When you play for a franchise as storied and respected as the Philadelphia Flyers, carving your name in the record book places you with an elite group of players who rise above the crowd. Though there are some cases where the player sitting atop the leaderboard simply won’y ever be passed. Let’s look at some statistical records that are unbreakable in Flyers’ history.
Number 5- Hat Tricks (Tim Kerr 17)
In the modern day NHL, hat tricks aren’t something you see everyday. If a player gets one in their career it’s a big deal, let alone two or three, so touching 17 is almost impossible. Tim Kerr has held the record since 1991, and also holds the record for most hat tricks in a single season with five. Top put that record into perspective, Eric Lindros and John LeClair only had 11 each. Scott Hartnell is the most recent Flyer to crack the top 10, sitting in eighth place with six hat tricks, and Alex Ovechkin is the only current active player above Kerr with 28. Pretty safe to say Kerr’s record is safe for the foreseeable future.
Number 4- Powerplay Goals (Tim Kerr 144)
To say Tim Kerr was a beast on the powerplay is putting it mildly. The modern day Flyers have had a couple prolific scorers on the powerplay, and they never even came close. Wayne Simmonds had 91, Claude Giroux finished his Flyers career with 84, and even John LeClair only had 102. Tim Kerr’s 144 powerplay goals are good enough for 56th in NHL history. There are a couple recent players that have passed, or are close to passing him, Patrick Marleau, Ilya Kovalchuk, Evgeni Malkin, and Sidney Crosby, to name a few, but it seems like your casual player won’t hit that record anytime soon.
Number 3- Shutouts (Bernie Parent 50)
It’s a Flyers record that has stood since 1979 and hasn’t felt the slightest bit of pressure on being passed. Obviously the game was much different 40 years ago and the position of goaltender has evolved greatly. Parent’s 54 shutouts (he racked up three in Toronto and one in Boston) sits 24th in NHL history, and the only current goaltenders to hit that mark are Jonathan Quick (56) and Marc-Andre Fleury (71). So with those numbers, it’s not impossible to get there, but the closest Flyer was Roman Cechmanek who registered 20 in 163 games in the early 2000’s.
Number 2- Goals Against Average (Roman Cechmanek 1.96)
In one of the more surprising records in Flyers history, Roman Cechmanek is atop the leaderboard in goals against average. Cechmanek suited up for 163 games as a Flyer and was best known for his impressive regular seasons and his lackluster post season performances. He is the only Flyer to sit at at a sub-2 GAA, with John Vanbiesbrouck sitting in second place with 2.20. Steve Mason was at 2.47 and Michal Neuvirth was at 2.66. Carter Hart currently has a 2.91 GAA in his 154 NHL contests. Will he be able to break the record when all is said and done? Time will tell, but it’s highly unlikely.
Number 1- Penalty Minutes (Rick Tocchet 1,815)
Do you know how much of a badass you have to be to lead a team with the nickname “Broad Street Bullies” in penalty minutes? The fact that 10 different Flyers have hit the 1,000 PIM mark and yet never got close to Tocchet is pretty telling. Tocchet played 621 games as a Flyer over the course of 11 seasons and hovered around or above the 200 penalty minute mark in nine of them. Second place belongs to Paul Holmgren with 1,600, and the closest modern day Flyer is Wayne Simmonds who sits 19th in franchise history with a measly 784 minutes, over 17 hours less than Tocchet!
Goals (Bill Barber 420)
If you take a look around the league, there are players who have hit the 400 goal mark. Steven Stamkos, Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, and eight other active players have reached the 400-goal plateau, so it’s not an impossible record to hit, but it sure is difficult. One of the best goal scorers in recent Flyers history was Simon Gagne, who only was able to register 264. Claude Giroux is closest modern player, and he sits at 291. Even Brian Propp, who currently sits in second in franchise history, only has 369. If the Flyers somehow stumble on a generational talent, it could endanger the record, otherwise Barber’s record, which has stood for almost 40 years, will continue to stay safe.
Short-Handed Goals (Bobby Clarke 32)
Reality is, the Flyers had a great penalty killer in Mike Richards for six seasons and he was able to scrounge up 23 goals. In the decade since he was dealt to the Kings nobody else has even cracked the top 10, which is still held by Simon Gagne with 11 goals. Bill Barber almost broke the record in the 1980’s as he recorded 31, but nobody has sniffed it since. The current active Flyer leader is Scott Laughton who has five. Clarke’s 32 sit 18th in NHL history, and the only active player to pass him was Brad Marchand who has 33, in fact, he’s the only active player in the top 50 all-time, with Andrew Cogliano’s 21 shorties sitting tied for 65th. It’s not impossible, but it would take a player with a very specific skillset to make his mark on Flyers history.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nbcsports.com