When the 18-member Hockey Hall of Fame committee meets and casts its votes in a virtual conference call Wednesday, Jarome Iginla appears to be a lock to be chosen.
But what former Flyers deserve strong consideration?
There are several intriguing candidates, including Rod Brind’Amour, one of the best two-way players in franchise history.
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Brind’Amour, now the Carolina head coach, was the captain of the Hurricanes’ 2006 Stanley Cup championship team. A fitness freak who was nicknamed Rod the Bod, he had a sensational career (452 goals, 1,184 points in 1,484 career games) and won two Selke Trophies as the NHL’s top defensive forward.
On the night Brind’Amour’s No. 17 was retired in Carolina, all the Flyers’ players wore No. 17 in warmups.
Brind’Amour had earned the respect.
It’s puzzling that a player with Brind’Amour’s credentials -- he was the best defensive forward of his generation, one of the NHL’s great leaders, and the all-time league leader in face-off percentage since those stats were kept -- is not already in the Hall.
There are 37 players who had more than 1,100 career points and won a Cup, according to Carolina’s analytics department. Thirty-five are in the Hall of Fame. Brind’Amour and Vincent Damphousse are the exceptions.
Brind’Amour spent parts of 10 years with Carolina, nine with the Flyers, and two with St. Louis. He had more goals (235) and points (601) in his career with the Flyers than any of his other teams. He is in the Flyers’ Hall of Fame and deserves to be added to the real Hall in Toronto.
Iginla (625 goals, 1,300 points) is a shoo-in, while Marian Hossa, Alex Mogilny, and Daniel Alfredsson are strong Hall candidates.
Jeremy Roenick (513 goals, 1,216 points), a nine-time All-Star, is another ex-Flyer with terrific credentials. Former Flyer Vinny Lecavalier, who starred with Tampa Bay in a career that produced 421 goals and 949 points, will probably fall short. Former Flyer Brian Propp, a five-time All Star who had 425 goals and 1,004 points in 1,016 games, is a darkhorse candidate.
Two former Flyers coaches -- Ken Hitchcock and Mike Keenan -- deserve consideration in the builder category.
From here, Hitchcock deserves to be in the Hall. He won a Cup with Dallas and his 849 career wins are third in NHL history.
Keenan had 672 wins (12th in history) and he guided the New York Rangers to the 1994 Cup, ending their 54-year drought.
The 2020 selections will be announced Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. on the NHL Network.
The Flyers are attempting to affect social change in the city.
They did not give office employees the day off Friday for Juneteenth -- the blending of the words June and nineteenth -- because Comcast only celebrates national holidays, and the holiday schedule was already made up before the calendar year started, according to a spokeswoman for the organization.
But the people who work for the Flyers used Friday to “learn, reflect, and celebrate,” said Sarah Schwab, the Flyers’ senior director of communications. “The staff has been having sessions about diversity inclusion and wants to start using our platforms more to affect some social change.”
Each year, June 19th commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. There is a movement to make it a national holiday.
From sessions with staff members, Schwab said, the Flyers employees have determined they want “more opportunities to volunteer their time and connect with under-served communities.” She said the Flyers have partnered with the city to give downtown children a safe place to play and supply nutritional meals throughout the summer.
The Flyers used their social platform Friday “purely to send messages on equality and inclusion,” Schwab said.
NHL teams will play one or two exhibitions -- the exact number hasn’t been decided -- as a tuneup before the season restarts, said Bill Daly, the league’s deputy commissioner, on Monday.
From the Flyers’ perspective, that will give their players -- especially goalies Carter Hart and Brian Elliott -- a chance to knock off some of the rust. Monday was Day 102 since the regular season was suspended and eventually declared finished.
July 10: If the NHL and the players’ association iron out some safety and health issues, the Flyers’ training camp will open at the Skate Zone in Voorhees.
Question: With players seemingly being healthy from late-season injuries, who do you think stays in/out of the lineup in the bottom six?
Submitted by @healedbyhockey via Twitter
Answer: Thanks for the great question, Zach. When the season was paused March 12, the Flyers’ bottom six looked like this: Derek Grant centering Scott Laughton and Tyler Pitlick on the third line, and Nate Thompson centering Michael Raffl and Nic Aube-Kubel on the fourth line. Rookie Joel Farabee was the second-line left winger.
Now left winger James van Riemsdyk, who had been sidelined by a broken finger, has to fit into the equation.
My guess is that van Riemsdyk goes to the third line and that Laughton moves up to the second line. Both players were in those spots for a significant amount of time during the Flyers’ nine-game winning streak. Hence, they have chemistry on those lines.
In that scenario, the fourth line would remain intact, and Farabee would come out of the lineup.
Coach Alain Vigneault, who has pushed all the right buttons this season, has lots of options. I just believe he will go with a more experienced lineup for the tournament.
If Vigneault decides Farabee, who has had a solid first season, deserves to stay as the 2LW, he could shift Laughton to the fourth-line center spot and sit Thompson, who is a strong faceoff guy and has good size.
But, again, I believe they acquired Thompson for his experience and that he played well in his limited time here, so I’m guessing he stays in the lineup and Farabee will be the odd man out -- at least for the start of the tournament.