be apart of both of the Flyers Stanley Cup wins in 1974 and 1975. He spent four seasons in Philly until he was traded to the Capitals at the 1975 entry draft as part of a package that the Flyers used to move up and draft Mel Bridgman first overall.
Bridgman made his debut the following season in 1975-76 and wore number 10. He was a consistent offensive presence as well as defensively solid, racking up 325 points as a Flyer over 462 games. He played six seasons in Philly until he was traded to Calgary for defenseman Brad Marsh in November of 1981.
The number laid untouched until the following season when newly acquired defenseman Brad McCrimmon wore it during the 1982-83 season. He formed a top defensive duo with partner Mark Howe, and the pair dominated the Flyers blueline during the mid-1980’s. McCrimmon entered an ugly contract dispute with the Flyers in the summer of 1986, and tensions were high between himself and the organization. He played 71 more games as a Flyer before he was shipped to Calgary for a first round pick in 1989 and a third round pick in 1988 on August 26, 1987.
The following season in 1987-88 number 10 was claimed by former ninth round pick Magnus Roupe. He played 40 games as a Flyer before he returned to his home country of Sweden early in the 1988-98 season.
On November 29, 1988 the Flyers acquired forward Mike Bullard from St. Louis and he claimed number 10 upon his arrival. Bullard played the rest of the 1988-89 season and the full 1989-90 season, recording 113 points in 124 games. in July of 1991 his rights were dealt to Toronto for a third round pick in 1993.
Right wing Dale Kushner was next to wear number 10 during the start of the 1991 season for 19 games, but was returned to the AHL and would retire at season’s end.
When Kushner was sent down, 10 was worn by newly-acquired forward Dan Quinn, who the other piece that came back in the Rob Brind’Amour trade. He finished the 1991-92 season in Philly but signed as a free agent in Minnesota during the fall of 1992.
The flyers drafted Claude Boivin in the first round of the 1988 Entry Draft and wore number 40 during his first full season in 1991-92, but would later switch to number 10 to start the 1992-93 season. He played parts if the 1992-93 season and 1993-94 season with the Flyers then was traded to the Senators for Mark Lamb on March 5, 1994.
Two days later on March 7, the Flyers signed former 12th round pick Todd Hlushko to a contract for the rest of the season. He played two games as a Flyer, scoring one goal, but was not retained in the summer and signed with the Calgary Flames.
Midway through the 1994-95 season, the Flyers made a blockbuster trade with the Canadiens to acquire star defenseman Eric Desjardins, and forwards Gilbert Dionne and John LeClair. LeClair would revive number 10, which was inactive for almost a full year. Over the next 10 years, LeClair would go on to be one of the best Flyers of all-time, still sitting fifth in Flyers history in goals (333) and eighth in points (643).
The Flyers were forced to part ways with LeClair in the summer of 2005 thanks to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement they could no longer afford him with the installment of the new salary cap.
Number 10 laid untouched for seven years before it was picked up by journeyman forward Kris Versteeg, who was acquired from Toronto o February 14, 2011. Versteeg was traded to the Florida Panthers less than five months later.
Also during the summer of 2011, the Flyers acquired Brayden Schenn as part of the return for Mike Richards, who was dealt to the LA Kings. Schenn picked up number 10 to start the 2011-12 season and wore it for all 424 games he played in Philly. He was traded to the St. Louis Blues at the 2017 Entry Draft.
The number was most recently worn by Corban Knight who was acquired by the Flyers in September of 2016 and spent multiple seasons in the AHL before getting his chance at NHL minutes to start the 2018-19 season.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: gamewornauctions.com