Via @DanTheFlyeraFan on Twitter
After much criticism for my list of the top five worst trades last week, why not stir the pot again! On a much happier note, this time I’m going to look at the best trades in Flyers history. Right off the bat I will say this list does not contain a single Hextall trade, nor the Carter/Richards deals. As with the worst trades, we can all recall the most recent or publicized moves, but I will look at the lesser known trades that made the Flyers better.
This week I will rank the top 5 best trades in Flyers history.
*Flyers acquired – traded away*
Number 5- 2002 1st round pick (Joni Pitkanen) FOR Ruslan Fedotenko, 2002 2nd round pick (Tobias Stephen), & 2002 2nd round pick (Dan Spang) 6/21/02
You don’t know who those picks are? Me neither. Fedotenko racked up 62 points over two seasons with the Flyers, but the 2001-02 season was his worst with only 26 points, a low number he wouldn’t stoop to again until 2010-11. Joni Pitkanen was a valuable asset on the blueline for the three years he was a Flyer. He’s still one of the better under-the-radar Flyers of all time and they managed to steal him with the trade.
Number 4- Steve Mason FOR Michael Leighton & 2015 3rd round pick (Martins Dzierkals) 4/3/13
That 3rd rounder turned into Martins Dzierkals. A relative unknown, essentially the trade was Mason for Leighton. Steve Mason quickly established himself as the top dog in Philly, ending the reign of Ilya Bryzgalov. He is third all-time in wins for the franchise. He’s no Bobrovsky, but he has been great for the Flyers. Whether or not he returns, he has left his mark on this team. He will be a tough act to follow for whoever the Flyers starting goalie is for the 2017-18 season.
Number 3- Michal Handzus and Robert Esche FOR Brian Boucher & 2002 3rd round pick (Joe Callahan) 6/12/02
Handzus is probably one of the most underrated Flyers in history. He racked up 54 goals and 146 points in his 3-year tenure with the team. Robert Esche led the Flyers to the conference finals in 2004. While his numbers were never that impressive, he was the clear starter for three-and-a-half years in Philadelphia. This was Boucher’s first of three stints with the Flyers organization and his first games as a pro. It didn’t go very well, posting sub-.900 save percentages in two seasons as well as a 3.27 GAA. Callahan, an AHLer at best, played in only 46 NHL games before retiring in 2012.
Number 2- 2012 3rd round pick (Shayne Gostisbehere) FOR Kris Versteeg. 6/1/11
It was a close call, but this ultimately made the number two spot. Versteeg only played 27 games for the Flyers accumulating 11 points in that span. He was moved for a 3rd round pick that the Flyers eventually used to pick Gostisbehere. Ghost Bear has racked up 85 points in 142 NHL games in his young career, with many more to come. Even in the middle of a Sophomore slump and in Dave Hakstol’s dog house, it’s still clear that he will be a force on the Flyers blueline for years to come.
Number 1- Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell FOR 2007 1st round pick (Jonathan Blum) 6/18/07
Obviously the best trade in Flyers history. Timonen and Hartnell were pillars in Philadelphia for almost a decade, recording a combined 596 points. While Blum has played only 110 NHL games, and hasn’t seen NHL minutes since 2014-15. Even though both of their tenures in orange and black have ended, both Hartnell and Timonen are fondly remembered for their on ice play and their impact on the community.
Eric Desjardins, Gilbert Dionne & John Leclair FOR Mark Recchi & 1995 3rd Rounder (Martin Hohenberger) 2/9/95
Philadelphia’s 1998 (Simon Gagne),1999 (Maxime Ouellet),2000 (Justin Williams), 2001 1st Rounder (Tim Gleason) FOR Mikael Renberg & Karl Dykhuis 8/20/97
Mikael Renberg & Daymond Langkow FOR Chris Gratton & Mike Sillinger 12/12/98
photo cred- religionduhockey.wordpress.com