Saturday night against Carolina, the Flyers dressed Kimmo Timonen, Luke Schenn, Braydon Coburn, Nicklas Grossmann, Kurtis Foster, and Bruno Gervais as their defense.
All six shared one thing in common -- not a single one of them were drafted by the Flyers.
In fact, the Flyers have a consistent issue with things like that. Since the lost season of 2004-05, the Flyers have not gotten more than 150 games played from a defensemen they drafted and only one home grown defensemen has played more than 200 games in a Flyers uniform since that time, Randy Jones, an undrafted defender.
(Pictured: Braydon Coburn and Kimmo Timonen. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Mark Howe played ten years for the Philadelphia Flyers (1982-1992), and is arguably the franchise's best defensemen. He played all of his home games as a Flyer inside the confines of the Spectrum, which no longer stands.
Tonight the Flyers (36-21-7) will retire his number 2 during a pregame ceremony before they take on another former team of his, the Detroit Red Wings (43-20-3).
There has always been a special significance to the Philadelphia Flyers cup-winning teams. Obviously, any team that wins the Stanley Cup will be immortalized by the team's fans and the organization itself. But, the 'Broad Street Bullies' were a team that symbolized the blue collar work ethic of Philadelphia.
They were rude and crude and successful. They worked hard, they played hard. They were scrappy and talented, physical and fantastic.
When many think of the team who paved the way for the successes of the organization, one face comes to mind.
The face of Robert Earle Clarke and the gap-toothed grin that was sprawled on it.
As the Winter Classic alumni game grows nearer, fans in Philadelphia anxiously await.
Bobby Clarke and Eric Lindros will play on the same ice. Bernie Parent will be between the pipes. Mark Howe will skate on the blue line.
The excitement to see all the greats in orange and black has even overshadowed the actual game for some.
One of the participants feels the same way.
Brian Propp, who was drafted by the Flyers in 1979 and played 790 games for Philadelphia over 10 years, can’t wait for puck to drop.
“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Propp said. “You look at the players who are going to be involved, it’s a tremendous amount of great hockey players. I think that the competition will get a little intense; I’m looking forward to it.”
When the announcement of the alumni game was made, there were plenty of questions about who would be included on the team. One name that was a shoe-in from the start was Propp’s.