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Paul Kohler: A Flyers Fan (Who Can’t Buy Their Jerseys) Turned Writer

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Hey look, a new guy!

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Now this is a story all about how the Flyers’ roster got flipped, turned upside-down..

But First, An Introduction!

My name is Paul Kohler and I am honored to be joining the wonderful team here at Broad Street Hockey as a contributor to the cause of meaningful Flyers hockey coverage. Obviously, I am a die-hard fan dating back as far as I can remember, with memories of the Legion of Doom dominating the league and Ron Hextall doing Ron Hextall things on the ice (e.g. fighting dudes). Fun Fact: In my lifetime (29 years) the Philadelphia Flyers have had 40 different goaltenders suit up for at least one game.

Where It All Began

My love for hockey, specifically the Flyers, is owed to my father, who introduced me to the game at a young age. I grew up during the Lindros era and he was by far my favorite Flyer, but I had a great appreciation for the game as a whole that inspired me to not just be a fan, but a participant. I spent countless hours in the driveway skating around and shooting into the nets we made out of PVC piping and an old tennis net we scavenged from a dumpster. I played roller hockey and ice hockey for years up until I entered high school and discovered a new passion for drumming and music, which ultimately ended my amateur hockey career. Despite that, my love for the game has never wavered and I am beyond ecstatic to now have the opportunity to put my thoughts about this team we all love into words for you all to read.

So, You Love the Flyers, But Why Can’t You Buy Their Jerseys?

That’s a great question, thank you for asking! So, most fans have superstitions, right? For example, some fans may have to wear the same shirt for every game, or rub someone’s bald head before puck drop, etc. I have never been a very superstitious fan, but there is something to be said about the history of jerseys and shirseys I’ve owned. This story dates back the late ‘90s, so let’s hop in the DeLorean and take a trip back!

The Jersey Curse

The year was 1999 and the Flyers were in peak form. The black jerseys had been released just a few seasons prior and I was obsessed, so naturally I begged my dad for one every Christmas. He went to a beef & beer event one night and came home with a surprise: one black, autographed Eric Lindros Flyers jersey. I was pumped. A few short months later on May 26th, 2000 during the Easter Conference Final, the infamous Scott Stevens hit on Big E occurred and ended his far too short Flyers career.

Fast forward about eight years to the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. The Flyers selected a promising young defenseman by the name of Luca Sbisa with the 19th overall pick and for whatever reason I thought he was going to be the next great player for this franchise. My dad bought me his jersey for Christmas, which turned out to be a fairly premature decision as he was sent back to his junior team and then traded during the following off-season in the Chris Pronger deal. Unfortunately, this was only the beginning..

- 2009/2010: Mike Richards and Jeff Carter Winter Classic jerseys; traded during 2011 off-season
- 2011/2012: Jaromir Jagr Winter Classic jersey; injured during game, left the following off-season
- 2013/14: Scott Hartnell shirsey; my dad bought me this as a joke for Christmas because we wanted Hartnell gone. He was traded the following off-season
- 2014/15: Reebok “City Of Brother Love” shirt featuring Luke & Brayden Schenn; Luke Schenn traded one year later, Brayden Schenn traded during ‘17 off-season
- 2016/17: Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek shirseys; both had terrible years
- 2017/18: Carson Wentz shirsey: two weeks after purchasing, torn ACL & LCL

So, who wants to pitch in and buy me an Andrew MacDonald jersey?

That’s it for now, but be on the lookout for my first official article coming soon! Until then please feel free to follow me on the Twitter thing @PaulKohler_ and, as always, let’s go Flyers!