The Philadelphia Flyers didn’t make the playoffs this year, but there are plenty of former Flyers players vying for the Stanley Cup.
Only a few players have recent ties, with a handful of others going back to the early 2010s.
The 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs got underway this weekend with three straight overtime games and another back-and-forth affair decided in the final minutes. Playoff hockey is back.
Here is your guide to former Flyers in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs
The Penguins have two players at opposite ends of the spectrum. Jeff Carter has been tremendous for Pittsburgh since being acquired at the trade deadline, while Mark Friedman has been an oft-injured depth defenseman after being claimed on waivers.
Carter had 11 points (nine goals, two assists) in 14 regular-season games, averaging 16:55 of ice time per game.
In the Penguins’ Game 1 overtime loss on Sunday afternoon, Carter had an assist on the game-tying goal in the third period and four shots on goal in 19:56 of ice time.
Of course, the Penguins also have Ron Hextall at the helm. Hextall was named general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 9th.
Michael Raffl is the lone member of the 2020-21 Flyers that will play significant minutes in the playoffs. Raffl was traded to the Washington Capitals for a fifth-round pick at the trade deadline.
Raffl spent his entire NHL career with the Flyers up until the trade. He played in 504 games as a Flyer, including 34 this season.
Raffl played in 10 regular-season games with the Capitals, recording three points in 15:13 of ice time per game. In the Capitals’ Game 1 win on Saturday night, Raffl had six hits, two shots on goal, and a penalty in 16:14 of ice time (1:16 on the penalty kill).
Michael Raffl was well-liked on and off the ice in Philadelphia. It’s easy to root for a guy like him, but it’s not so easy to cheer on the Capitals.
New York Islanders
Braydon Coburn, remember him? Coburn was a mainstay on the Flyers’ blueline for the better part of a decade. He played parts of nine seasons in Philadelphia, racking up 576 games played before being traded at the 2015 deadline.
Coburn won the Stanley Cup last season as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, playing three games on their run. He’ll be an extra defenseman for the Islanders in the playoffs after playing just three regular-season games with the Isles.
The Flyers acquired Petr Mrazek in 2018 with hopes that he’d go on a run similar to what he’s doing this season in Carolina. In fact, Mrazek has been a pretty good goalie since joining the Hurricanes for the 2018-19 season.
Mrazek went 6-6-3 with a .891 save percentage in 17 games (15 starts) for the Flyers. Now, in Carolina, Mrazek has gone 50-32-8 with a .911 SV% over the past three seasons. This year, he is 6-2-3 with a .923 SV%.
The Hurricanes have two really good goalies in Mrazek and Alex Nedeljkovic. Nedeljkovic went 15-5-3 with a .932 SV% and 1.90 GAA this season.
Radko Gudas was a serviceable defenseman in his four seasons with the Flyers before being traded for Matt Niskanen. Gudas spent one season in Washington before hitting free agency last summer (er, fall).
Gudas would’ve been a solid pickup for the Flyers. He averaged 17:34 of ice time per game in 54 contests with the Panthers this season.
Sergei Bobrovsky has already haunted Flyers fans with two Vezina Trophy wins with the Blue Jackets. He signed a big contract with the Panthers before last season and hasn’t quite lived up to it.
This season, Bobrovsky is 19-8-2 with a .906 SV% and 2.91 GAA.
Gudas had 11 hits in 19:49 and Bobrovsky made 35 saves on 40 shots in a wild Game 1 loss to the Lightning.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Luke Schenn is still hanging around with the Lightning after winning the Stanley Cup last season. He played in 38 regular-season games, but only averaged 10:45 of ice time per contest.
Schenn was pretty much a bust in Philadelphia after being traded for James van Riemsdyk. He played three-plus seasons with the Flyers before being traded to the Los Angeles Kings.
Schenn did not play in Game 1.
The Flyers traded Nick Cousins to the Coyotes after the 2016-17 season. He recorded 27 points in 107 games with the Flyers.
This is Cousins’ first year in Nashville. He had 18 points while averaging 13:22 of ice time in 52 regular-season games.
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare is on his third NHL team after breaking into the league as a 29-year-old rookie in 2014. Bellemare held his own as a fourth-line center with the Flyers as a part of an unbreakable duo with Chris VandeVelde.
Bellemare was better than his Flyers linemates, however, and he’s shown that in recent seasons. The Vegas Golden Knights surprisingly took Bellemare from the Flyers in the expansion draft. He was a solid depth piece for the Golden Knights on their run to the Stanley Cup Final.
Bellemare is now in his second season with the Colorado Avalanche. He averaged 11:20 of ice time per game in 53 regular-season contests. He scored nine goals, tying a career-high set last season.
The Avalanche are the odds-on favorite to win the Stanley Cup and Bellemare is another guy that’s easy to root for.
Ryan Hartman and Cam Talbot are two players that, in hindsight, perhaps the Flyers should’ve kept.
Hartman played 19 games with the Flyers after being acquired in the Wayne Simmonds trade. Hartman fit in with the Flyers’ gritty style of play as a bottom-six forward but was flipped for Tyler Pitlick in the 2017 offseason.
This season –– his second in Minnesota ––, Hartman had 22 points in 51 games with the Wild. He saw an increased role, playing both center and wing, and averaged 15:04 of ice time per game.
Talbot only played in four games with the Flyers after they flipped Anthony Stolarz for him. Talbot went 1-2-0 in three starts with a .881 SV% and 3.70 GAA.
Talbot was impressive last season in Calgary (12-10-1, .929 SV%) and continued that this year in Minnesota (19-8-5, .915 SV%).
In Minnesota’s Game 1 overtime win, Hartman had five shots on goal and two hits in 17:33, including 1:18 on the power play and 47 seconds on the penalty kill. Talbot stopped all 42 shots he faced from the Vegas Golden Knights
St. Louis Blues
Brayden Schenn has already won one Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues and is looking for another.
Schenn was shipped out at the 2017 draft after the Flyers selected Nolan Patrick. Patrick hasn’t lived up to expectations and could ask for a trade this summer.
However, the Flyers drafted Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee with the picks acquired in the trade. Farabee reached the 20-goal mark in the season finale and was the Flyers’ most-improved player this season. In fact, he was the lone young player to actually take a step forward this year.
Schenn has settled in nicely in St. Louis. This season, he had 36 points and averaged 19:09 of ice time in 56 games.
Toronto Maple Leafs
This is the bandwagon that most Flyers fans might jump onto, simply for Wayne Simmonds.
Simmonds was –– and is –– a fan favorite in Philadelphia. It was hard for the organization to trade him at the 2019 deadline, but it had to be done.
Simmonds finished out the 2018-19 season in Nashville, then signed with the Devils for the 2019-20 season. He was traded again at the deadline, this time to Buffalo.
The Maple Leafs signed Simmonds in the offseason and he’s provided his typical presence for Toronto. Simmonds only had nine points in 38 games, but he brings a lot of intangibles.
Seeing Wayne Simmonds lift the Stanley Cup would make a lot of Flyers fans happy.
Yes, that Nate Thompson.
Thompson was a lackluster deadline addition for the Flyers last year. He had one point in seven regular-season games and one point in 16 postseason games.
This season, Thompson recorded five points and averaged 9:41 of ice time in 44 games with the Jets.
Thompson isn’t someone that Flyers fans remember fondly and shouldn’t make a significant impact in the playoffs.
Last, and possibly least, is Erik Gustafsson.
Gustafsson shouldn’t see much playing time for the Canadiens, but anything is possible. He played in 24 games with the Flyers before being banished to the press box and ultimately traded for a seventh-round pick.
Gustafsson recorded two points in five games with the Canadiens.
Photo: Heather Barry Images