By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
The 1990’s were not kind to the Flyers. The Bullies era was coming to an end, and the league was changing around them. Losing more games than they were winning, the Flyers started off the 90’s missing the playoffs for five straight years. However, they ended the decade strong with two Conference Finals and one Stanley Cup Final appearance, losing to the Red Wings in 1997.
Number 5- Eric Desjardins
Desjardins is arguably one of the most underrated Flyers in history. Injuries kept him from ever becoming a bona-fide star, but he was a key fixture on the Flyers blueline for over a decade, starting in the mid 90’s. Desjardins offense peaked in 1999 with a 14 goal, 55 point season, one of two fifty-point seasons as a Flyer. He won the Barry Ashbee Trophy for the team’s best defenseman six straight years, seven times overall. Five of these were in the 90’s. Desjardins is second in defenseman points (396) in Flyers history behind Mark Howe (480)
Number 4- Mark Recchi
The timeless Mark Recchi’s career spanned over two decades, including 1,652 games (fifth most in league history). He had two separate stints for the Flyers, one in the early 90’s and again in the early 2000’s. For the purposes of this list, only his stint in the 90’s will be looked at. Recchi’s first full season as a Flyer was 1992-93, where his “crazy eights” line with Eric Lindros and Brent Fedyk dominated the NHL. Recchi amassed 53 goals and 123 points during that season, which is still the franchise’s best single-season point total. Recchi only played two full seasons during his first run in Philly, but he finished with 262 points in only 200 games.
Number 3- Rod Brind’Amour
Brind’Amour spent all of the 90’s with the Flyers and became a double threat as an elite scorer and one of the best shutdown centers in the NHL. During that stretch he earned his ironman streak of 484 games, a Flyers franchise record. Brind’Amour still has his place in Flyers franchise history books, as he sits tenth in goals (235), eighth in assists (366), and ninth in points (601).
Number 2- John LeClair
Coming to Philadelphia along with Desjardins in a trade with Montreal, he made an impact no one could have predicted. Joining forces with Eric Lindros and Mikeal Renberg in 1995, he became one of the NHL’s top goal scorers. LeClair became the second Flyer in history to record three straight 50 goal seasons, followed by two consecutive 40 goal seasons. LeClair recorded three 90 point seasons in the 90’s, leading to two Bobby Clarke Trophies as the teams MVP.
Number 1- Eric Lindros
While Lindros’ early career didn’t start off perfectly with the Nordiques, The Flyers acquired him in a blockbuster trade and never looked back. Big E immeditaly made an impact with his size and scoring ability. In Spetember of 1994, Eric Lindros was put on a line with the newly acquired John Leclair and Mikeal Renberg and formed the “Leigon of Doom” line that took the NHL by storm. Recording four 40 goal seasons, two 90 point seasons, and one 100 point season, Lindros finished his Flyers career in early 2000. He finished his Flyers stint eighth all-time in Flyers history in goals (290), sixth in assists (369) and fifth in points (659). Lindros lives on fondly in Flyers lure, as he is set to have is number 88 retired in early 2018. He will be the sixth Flyer to have that honor.
Photo credit: nbcsports.com