By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
Sometimes the second time is the charm, whether their first stint was less than impressive, or they were brought back because they meant so much to the franchise the first time, Players who have a second run in the same franchise always feel special.
This week I’ll rank the top 5 Flyers reunited with the team.
Number 5- Mikael Renberg
One third of the feared Legion of doom line, his first stint in Philly lasted four years. Renberg was traded to Tampa Bay after the Flyers were swept by the Red Wings in the 1997 Stanley Cup Final to try to upgrade the roster. Less than two years later, he was brought back to Philadelphia in another trade with the Bolts While he didn’t have the same success he found with the Legion of Doom, he still managed to record 55 points in 108 games.
Number 4- Simon Gagne
Gagne was brought back during the 2012-13 season to help restore an injury decimated roster. Only playing 27 games and registering 11 points during his second tenure, Gagne was no longer the man who tore it up with Peter Forsberg almost a decade earlier, but it was great to see a fan favorite return to Philadelphia. Gagne is still 10th all-time in Flyers games played and 9th all-time in Flyers goals.
Number 3- Ron Hextall
Hextall was traded away from Philadelphia as part of the blockbuster deal for Eric Lindros. He spent one season with the Nordiques and one with the Islanders before returning to Philly for the 1994-95 season. Hextall came back vastly improved and more controlled than when he was traded two years prior. His penalty minutes were cut almost 80% and his stat line was also improved. Spending five years with the Flyers in his second go-around, he managed to post a sub-three GAA for all five seasons, something he failed to do during any season prior in his career.
Number 2- Bernie Parent
Taken by the Flyers in the original expansion draft, Parent played four years as a Flyer before he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs ,where he became a much more technically proficient goalie. He was eventually traded back to Philly in 1973, where he won the Stanley Cup twice. Parent could have done even more with the Flyers, but an eye injury ended his career at only 34 years of age in 1979.
Number 1- Mark Recchi
Mark Recchi’s two best seasons of his career happened during his first tenure as a Flyer in 1993-94 and 1994-95. Returning to Philadelphia in 1998 and playing another six seasons with the Flyers. Recording 365 points in 402 games during his second tenure and he helped the Flyers reach the Eastern Conference Finals in 2000 and 2004. Four of his seven All-Star appearances happened as a Flyer, albeit two during his first run. Recchi was a special player, having a career that spans 23 years, 1652 NHL games, 1533 NHL points (10 years, 602 games, 627 points as a Flyer) he’ll go down in history as one of the most underrated Flyers of all-time.
Photo credit- NHL.com