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Flyers Who Looked (Really) Bad in Another Team’s Uniform

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Eric Lindros
Eric Lindros, New York Rangers (AP Photo)

Philadelphia Flyers fans are connected to their team and players. There is a bond there. They’re your players wearing your favorite team’s sweater.

Maybe that’s why it’s so unsettling to see your favorite players on another team after a trade or a free agency acquisition. It was just wrong to see Rick MacLeish — a huge fan favorite who scored the goal that gave the Flyers their first Stanley Cup — in a Hartford Whalers jersey.

MacLeish played 34 games for the Whale in 1981, after 11 seasons in Philadelphia.

How about Eric Lindros in a Rangers’ jersey?

But it happens. It’s just business. The MacLeish deal in 1981 brought back a package that eventually included 1982 first-round pick Ron Sutter.

We’ve put together the top five Flyers who looked (really) bad in another team’s uniform, plus some equally gross honorable mentions.

 5. Rick Tocchet, Penguins

If you did a list of 10 players who were ultimate Flyers, Tocchet is probably on it.

He’s still the franchise leader in penalty minutes (1,827). But he also was scored goals (232) and was a leader to his equally young teammates in the mid-80s. He went to two Stanley Cup finals, losing both times to the Oilers. He played 11 seasons in Philadelphia, but won a Cup with, ahem, the Penguins in 1992.

Tocchet is now the Vancouver Canucks coach. No uniform required for that job.

4. Bernie Parent, Maple Leafs

Ber-nie, Ber-nie, Ber-nie was a Flyer, then a Maple Leaf, then won two Cups with the Flyers. Between Toronto and Philadelphia, he played the 1972-73 season with the Philadelphia Blazers of the World Hockey Association — the season before he won the Stanley Cup.

Seeing Parent wearing the blue and white of the Maple Leafs looks completely out of place. Although Toronto fans probably feel the same way about seeing the Hockey Hall of Famer in orange and black.

3. Simon Gagne, Lightning

Gagne played 11 seasons with the Flyers after they drafted him 22nd overall. He scored 264 goals in 691 games, including the series-winner in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals against the Bruins. If ever a guy seemed like a Flyer for life, it was Gagne.

2. Claude Giroux, Panthers

For a generation of Flyers fans, Giroux was their superstar. He played 1,000 games with the Flyers, scoring 291 goals and 609 assists (900 points). He was traded to the Panthers, who were trying to make a playoff run. He’s now with Ottawa.

1. Eric Lindros, Rangers

The “Big E” was going to be the next great player when he joined the Flyers in 1992. He uniquely changed the game with his combination of power, scoring and a willingness to flatten opponents. Lindros never won the Stanley Cup for which he appeared destined. The Flyers made the Cup finals in 1997, when they were swept by the Red Wings.

Lindros was the imposing center on the Legion of Doom line that terrorized opponents in the 1990s. Lindros played 486 games in Philadelphia and scored 290 goals and 369 assists (659 points). His Flyers tenure ended with a trade to the Rangers after a nasty squabble with team management.

Over time, Lindros and the Flyers patched things up and Eric is back in good graces with the Flyers’ family. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2016. 

Honorable Mentions

  • Dave Schultz, Kings: The “Hammer” in Tinseltown? Come on, man.
  • Jeff Carter, Blue Jackets: Part of the Carter-Mike Richards purge in 2011.
  • Ed Van Impe, Penguins: Ultimate tough guy, two Cups, destroyer of the Soviet Red Army in 1976 … in Pittsburgh?
  • Bob Kelly, Capitals: The “Hound” scored the Cup-winning goal in the Flyers’ second Stanley Cup.
  • Brad McCrimmon, Flames: The “Beast” was one of the best defenders to ever skate for the Flyers.
  • Peter Zezel, Blues: Terrific player, fan favorite, shuffled off to St. Louis.
  • Brian Propp, Bruins: All of those goals, all of the guffaws and he went to a hated rival.
  • Dave Poulin, Bruins: A Flyers captain and one of the franchise’s great leaders … in Boston. Ugh.
  • Mikael Renberg, Lightning: Charter member of the Legion of Doom shipped off to Tampa Bay.
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