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Alexander Tertyshny Wears Flyers’ Logo, Just Like His Late Dad

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Alexander Tertyshny
Alexander Tertyshny, at a news conference at Flyers Training Center.

The tragic death of Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Dmitri Tertyshny can never have a happy ending.

But through his son, Alexander, we can see the strength and character of the family that Dmitri left behind.

Dmitri died in a freak boating accident in British Columbia in July 1999. He was in a boat with two teammates when a wave hit the boat and sent him into the water. The boat’s propeller severed Dmitri’s carotid artery and jugular vein.

The 22-year-old, just weeks after completing his rookie NHL season, bled to death.

His wife, Polina, was in their native Russia, pregnant with Alexander. Suddenly, she was a widow at the age of 20.

“My dad, his character was very strong,” Alexander said Sunday at Flyers Development Camp, where he was an invitee.

“That’s what got him through a lot of his career. I think in training camp, when he arrived, he was pretty much ticketed for the Phantoms, but my mom was there for him, supported him. He was pretty set on his goal of playing for the Flyers.”

Hockey Career

Dmitri was drafted by the Flyers in the sixth round in 1995. He played 62 games in 1998-99 and had two goals and eight assists.

“Such a nice, cooperative kid,” Flyers coach Roger Neilson said after the accident. “We felt he was really developing as a player and would have continued to develop.”

Alexander, 23, has played Junior hockey and at American International University. In the fall, he will play hockey at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. Like his dad, he is a defenseman.

“After my final Junior year, I actually reached out to [Flyers assistant GM] Brent Flahr and I just asked him if I could come out,” Alexander said.

“I had a solid year. At the time there was Covid so it was a bit tough getting college guys to … camp. He told me it wouldn’t work that year. I kinda let it be.

“I ended up getting in touch with him a month ago or so. He got back to me. It was pretty surreal.”

Alexander is a Philly kid, born in Hahnemann Hospital six months after his dad’s death. Grew up in Conshohocken and Roxborough, he said.

“After my father passed — my mom, she was in Russia at the time,” Alexander said. “She ended up coming back here.

“She made a decision to raise me here although it was definitely a harder decision to make. She was away from her family. She just knew my dad would have wanted me to be raised here. She made that sacrifice.”

Deep Meaning

There he was on the ice Sunday at the Flyers Training Center, wearing a jersey with the Flyers’ logo — just like his dad. A man he never met.

“She was super happy,” Alexander said. “It’s been tough for her.

“We’ve both been going through our battles. On ice, it’s been tough. There have been some injuries.

“And then for her, she’s also been dealing with some health stuff but she’s continuing to push through. She’s the strongest woman I’ve ever met. This was super special for her. I’m sure she’ll come [to camp] at some point.”

Alexander appreciated the invitation to Development Camp and being around the Flyers’ coaches and players. The Flyers are the connection to his dad.

“It means a lot to me,” Alexander said.

“It means a lot to my family and my mom and it’s definitely a week I’ll cherish and it’s definitely a week I’m looking to get a lot out of.

“I want to get better as a player and I do have aspirations as a player. Gotta clean up my college career a bit but I’m confident I can do that. My father, he certainly knew how to get through adversity and I’m no different.”

Alexander said he talked to John LeClair and wanted to talk to Keith Jones. They had the assists on his dad’s first NHL goal, Alexander said.

“For sure [emotional],” Alexander said.

“Ever since I was a kid I’ve been a huge Flyers fan. I have all the cassettes of my dad’s games. I’ve watched all of those growing up. Still do from time to time.

“It’s surreal to be here and I want to make the most of it. It was tough for my mom. To afford playing ice hockey is an expensive, expensive sport and it’s only getting worse. 

“She did everything she could to support me and to make sure I could follow my dreams and try and follow in my father’s footsteps. I owe a lot to her.”

Father And Son

Father and son are both about the same size — 6-foot. Alexander is about 10 pounds heavier. Alexander is at camp to improve his skills as he continues his college career.

“Defensively, he was definitely ahead of the game [more] than I am,” Alexander said. “I like the puck on my stick. I feel very confident with the puck on my stick.

“If I took anything from my dad it’s definitely skating ability. I feel very comfortable on my edges. I feel very comfortable with the puck. Defensively, I definitely want to try to catch up to him.

“I’m looking to learn. I’m a sponge this week. I spoke to Sammy Morin a lot. Spoke to Sharpie [Patrick Sharp] a little bit, LeClair.

“It’s an opportunity you can’t replicate. Learn all this stuff and everyone’s in one spot on the ice. They can see you firsthand and tell you what they see and what they think you can do to improve on.

“I’m looking to take all that I gain this week and take it with me to Stonehill and hopefully get back on track.”

Alexander’s life is more than hockey. His family seems foremost in his thoughts — his strong mom and the dad he misses. The dad he’s learning more about while wearing the same uniform.

“If anything, I want to tackle adversity the way he did,” Alexander said. “I just want to be a person he can be proud of.”

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