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The Flyers’ World Cup of Hockey: Canada

And last but not least, the big boys.

Bobby Clarke Drinking from the Stanley Cup

Teams: Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Russia, Rest of Europe, United States

And now, we will wrap up the introductory segment of this series with Canada, the nation with the most representation historically, hands down. Well over half of the skaters who have ever played a game with the Flyers were/are Canadian (a whopping 399 out of 575!). So, naturally, for this team you’re going to be getting nothing but the best players, and yeah, this is one scary line-up. For the sake of making things fair, I’m going to try and be inclusive of all eras of Flyers’ hockey and not just take the names of whoever is on the highest point total list, though they all rank highly regardless.

G - Bernie Parent

This was a choice between Parent and Ron Hextall, and while you could make arguments for Hextall (playing in the 1980’s when scoring was at an all-time high, plus having better technique that translates to today’s game), not picking Parent with all that he accomplished would have been a sin. We all know the story, obviously. Parent backstopped the Flyers during their Broad Street Bullies years, helping win two Stanley Cups. His performances were legendary, with perhaps his most noteworthy being game six of the 1974 Stanley Cup Final, where he shut out the Boston Bruins on route to the Flyers winning their first Cup.

In 486 games played, Parent put up a 0.917% save percentage and won 231 games, a record only eclipsed by Hextall.

LD - Eric Desjardins

During the 1990’s and early 2000’s, Desjardins was the offensive member of the Flyers’ 1st pair at his peak. Paired with Chris Therien (at least that’s how I remember him), Desjardins was a puck moving blue-liner who took on a lot of power-play time, and had an excellent shot. He was a team leader, and was inducted into the Flyers’ hall of fame in 2015.

In 738 Flyer games, Desjardins scored 396 points.

RD - Chris Pronger

He may not have been a Flyer for long, but Pronger was awesome when he was here. The hockey hall-of-famer was forced into retirement due to injury, but even at an advanced age, Pronger helped lead the Flyers into the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010, and similarly to Jaromir Jagr, helped the Flyers’ young players become acclimated to the NHL and taught them what it takes to succeed in the league. Pronger also played on the top power-play unit, and his slap-shot (along with his physicality and towering stature) struck fear into opponents.

In 145 games, Pronger scored 92 points.

LW - Claude Giroux

This list wouldn’t be right if I didn’t include Giroux on it, obviously. The current captain of the Flyers is perhaps the third best Flyer of all time behind only Bobby Clarke and Bernie Parent, and he continues to chase the all-time franchise records. He already holds the power-play assists mark, and he looks to beat out the legends of the past in other areas. Will he become the leader in other categories? Possibly, but regardless, Claude Giroux will still go down as one of the most legendary Flyers to have ever played in Philadelphia. Heck, I’m talking about his as if he’s retired. He’s still just 32 and is still playing!

In 889 games played, Giroux has scored 815 points, and will look to add to that total in 2020-21.

C - Bobby Clarke

What else needs to be said about Bobby Clarke? He’s a hall-of-famer, Stanley Cup Champion, leader in franchise games played and points, and the one guy you think of when you hear “Flyer Captain”. He’s beyond iconic, and Bobby Clarke the player will forever be remembered for his dedication, commitment, and consistent striving for excellence in the NHL.

1144 games played.

1210 points.

RW - Eric Lindros

If there’s anybody to slide just behind Clarke, Parent, and Giroux in terms of iconic Flyers (you could even argue ahead of Giroux), it would be the Big E himself. Along with the Legion of Doom line which he centered, Lindros was feared around the league for his drive, physicality, playmaking ability, and booming shot. Now a hall-of-famer, Lindros has also had his #88 retired by the Flyers, and as the nostalgia for his era of hockey continues to grow, Lindros legacy continues to be remembered by fans in Philadelphia, and of the NHL world wide, especially given the new partnership between the Flyers and Lindros.

In 486 games, Lindros scored a whopping 659 points, good for 1.36 points a game.

Honorable Mentions: Sean Couturier, Bill Barber, Ron Hextall, Simon Gagne, Tim Kerr, and countless others