We’re less than a month away from the release of NHL 23 and one feature to look forward to every year are the alumni teams. It’s where all our favorite players from out childhood get reintroduced into the game and can play alongside the modern day roster. Though the alumni rosters aren’t perfect, often leaving out some big names along the way. The Flyers have been lucky enough to have most of their bases covered when it comes to fan favorite alumni, but there are still a few notable players excluded in previous years.
Number 5: Vincent Lecavalier
Lecavalier may have have only spent 133 games in Philly, but he’s one of the bigger names missing from the overall Alumni teams. He played over 1,000 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning, whom he helped lead to a Stanley Cup in 2004. He’s one of, if not the most popular player in Lightning history and is still missing from the game. The four-time all-star was one of the best players of his era and has his number 4 retired by the Lightning, why is his not in the game?
Number 4: Ilya Bryzgalov
The Ilya Bryzgalov experiment was one of the biggest disasters in the history of the Philadelphia Flyers, but he’s also one of the most memorable players in team history as well. He’s still technically being paid by the Flyers until 2027 stemming from his compliance buyout in 2013. If they could program in a special feature for Bryz where he ducks under the puck that’d be A+ stuff from EA.
Number 3: Steve Mason
For some reason, fans were split on their opinions on Steve Mason, but from a statistical standpoint, he was one of the top goalies in Flyers history. He finished he career third in Flyers’ history in wins, third in games played by a goalie, fourth in total saves, second in save percentage, fourth in goals against average and fifth in shutouts. Not to mention he won the Calder with the Blue Jackets and ranks similarly in their all-time standings as well. For an organization that doesn’t have a strong history with goaltending, certainly since the turn of the millennium, you’d think they’d want one of their best available in the game.
Number 2: Kimmo Timonen
It’s been almost a decade since Kimmo Timonen’s last game in Philadelphia, but he’s still missed greatly on the blueline. He was a three-time all-star during his time in Philly, as well as a five-time Barry Ashbee Trophy winner as the Flyers’ top defeseman and won a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2015 before retiring. Timonen played 1,108 NHL games overall, 519 in Philadelphia, and could very well have been the franchise’s smartest defenseman since he landed here in 2007.
Number 1: Eric Desjardins
The ninth longest tenured Flyer of all time spent 738 games in Philadelphia from 1995 to 2006. The former captain was a seven-time Barry Ashbee trophy winner, a two-time NHL all-star, won a Cup with Montreal in 1993 and is second only to Mark Howe in points by a defenseman in Flyers’ history with 396. He was also inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame in 2015. In terms of players of sheer importance to the Flyers, Desjardins may be one of, if not the biggest name still missing from the Alumni team.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhlpa.com