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 11 was first worn by Bill Sutherland, who’s rights were acquired by the Flyers after purchasing the AHL Quebec Aces during the Flyers inaugural season. He is best known for scoring the first goal in Flyers history. He wore the number during the Flyers debut season, then switched to number 10 during his sophomore season.
Veteran forward Jean-Guy Gendron claimed the number during the Flyers second season of existence. He was also acquired during the purchasing of the Quebec Aces. Gendron would play 278 scoring 155 points. On June 11, 1969, Gendron was plucked from the Flyers by Montreal in an Intra-League Draft. One day later, the Flyers would re-acquire Gendron from the Canadiens in exchange for cash considerations. He played with the Flyers for another two years until he was drafted by Los Angeles during the 1972 WHA General Player Draft.
Don Saleski, who the Flyers drafted in the sixth round of the 1969 NHL draft, was next to wear number 11 when he made his full-time Flyers debut during the 1972-73 season. Saleski played eight years with the Flyers where he was apart of the 1974 and 1975 Stanley Cup wins. He played 476 games as a Flyer before he was traded to Colorado for future considerations on March 3, 1979.
Former third overall pick Dennis Ververgaert was acquired by the Flyers just after Christmas in 1978 and wore number 28 during his first season in Philly. He would later switch to number 11 during the 1979-80 season. he scored 31 points in 58 games before he signed as a free agent with the Capitals the following season.
In the summer of 1980, the Flyers signed undrafted center Ron Flockhart to a contract and he claimed number 11. He struggled his first season, but during his sophomore season in 1981-82 he put up a point-per-game pace in 72 games. He put up 60 points the following season in 1982-83. In October of 1983 he was traded as part of a package deal for top prospect Rich Sutter.
The next player to claim number 11 was the Flyers 184th overall pick in 1981 Len Hachborn. He played 78 of his 102 NHL games with the Flyers between 1984 to 1985. On December 5, 1985 he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings for cash.
Number 11 laid vacant for over a year until Flyers first round pick in 1985 Glen Seabrooke made his debut late in the 1986-87 season. Seabrooke inly played in 19 NHL games over the following two seasons before he left professional hockey after the 1988-89 season concluded.
On August 28, 1989, the Flyers acquired the rights to Jiri Latal from Toronto. He signed with the Flyers and played parts of three seasons in the orange and black from 1989 to 1992. He played in 92 NHL games before returning to his native Czech Republic to finish his career early in the 1991-92 season.
Almost immediately after Latal left, the Flyers acquired Kevin Dineen on November 13, 1991. Dineen played four seasons in Philadelphia until he was traded to the Hartford Whalers for a pair of draft picks after Christmas of 1995.
Almost a month after Dineen was trades, the Flyers acquired forward Dan Quinn for the second time in his career and he wore number 11 to finish out the last 35 games of the 1995-96 season.
During the summer of 1996 the Flyers picked up Craig Darby off of waivers from the New York Islanders. He would spend much of the following two seasons with the Phantoms, but did wear number 11 during his 9 games in the NHL during 1996-97 and 1997-98. In June of 1998 he was claimed by the Nashville Predators during the expansion draft.
Eight months after the expansion draft the Flyers acquired journeyman forward Mike Sillinger from Vancouver. He spent seven months in Philadelphia before he was trade to the Tampa Bay Lightning on December 12, 1998 in exchange for Mikael Renberg and Daymond Langkow.
Later that season during the 1999 NHL Trade Deadline the Flyers reacquired Mark Recchi from Montreal. Jody Hull was wearing number 8 during the 1998-99 season so Recchi wore number 11 for the rest of the season before reclaiming number 8 in the offseason when he switched with Hull.
Jody Hull remained with the Flyers until his contract expired in 2001. He was originally lost to the Atlanta Thrashers during the 1999 expansion draft, but the Flyers reacquired him before the start of the 1999-00 season for cash. He stayed in Philly until 2001 and he later signed a contract with Ottawa where he would finish his career.
Vaclav Pletka, who was the Flyers seventh round pick in 1999, played one NHL game for the Flyers during the 2001-02 season where he would wear number 11.
Another Flyers draft pick, Patrick Sharp, was next to wear number 11 during his three-game NHL debut during the 2002-03 season. He would later switch to number 9 for the next and last 63 games of his Flyers career.
At the 2002-03 trade deadline, the Flyers acquired Tony Amonte from the Coyotes where he spent one season before the Flyers were forced to part ways with Amonte thanks to the installment of the salary cap during the 2005 lockout.
On August 6, 2005, the Flyers signed free agent forward Jon Sim, but on January 23, 2006 Sim was traded to the Florida Panthers for a draft pick.
The number 11 only laid dormant for a month until Flyers draft pick Ryan Potulny made his NHL debut. He played in the Flyers system until June 6, 2008 when he was traded to Edmonton for defenseman Danny Syvret.
Boyd Kane wore number 11 for one game during a call-up late in the 2008-09 season.
On October 1, 2009 the Flyers signed free agent forward Blair Betts to a contract. He played 138 games as a depth defenseman for the Flyers before he was claimed on waivers by the Montreal Canadiens on October 5, 2011.
the number 11 went untouched for over two years when Eric Wellwood earned a recall from the Phantoms late in the 2012-13 season. He previously wore number 47 during his time in Philly, but switched to 11 during his last four NHL games before he suffered a career-ending leg injury.
After three-and-a-half seasons of lying dormant, number 11 was picked up by Flyers prospect Travis Konecny, who has worn the number for the past three seasons.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: NHL.com