The Flyers alumni will play three games in Russia as part of an upcoming goodwill tour, and one of the opposing teams may feature…..Russia President Vladimir Putin?
Former Flyers defenseman Joe Watson, who will play in the games, confirmed to the Courier-Post that Putin "wants to play against us," but that his schedule won't be released until 24 hours prior to the game because of security reasons.
No word on if Donald Trump will play for the Orange and Black.
Last week, with rumors swirling that the 64-year-old Putin would play for Russia, former Flyers defenseman Brad Marsh, the president of the team's alumni association, told The Inquirer he had "no idea" if Putin would suit up.
Putin has a background as a hockey player and has performed well in exhibition games.
The Flyers' alumni will play games in Kazan (Feb. 16), Saint Petersburg (Feb. 18), and Moscow's Red Square (Feb. 20). The latter game will be held outdoors.
Among the former Flyers who are playing: Watson, Marsh, Terry Carkner, Jeff Chychrun, Shjon Podein, Lindsay Carson, and Al Secord. Chase Watson, the son of former Flyer Jimmy Watson, will also compete.
Several Russians who played for the Flyers may also play, including Dmitri Yushkevich, Danny Markov, and Alexei Zhamnov.
Freddy Cassivi, who played for Washington and Atlanta in the NHL and with Hershey (and others) in the AHL, will be the Flyers' goalie.
The Flyers have name recognition in Russia. They defeated the Russian Red Army, 4-1, at the Spectrum in a famous 1976 game. In that game, the Russians left the ice after Ed Van Impe delivered a hard check on Valeri Kharlamov.
Van Impe later deadpanned he didn't know what all the fuss was about because Kharlamov ran into his elbow.
The Russians returned to the ice when Flyers owner Ed Snider threatened not to pay them for their appearance.
Joe Watson is the only Flyers player who will make the trip to Russia who played in that Jan. 11, 1976 game. The Red Army had been undefeated on the tour before losing to the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Flyers.