You’re going to notice a theme this week on BSH, and it centers around jerseys. Now, while this isn’t necessarily about the jerseys themselves, it still fits the bill just fine. Here we’ll be going over the worst jersey numbers in Flyers franchise history by the players who wore them. We’ll do the best of the best tomorrow, but now it’s time to take a trip down memory lane at some classic “holy shit that’s right, they did play for the Flyers” players.
* Disclaimer: Only jersey numbers that have a minimum of five players having worn said number will count for this list.
51 — Valtteri Filppula, Petr Straka, Jamie Fritsch, Randy Jones, Patrick Sharp
Whew boy we’re starting off with a doozy. Filppula obviously is the one that sticks out the most here due to recency bias, and the fact he was one of the only mid-season moves Ron Hextall made in an attempt to “better” the team. Filppula scored 41 points in 101 regular season games for the orange and black, and was one of the players relied upon too heavily by Dave Hakstol.
The others either didn’t play here long, or weren’t very good while they were here. Straka played three games for the team and while he scored two points in that showing, never saw the NHL again, Fritsch played just one, and the combo of Jones/Sharp weren’t very good in their time here. Sharp of course went on to be a key cog in the Blackhawks dynasty, and was clearly an example of a player the Flyers didn’t value properly.
55 — Chris Gratton, Ulf Samuelsson, Pavel Brendl, Danny Markov, Ben Eager, Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, Nick Schultz, Samuel Morin
Some peak late 90’s early 2000’s Flyers depth guys on this list here. Chris Gratton’s Flyers career is one of the weirdest ones you can find, and because there’s not nearly enough time to explain it here, there was a great feature on it back in 2012 you can find here. Samuelsson and Brendl had brief careers in Philly, and while Danny Markov is one of the true warriors from that great 2004 team, and some of the disdain for Nick Schultz more so comes from how the coach used him.
Eager had minimal success here other than leading the league in penalty minutes in 2006-07, before of course also winning a cup with Chicago in 2010, because of course he did. Tollefsen believe it or not was on the 2010 team, but only played 19 games. He did however bring back a key member to the playoff run in Ville Leino, who teamed up with Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere for one of the better line combinations in recent memory.
47 — Willie Huber, Shaun Sabol, Brad Jones, Kirby Law, Luca Sbisa, Eric Wellwood, Andrew MacDonald
I mean ... do I even need to explain this one? If Luca Sbisa and Andrew MacDonald wear the same jersey number in your franchise’s history, it’s going on this damn list. Huber was actually a pretty decent player before injuries and a contract holdout that lead to retirement ended his career, but Sabol, Jones, Law, and sadly Wellwood just never played a lot. Wellwood showed some promise in 2011-12, but a horrific achilles tendon injury ended his career far too soon. Would he ever have been a legit NHL player? Who knows, but it sucks we never got to find out, the kid could fly.
36 — Reid Bailey, Bobby Clarke, Greg Adams, Tom Gorence, Len Hachborn, Carl Mokosak, Ray Allison. Al Hill, Kevin McCarthy. Gordie Roberts, Normand Lacombe, Darren Rumble, Wes Walz, Andre Faust, Steve Washburn, Dennis Seidenberg, Pat Kavanagh, Matt Ellison, Jesse Boulerice, Darroll Powe, Zac Rinaldo, Colin McDonald
Not gonna lie, had no idea Bobby Clarke ever wore another number besides 16, but since he only wore it for one season I decided we still needed to include this number because oh boy, the names here. I mean my god, Jesse Boulerice and Zac Rinaldo make this number a must have on this list. We all know the meme Rinaldo became in Philly by now, and although Boulerice’s time was short here, he did receive the fourth longest suspension for an on-ice incident in NHL history while he was here, for his infamous cross check to the face of Ryan Kesler.
Otherwise, there’s just a whole lot of guy’s on this list. 22 players have worn the number 36 for the Flyers and there’s not a lot of them that leave a lasting impression. Seidenberg would go on to have a solid career but with other teams than Philly, and while Darroll Powe was fun to watch and I think a low-key fan favorite he wasn’t here very long.
Dishonorable mentions: 23, 34, 39, 42, 43
Do yourself a favor and check out hockey-ref’s page of Flyers jersey number history, it’s a wild ride for some of these numbers.