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The Flyers’ World Cup of Hockey: Rest of Europe

Before we move on to North America.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Islanders at Philadelphia Flyers John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Teams: Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Russia

The last team before we look at the two representatives from North America is the “Rest of Europe” team, made up of former and current Flyers from the countries not touched upon before because there haven’t been enough from any one nation to construct a full team.

G - Rob Zepp (Germany)

The only other goaltender on the list I could choose from, Zepp is a feel-good story. After being drafted and playing in the ECHL, he played in Finland’s SM-Liiga and Germany’s DEL before signing a two way contract with the Flyers for the 2014-15 season, making his NHL debut at the age of 33.

Zepp started 9 games during his one year stint in Philadelphia, compiling a 0.888% save percentage.

LD - Andrej Meszaros (Slovakia)

A key part of the Flyers’ teams immediately following the 2009-10 cup run, Meszaros was a big offensive defenseman who could move the puck decently well and didn’t sting defensively either. It’s fair to say that the Flyers got the best of Meszaros. He won the Barry Ashbee trophy in his first season with the club, and after the Flyers traded him to Boston in 2013-14, he fell off a cliff, and was out of the NHL after 2014-15.

In 192 Flyer games, Meszaros scored 76 points, not bad at all for a defenseman.

RD - Mark Streit (Switzerland)

One of the better players on some mediocre teams, Streit was picked up by the Flyers for the 2013-14 season after they traded for his rights from the Islanders. A frequent sight on the power-play, Streit was a reliable blue-liner who ended up being traded to Pittsburgh via Tampa Bay, gaining the Flyers back Val Filppula. Oh joy.

In the end, Streit would win a Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2016-17, and retire following the season after. In 4 seasons as a Flyer, Streit scored 140 points in 274 games.

LW - Michael Raffl (Austria)

The only current Flyer on this team, Raffl has been a mainstay with the club for 7 seasons now, starting in 2013-14. Raffl was formerly the “swiss army knife” (despite being Austrian) of the team, being able to be shifted up and down in the line-up. Now, he’s a very good fourth line winger who is quite effective in his role, and brings a steady presence to the bottom six.

Raffl will look to add to his total of 152 points in 470 games.

C - Michal Handzus (Slovakia)

Handzus started his career with the St. Louis Blues back in 1998-99, and would become a Flyer after he was traded from the Coyotes with Robert Esche for our good friend Brian Boucher (and a draft pick). Handzus developed into a reliable defensive shutdown center in Philadelphia, even Selke votes in 2002-03 and 2003-04, as he scored 58 points in the latter of those seasons. He was traded to Chicago after 2005-06 for Kyle Calder (oooooft), and would eventually win a Stanley Cup in Chicago in 2012-13 after rejoining the club after a stint with the Kings.

As a Flyer, Handzus scored 146 points in 237 games.

RW - Dainius Zubrus (Lithuania)

Zubrus was the first round pick of the Flyers in 1996, and oft appeared on Eric Lindros’ wing during the late 1990’s when the Legion of Doom wasn’t being used. Expectations were high for Zubrus, and it is safe to say in the end he failed to deliver. Despite a promising campaign in 1997-98 where he scored 33 points in 69 games, he was traded to Montreal the following season in a package for Mark Recchi, who was still in his prime at 30. It’s safe to say that was a good move, as Recchi would help the Flyers mightily during the late 90’s and early 2000’s, most memorably in the playoffs before the 2004-05 lockout.

Zubrus would wind up playing for a number of clubs, most notably the Capitals and Devils. His career season high for points was 60 and he never blossomed into any kind of key player. Zubrus scored 62 points in 200 games as a Flyer.

Honorable Mentions: Ruslan Fedotenko, Branko Radivojevic, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare