In their 53 years of existence, over 600 players have suited up for Philadelphia Flyers. Some carved out their legacy as long standing members, contributing to some of the greatest moments in franchise history, other only played one game, and some flew so low under the radar they almost disappeared from memory altogether. Do you remember these random Flyers from history?
Number 5- Scott Sandelin
If you’re a fan of college hockey, the name Scott Sandelin is probably familiar. He has been the head coach of the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs since the 2000-01 season, where he lead them to three NCAA championships in that time. Sandelin, who was originally a 40th overall pick by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1982 NHL draft, played 25 NHL games, 15 of which were with the Flyers. After spending two seasons in the Canadiens organization, he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for J.J. Daigneault on November 7, 1988. Between injuries and AHL stints, his career never really got off the ground. He played one game with the Minnesota North Stars before retiring and becoming a coach.
Number 4- Dave Tippett
After opening his career with a seven-season stint with the Hartford Whalers from 1983-1990, Dave Tippett spent the last five seasons of his career as a journeyman winger playing for four different teams. Tippett signed with the Flyers during the summer of 1993 and played 73 games during the season recording 15 points. The 1993-94 season was his last in the NHL, as he signed with the Houston Aeros of the IHL the following offseason. He would retire the following season and begin his coaching career with the Aeros before eventually becoming an NHL coach with almost 1,200 games under his belt.
Number 3- Jussi Timonen
Everybody loves and remembers his older brother Kimmo, but do you remember Jussi? Signed by the Flyers in May of 2006, Timonen would spend most of his three years in the Flyers organization with the Phantoms. he would be called up that November, playing 14 games as a Flyer before being sent back to the Phantoms. He was later traded to the Dallas Stars on December 10, 2007, but he never suited up for another NHL game.
Number 2- P.J. Stock
Now known as part of the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast team, Stock was once a Flyer. Stock was an undrafted free agent before being signed by the Rangers, where he would bounce back and forth between the NHL and AHL. He signed with the Canadiens for the 2000-2001 season, but was later traded to the Flyers after just 20 games in Montreal. He would play nine games with the Phantoms before playing the last 31 games of the season with the Flyers. Stock was not re-signed by Philly and he would end up in Boston before an eye injury ended his playing career.
Number 1- Wes Walz
Known for his work ethic during his later career with Minnesota, Walz’s early career didn’t mirror his later success. Drafted 57th overall by the Bruins in 1989, he struggled to crack the NHL roster. Even though he was an above-average AHLer, he bounced around the league early in his career. Landing in Philadelphia, he would play two games during the 1991-92 season, scoring one goal. Walz would leave North America to refine his game in Switzerland before returning to the NHL in 2000, where he would finish his career strong in Minnesota.
Jeff Chychrun– For most, the name “Chychrun” probably brings current Arizona Coyote Jakob Chychrun to mind. His Father, Jeff, was the first generation Chychrun to make the NHL. He was drafted by the Flyers 37th overall in 1984 and played 199 games for the orange and black from 1986 to 1991.
Niko Dimitrakos- After his early career statistics with the Sharks were bloated thanks to playing alongside superstar Teemu Selanne, the Flyers did what they did best, swoop in and make a trade to acquire anybody they deemed had enough talent to help the cause. Dimitrakos ended up spending most of his tenure in Philly with the Phantoms, only suiting up for 24 regular season games and 5 playoff games from late 2006 to 2007. After the season, he signed a one-year contract with the Senators organization in the summer of 2007. The five games he played in 2006 in Philly ended up being the last five NHL games of his career.
Ossi Vaananen– Vaananen played his early career in Phoenix and later in Colorado. The installment of the salary cap forced him out of the Avalanche’s plans, so he fled back to Sweden for the 2007-08 season. Vaananen would return to the NHL in 2008-09 season, signing a one-year contract with the Flyers. His Flyers tenure would be cut short after just 46 games, as he was placed on waivers and claimed by the Canucks to make room for the returning Danny Briere.
By: Daniel Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: NHL.com