Playing goaltender in Philadelphia has to be the closest thing to hell on earth. It’s a thankless job that will get you thrown to the wolves at the slightest mistake. Through the years, the Flyers very rarely had a true number one goaltender, which leads to plenty of random players suiting up for their chance to join the carousel. Some make it, some don’t, but below are five goalies you totally forgot dressed for the Flyers!
Number 5: Jason Bacashihua
Bacashihua was drafted 26th overall in 2001 by the Dallas Stars and spent a couple years in their development system before being traded to the St. Louis Blues, where his first and only NHL shot would emerge. He played the bulk of his North American hockey in the AHL, but did dress for 38 NHL games for the Blues from 2005 to 2007. Bacashihua bounced around the AHL for a few more seasons before he signed with the Adirondack Phantoms for the 2011-12 season and formed a tandem with Michael Leighton. He had two separate recalls to the Flyers, once in early February when he backed up for two games, and once in late March when he dressed for one game. His time in the Flyers organization would be his last in North America, but Bacashihua is still playing to this day in various leagues across Europe.
Number 4: Sébastien Caron
The once-promising goaltending prospect for the Pittsburgh Penguins was just never able to lock up an NHL spot long term. He does have 95 NHL games under his belt, and even a Stanley Cup ring while serving as the third goaltender for the Ducks in 2007. After his short stint with the Ducks ended, he left North America for the National League in Switzerland before signing a contract with the Flyers on April 1, 2010, making him the seventh goalie acquired by the Flyers that season. He never saw game action during the Flyers’ last six games in April, but he did backup Brian Boucher twice, once on April 2 and the other on April 11 in a carousel of goalies that also included Johan Backlund and Jeremy Duchesne, both of whom actually saw limited NHL minutes.
Number 3: Jamie Storr
Storr is best known for his 205 games sprinkled over nine seasons with the LA Kings during the mid-90s and early-00’s. He had a decorated junior career which led to a seventh overall selection at the 1994 NHL draft. He formed a respectable tandem with Stéphane Fiset on a rather unimpressive late-90’s LA Kings team before bouncing around the AHL after 2002. He signed with the Flyers for the 2005-06 season and spent much of it with the Philadelphia Phantoms. Storr had two short recalls with the Flyers, playing backup on January 6, 2006, and once later on April 15, 2006. His tenure in Philly ended up being the last North American ice time of his career, as he played three more seasons in Germany before hanging up the skates for good. Today, he is a beloved goalie coach in the Southern California area.
Number 2: Jason LaBarbera
Jason Labarbera was a well traveled backup goalie during his 16 seasons between the AHL and NHL. He played for six NHL teams and five AHL clubs before signing with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for the 2015-16 season, which would end up being his last. As the 2015-16 season started Steve Mason was fighting a lingering injury that kept him out of the lineup off and on through the month of October. LaBabera got the call in the couple occasions that Mason was not in the lineup. He backed up three times on October 12, October 15 and October 27. He was sent back to Lehigh in early November and stayed down there for the rest of the season, posting a fairly pedestrian season before calling it a career.
Number 1: Carter Hutton
Undrafted UMass-Lowell standout Carter Hutton signed his first NHL contract with the Flyers when his college career came to an end late in the 2009-10 season. He played a few games with the Adirondack Phantoms before earning his first NHL recall. He backed up Brian Boucher during the last game in March 10 and once in April. At season’s end he was not re-signed by the Flyers, instead signing a deal with the Sharks. Hutton has gone on to play in 232 NHL games with the Predators, Blues, and Sabres, making him one of the bigger “what if” questions surrounding the goaltending in recent Flyers’ history.
There was a time when the undrafted Ohio State product Cal Heeter was the top goalie in the Flyers’ prospect system. He had two relatively successful seasons with the Phantoms from 2012 to 2014 before his first recall in early April 2013 but never made it off the bench. His more successful recall was in April of 2014 when he was brought back up to the Flyers after Steve Mason injured himself late in the season. This time, Heeter managed to play his first and only NHL game losing in a shootout to the Carolina Hurricanes. He did stick around as the backup for the first game of the 2014 playoff series with the Rangers, but never saw another game of NHL action.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: getty images