The 2010s have been anything but consistent for the Philadelphia Flyers. Many players have come and gone during the past decade, all making their respective impacts. In this piece, we will be breaking down our personal All-Decade 20-man Flyers roster since the 2010-11 season. There are certain guidelines we followed to compile these respective rosters, and are as follows:
-Each player was judged on his performance during his time with the club (ie Chris Pronger’s time pre-2010 is not taken into consideration).
-Each player will have had to have been on a Flyers’ roster for at least a full season.
-Players will have had to have played the relevant position for at least a season to make the team (ie Voracek cannot be slotted as left-wing).
-Playoff performances go into consideration.
Anthony Di Marco
Claude Giroux – Danny Briere – Jakub Voracek
The choice for first line Left-Wing was a relatively easy one. Giroux, who has been team captain since 2013, has led the team in seven out of the past nine seasons, averaging 80 points per season (not including the lockout shortened 2013 season). In this time, he registered six 70 point, four 80 point, two 90 point and one 100 point seasons.
From 2010-on, Briere enjoyed 68 point and 49 point seasons. But it was not the regular season to where Briere made his impact, as the playoffs was when Briere truly showed his dominance. In his two playoff appearances with the Flyers in this time, Briere averaged a point per game; tallying 15 goals and seven assists in 22 playoff games in 2011 and 2012. His playoff performances alone land Briere this high on the depth chart.
While Voracek has been the epitome of inconsistent for much of his time as a Flyer, he has been far and away the best winger the team has seen over the last decade. Voracek has hit the 60-point plateau in five of the last six seasons, with two 80 point plus seasons in 2017-18 and 2014-15.
Scott Hartnell – Sean Couturier – Wayne Simmonds
It has been a long time since Scott Hartnell was a part of the Flyers; but his four seasons since 2010 are anything but forgotten. Hartnell tallied at least 20 goals in his three full seasons during this time, including hitting a career best 37 goals and 67 points in 2011-12. In an era where the Flyers lacked top end Left-Wingers, Hartnell slides into this spot quite easily.
While he only realized his offensive potential over the last two seasons, Sean Couturier has arguably been the most consistent centre for the Flyers over the last decade. Since Giroux moved to wing at the beginning of the 2017-18, Couturier has been the Flyers’ number one centre (tallying 76 points in each of the last two seasons). In saying this, the only reason that keeps Couturier from landing on the top line is his first six seasons in which he struggled to score consistently.
A six time 20, five time 25 and two 30 goal scorer, there is hard to find a more beloved Flyer over the past decade than Wayne Simmonds. Simmonds became an elite power-play producer over this time, and gained the reputation as arguably the best net-front presence in the entire NHL. While his play dipped over his final two seasons with the club, Simmonds’ seven and a half years with the Flyers was memorable, landing him on the second line with little debate.
Brayden Schenn – Mike Richards- Jeff Carter
If there is one player over the last decade that seemed to never live up to expectations, Brayden Schenn is certainly it. Schenn joined the Flyers with mega expectations, and while he produced adequately, always left something to be desired. Spending the majority of his time at Left-Wing on the Flyers’ second line, Schenn had four 20 goal seasons with the Flyers. His 2015-16 year was especially great, finishing second on the team in goals with 26 and third in points with 59.
Surely there will be criticism with this pick, but Mike Richards’ 2010-11 season alone lands him here. In his one season with the Flyers since 2010, Richards tallied 23 goals and 66 points (tied for third on the team) while averaging more shifts per game (25.5) than any other forward. Richards’ addition to this list shows how scarce talent has been for the Flyers over the last decade.
Much like Richards, Jeff Carter lands as the third-line Right-Wing based solely on his brilliant 2010-11 campaign. Spending the majority of the season on the right-side of Giroux, Carter led the Flyers with 36 goals and tied for third in points with Richards (66). The Flyers have yet to find a pure-goal scorer since Carter’s departure in 2011.
Michael Raffl – Scott Laughton – Jaromir Jagr
It’s really tough to think that Michael Raffl has been one the best Left-Wings the Flyers’ have had over the last decade, but that exemplifies just how few and far between the talent on the left side has been. While Raffl’s career best year was 2015-16 when he reached 31 points, he has been a good utility player. Whether it be on the top line alongside Giroux or Voracek, or in a fourth line checking role with Scott Laughton and Taylor Leier, Raffl has always found a way to make an impact in the Flyers line-up since 2013.
Speaking of Laughton, the 25-year-old slides in as the number four pivot on this list. While Laughton struggled to find his way early in his career, Laughton found his niche with the Flyers over the past two seasons. Coming off of his career best season (12 goals, 32 points) in 2018-19, Laughton has proved to be an important part of the team’s bottom six.
Although he only spent one season with the Flyers, Jaromir Jagr’s 2011-12 campaign was one to remember. Spending the season on the Right-Wing on a line with Hartnell and Giroux, Jagr posted an impressive 19 goals and 54 points in 73 games. While it was short, his stint was sweet, and it is hard to argue with his placement as the team’s fourth best Right-Wing of the past decade.
Defense Pairing 1
Ivan Provorov – Kimmo Timonen
It is crazy to think how overhauled the blue-line has been since 2010, and Ivan Provorov is the face of the new core. Since joining the team in 2016, Provorov has led the defense in ice time per game in each of the last three seasons, finishing with 25:07 this past year. He already has a 40 point season (2017-18) season under his belt, and while he still has some areas to improve on, there has been no defenseman more important to the club over the last three seasons.
Kimmo Timonen will forever be remembered as warrior and anchor on defense during his time here. Until his last season in 2013-14, Timonen was consistently running the power play and averaging over 20 minutes per game. Timonen hit the 35 point plateau in three seasons during this time, while enjoying his best point per game season in the lockout shortened 2013 season; finishing with 29 points in 45 games.
Defense Pairing 2
Shayne Gostisbehere – Matt Carle
Arguably the most polarizing defenseman over the last decade, it is not hard to justify having Shayne Gostisbehere on the second pairing. Since bursting onto the scene in 2015-16, Gostisbehere has become a staple on the Flyers’ power play and key offensive producer from the back end. Gostisbehere has hit at least 35 points in each of his four seasons, and hit 65 points in 2017-18. No defenseman has been more dynamic since 2010 than Gostisbehere.
Many forget but Matt Carle was an essential part of the Flyers for a number of seasons. In his two seasons with the team since 2010, Carle finished third and first, respectively, in TOI/G, and first in scoring from a defenseman in 2010-11 with 40 points. Carle’s ability to eat minutes and post strong offensive numbers easily lands him this spot.
Defense Pairing 3
Mark Streit – Braydon Coburn
Many forget his tenure, but Mark Streit had strong seasons in Philadelphia. Playing for the Flyers during a tough era, Streit hit 44 and 52 points, respectively, in his first two seasons. After the departure of Kimmo Timonen and prior to the arrival to Shayne Gostisbehere, Streit was the anchor of the Flyers’ power play, tallying 61 power play points during his time in Philadelphia. Streit averaged at least 20 minutes of TOI/G in all but one season (2016-17) with the Flyers, and proved to be one of the best defensemen for the team in the last decade.
While never flashy, Braydon Coburn was the staple of consistency for the Flyers on the back-end. He ate hard defensive minutes and was often asked to play higher in the lineup due to an often-injured Flyers’ blue line. Forming solid shutdown pairs with Timonen, Carle and Nicklas Grossmann during his time with the Flyers, it is hard to justify leaving Coburn off of this list.
First String Goaltender
Given the waste baron of talent that has graced the Flyers’ net over the last decade, there should be little debate that Steve Mason lands here. Arguably the most underrated Flyer of all time, Mason was nothing short of great for the majority of his time in the crease. Mason had a save percentage of at least .915 in three of four full seasons with the Flyers and had a winning percentage of at least .500 in each of those four years. Mason enjoyed his best year in 2014-15: ending with a .928 save percentage and 2.25 Goals Against Average.
Second String Goaltender
Although he eventually wound up becoming a two-time Vezina Trophy winner with Columbus, Bobrovsky was an average-at-best goaltender during his time in Philadelphia. His rookie season saw him end with a 28-13-8 record to go with a .915 save percentage and 2.59 GAA. His sophomore season was not as nice, as Bobrovsky was relegated to back-up duties to Ilya Bryzgalov, to which he ended with a sub-.900 save percentage. But largely due to the lack of talent between the pipes since 2010 (and beyond), Bobrovsky lands the spot of back-up on this all-decade team.
Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier- Jake Voracek
There is really no debate on the top line left wing spot. Claude Giroux is in the process of becoming one of the best Flyers of all time. After being named captain in 2013 after Chris Pronger’s career came to an end, Giroux posted three eighty-plus point seasons and even broke the 100-point plateau in 2018.
Starting his Flyers career in 2011, Sean Couturier spent a majority of his tenure as a top two-way forward anchoring the third line and tasked with shutting down the oppositions top forwards. It wasn’t until 2017 and a promotion to the top line center role that we all saw what kind of skill Couturier actually brought to the table. Posting consecutive 76 point seasons, he has finally broken out as a top player in the NHL.
Love him or hate him, It is almost impossible to argue against Voracek being the top right wing for the Flyers in the past decade. He has six 20-plus goal seasons and five 60-plus point seasons under his belt in this decade
Scott Hartnell – Danny Briere – Wayne Simmonds
One of those guys that fit a prototypical Flyer perfectly, Scott Hartnell was a jack of all trades during his Flyers tenure. Hartnell’s highlight was a 37-goal, 67-point campaign in 2011-12. He brought a physical edge and a powerplay presence that, quite frankly, the team still hasn’t fully replaced.
Probably one of the most beloved Flyers in recent memory, Briere was a force on the ice early in the decade. Injuries limited his ice time in the season before his buyout, but he still managed to post a 68-point season in 2010-11. While his regular season numbers were fine, it was his 30-point playoff performance in 2010 and his 13 points in 11 games in 2012 that give Briere a spot on this list. “Mr. Playoffs” carried the Flyers in the postseason later in his Philly tenure, and given the Flyers haven’t tasted the playoffs much since, he will probably hold that title for the foreseeable future.
A picture of consistency during his days in Philadelphia, Wayne Simmonds spent the decade hovering around the 30-goal mark and landing in the 50-60 point range more often than not. Setting up shop in front of the opponents net, he excelled on the powerplay and his physical edge made him successful on the ice and in the eyes of the fans, who loved his dedication to the team on a nightly basis.
Brayden Schenn – Mike Richards- Jaromir Jagr
Hot and cold is the perfect way to describe Scehnn’s six seasons in Philadelphia. His play was wildly inconsistent on a night-to-night basis, but at year’s end, his numbers were always solid. Schenn registered three 20-goal seasons, including a 26-goal showing in 2015-16.
Mike Richards barely got his feet wet as a Flyer in the 2010’s, but the season-and-a-half he did play was memorable. He was a point-per-game player during the Flyers 23 playoff games in 2010, then he followed that up with a 66-point showing during the 2010-11 season.
Even though Jaromir Jagr only played one season in the orange and black, his presence was strong. Put on a line with Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell in 2011-12, the trio found chemistry which led to career years for both Hartnell and (at the time) Giroux. They finished top three on the team in scoring and it was arguably the move that jumpstarted Claude Giroux’s career as a top player.
James Van Riemsdyk – Jeff Carter – Travis Konecny
Making his Flyers debut in 2009, he played a disappointing three seasons in Philadelphia before he was dealt to the Maple Leafs in in infamous trade for Luke Schenn. Six years later he was brought back to Philadelphia as a free agent and a much more complete player than he was when he left. He finished with 27 goals and 48 points upon his return during the tumultuous 2018-19 season.
In the same boat as Mike Richards, Jeff Carter only saw one season as a Flyer in the 2010’s, but he sure made it count. Posting a 36-goal, 66-point season in 2010-11, Carter went out on a high note as he was traded to Columbus in the summer of 2011 for two players that appeared on this list already.
Even though he is early in his career, consecutive 24-goal campaigns is nothing to scoff at. Earning the role of fan favorite with his physical style of play, as well as grade A trash talking, it is safe to assume we have just scratched the surface of what Travis Konecny will offer to the Flyers for years to come.
Defense Pairing 1
Kimmo Timonen – Ivan Provorov
It’s hard to overstate how important Kimmo Timonen was to the Flyers during his tenure. He was far and away the team’s number one defenseman even in his late thirties, and when he was diagnosed with blood clots and traded to the Blackhawks, he left a hole the Flyers couldn’t fill for almost half a decade.
The man that finally filled the top defenseman role, was rookie Ivan Provorov. Even though he is in his early twenties, it hasn’t stopped the Flyers from giving the young stud 24 minutes of ice time regularly. His early peak came in 2017-18 when he registered 17 goals and 41 points.
Defense Pairing 2
Chris Pronger – Shayne Gostisbehere
Even though his Flyers career was cut short by injuries, he still played a major role on the Flyers blue line in the 2010’s. Leading the Flyers into the 2010 Cup run, he continued to be a top player when he was healthy for the 63 games he played from 2010 to 2012.
Ghost burst onto the scene in 2015 and and proceeded to break multiple rookie records during the 2015-16 season. Even though he has been inconsistent in the seasons since, Gostisbehere still has recorded 187 points in 298 games since his debut.
Defense Pairing 3
Braydon Coburn – Mark Streit
It’s no secret the Flyers blueline hasn’t exactly been filled with talent over the last ten years, but Coburn did his best during the first half of the decade. Never much of a scorer, he was tasked with filling Chris Pronger’s shoes after he went down, and carrying the weight for an aging Kimmo Timonen. He did his best and, in a different situation, probably could have been more useful in a lesser role.
The Flyers solution to fixing an aging blueline was to bring in 36-year-old Mark Streit. Now, in fairness, he did a hell of a job providing an offensive spark on a relatively dull defense corps. Racking up 140 points in 274 games as a Flyer, Streit helped bridge the gap during a time when there were very few positives to look at.
First String Goaltender
Given the lackluster list of goaltenders that spent time in Philadelphia during the 2010’s, Steve Mason was the easy choice for number one. One of the most underrated players in Flyers history, Mason stood on his head during his four years as a Flyer. Mason dressed for 231 games and ended up third all-time in Flyers history in wins (104), second in save percentage (.918), fourth in goals against average (2.47), and fifth in shutouts (14).
Second String Goaltender
Remember that shallow pool of talent I was talking about? Well it’s on full display here. While we are all familiar with Bryzgalov’s story, he still played the second most games as a Flyer in the 2010’s only to Steve Mason. His save percentage and goals against average were both slightly lower than Bobrovsky’s, and his win/loss ratio was better than Emery or Elliott, so by default, Bryzgalov takes the backup role in my opinion.
There are some minor differences between the two, but overall, the choices were pretty clear. After a failed attempt at a Stanley Cup in 2010, the Flyers spent the decade trying to realign the pieces to make them competitive again. After key injuries, aging players, Ron Hextall’s “process”, and a revolving door of mediocre goaltenders, things are finally starting to look up. With enough talented prospects for two teams, a young star goaltender, and a plethora of talented veterans with plenty left in the tank, hopefully when we sit down in a decade from now this list will be full of bright spots.
By: Anthony Di Marco @ADiMarco25 & Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: phillyinfluencer.com