Former Flyers center Rod Brind'Amour spoke the way he played - from the heart.
Inducted into the Flyers' Hall of Fame before Monday's game against visiting Carolina, Brind'Amour thanked former teammates, management, and fans during an emotional 15-minute acceptance speech at the Wells Fargo Center.
"It's been almost 16 years since I put on a Flyers jersey and I didn't know if you would remember me," he said after being greeted with a long standing ovation. ". . . But I shouldn't be surprised because this is Philadelphia, and Flyers fans never forget."
Brind'Amour called Ed Snider "one of the greatest owners in sports" and thanked his first coach, Paul Holmgren, "for instilling in me what was expected as a Flyer."
Known for his fanatical workout habits, Brind'Amour also thanked his former teammate, Ron Hextall, "for being the most competitive player I ever played with," and former general manager Bob Clarke "for simply setting the bar" as a player "for every Flyer who came after him."
The Flyers wore No. 17 patches on their jerseys in tribute to Brind'Amour.
In a news conference earlier in the day, Brind'Amour, 45, now a Carolina assistant, thanked the fans for pushing him.
"You never wanted to get on the wrong side" of them, said Brind'Amour, who had 601 points in 633 games during parts of nine seasons with the Flyers. "If you're on the good side . . . of the Philadelphia fan in general, you're going to be fine. But the minute you do something that the crowd doesn't like, that's not where you want to be. I just made sure in my mind that I did it right. That's the way I've always kind of been, but I think it fit well in this market."
Brind'Amour became the 24th member of the Flyers' Hall of Fame. Jimmy Watson will be No. 25 when he is inducted before the Feb. 29 game against Calgary and South Jersey's Johnny Gaudreau.
Right winger Jake Voracek, who entered the night with one goal in 20 games, was dropped from the top line to the No. 3 unit. Voracek was on a line with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Chris VandeVelde.
The top line had Claude Giroux centering Michael Raffl and Brayden Schenn for the first time this season. The Flyers began Monday last in the league, averaging 1.7 goals per game.