By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
The Philadelphia Flyers in the 1980’s were a team with a chip on their shoulder. After dominating the NHL through much of the prior decade, their goal was to continue the success as the team headed into their second full-decade of play. While they never managed to win the big one, and it wasn’t a lack of trying. The talent that passed through the orange and black in the 80’s was still held to the Bullies mantra, yet the team was injected with new blood and plenty of scoring talent.
This is the top 5 Flyers of the 1980’s.
Number 5- Ron Hextall
While Ron Hextall’s glory days as a Flyer didn’t happen until his second stint in the 90’s, He sure put on a show of a different kind during his first tenure in Philly. Racking up a whopping 328 penalty minutes in 196 games between 1986 to 1989, Hextall still owns the NHL record for most penalty minutes by a goaltender in a single season with 113 (1988-89). It wasnt just penalty minutes that made Hexy so popular, he also managed three-consecutive 30-win seasons, including 37 wins in 1986-87.
Number 4- Dave Poulin
Undrafted due to his small stature (5’11, 190lbs) It wasnt until he caught the attention of his coach in Sweden, who just so happened to be a scout for the Flyers. Put on a line with Brian Propp and Tim Kerr, Poulin set a (now broken) franchise record for rookie scoring with 76 points. Collecting 394 points during his Flyers tenure, he earned himself an induction into the Flyers Hall of Fame in 2004. Turning into a defensive specialist as the years went on due to injuries, He was eventually traded to Boston in 1990.
Number 3- Brian Propp
Taken by the Flyers 14th overall in 1979, Propp would spend the next decade in orange and black. recording three consecutive 90-plus point seasons, and four overall. pair that with four forty goal seasons and that amounts to a dangerous offensive player. Propp has held (or currently holds) 20 separate team records, including most shorthanded goals in a season, most game winning goals in a season, and most goals in a single game. Propp has go down as one of the best left wingers in NHL history.
Number 2- Mark Howe
The son of legend Gordie, Howe had a big reputation to live up to, something he had no problem doing. Howe became one of the NHL’s best two-way defenseman during his stint in orange and black. Howe has many accolades to his name, including a Silver medal at the olympics, five all-star selections (four happening during the 80’s), and one of only five (soon to be six) Flyers to have their number retired. Notching 480 of his 742 NHL points as a Flyer, the only thing that eluded him during his Philadelphia tenure was a Stanley Cup.
Number 1- Tim Kerr
Kerr started his Flyers career in 1980, and promptly became an offensive dynamo. He became a fan favorite in Philadelphia because of his ability to fight as well as score, the only thing that kept Kerr from being a household name in the hockey world was a string of severe injuries. His career peaked in the mid-80’s after recording four back-to-back 50-plus goal seasons. Kerr sits third in goals and sixth in points overall in Flyers history.
photo credit: getinthezonesports.com