By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
Almost 600 players have played for the Flyers in their 50 years of existence. Some carved out their legacy as long-standing members, some only played one game, and some flew so low under the radar they disappeared from memory all together.
Here are the top 5 players you forgot were Flyers.
Number 5- Danny Markov
If you’re up on your terrible trades in Flyers history, the name Danny Markov probably sends shivers up you spine. For those not in the know, Markov was acquired in early 2004 from the Hurricanes in exchange for young fledgling forward Justin Williams. Williams struggled with injuries early in his career, and played through three different coaches during his Flyers tenure. Markov had one memorable game as a Flyer, scoring the 10,000th goal in team history on March 5, 2004. Due to the installation of the salary cap, the Flyers were forced to trade him to the Predators after playing only 34 games in Philadelphia.
Number 4- Claude Lapointe
A fan favorite wherever he played, Lapointe is best known for his time as an Islander. Lapointe was heralded for his skating ability, hockey IQ, and intensity, which made him well-respected during his NHL career. The Flyers acquired Lapointe from the Islanders at the 2003 trade deadline, and he went on to play one more season (56 games) as a Flyer before retiring from the NHL in 2004.
Number 3- Jussi Timonen
Everybody loves and remembers his older brother Kimmo, but do you remember Jussi? Signed by the Flyers in May of 2006, Timonen spent most of his three years in the Flyers organization with the Phantoms. He was called up in November of 2006 and played 14 games as a Flyer before being sent back to the Phantoms. He was later traded to the Dallas Stars.
Number 2- P.J. Stock
Now known as part of the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast team, Stock was once a Flyer. Stock was an undrafted free agent before being signed by the Rangers, where he bounced back and forth between the NHL and AHL. He signed with the Canadiens for the 2000-2001 season, but was later traded to the Flyers after just 20 games in Montreal. He played nine games with the Phantoms before playing the last 31 games of the season with the Flyers. Stock was not re-signed by Philly and he ended up in Boston before an eye injury ended his playing career.
Number 1- Wes Walz
Known for his work ethic during his later career with Minnesota, Walz’s early career didn’t mirror his later success. Drafted 57th overall by the Bruins in 1989, he struggled to crack the NHL roster. Even though he was an above-average AHLer, he bounced around the league early in his career. Landing in Philadelphia, he played two games during the 1991-92 season, scoring one goal. Walz left North America to refine his game in Switzerland before returning to the NHL in 2000, where he finished his career in Minnesota.
Kyle Calder– Calder showed a lot of early potential in Chicago, so it made sense that the Flyers brought him in. The Flyers acquired him just two days after a salary arbitration hearing with the Blackhawks. He played most of the season with the Flyers (59 games) before being traded back to Chicago at the trade deadline, who immediately traded him to Detroit.
Kurtis Foster– Foster was one of the 13 defenseman to suit up for the Flyers during the 2012-13 NHL season thanks to an insane amount of injuries. He was signed as a free agent in January, playing 23 games before he as well fell to injury for the rest of the season.
Alexandre Daigle– I’m sure many people remember Daigle thanks to his lofty expectations and the subsequent failure to live up to them. During that era, if there was a player that had even a small chance of breaking out, the Flyers would track him down. After a disappointing four years in Ottawa, he was traded to the Flyers for Vaclav Prospal and Pat Falloon. He played parts of two seasons in Philly (68 games) scoring 19 points before being shipped to Edmonton.
Ossi Vaananen– Vaananen played his early career in Phoenix and Colorado. The installment of the salary cap forced him out of Colorado, and he landed back in Sweden for the 2007-08 season. He returned to the NHL in 2008-09 season, signing a one-year contract with the Flyers. His Flyers tenure was cut short after just 46 games. Vaananen was placed on waivers and claimed by the Canucks to make room for the returning Danny Briere.
photo credit: gamewornauctions.com