Dazzlers and Duds: Laperriere v. Roenick and Carle v. Niittymaki

How can I not use this image whenever possible?

Several weeks back, we asked our beloved Twitter followers who were their most loved and hated Flyers of the past decade. It led to some great names and some great discussion. Well it got us thinking. In the doldrums that is August in the hockey world — not to mention the impending doom of a lockout —  we decided to put together a tournament; poll style!

We’ve compiled the responses for both the Loved and Hated categories, and seeded them according to our whims and wishes. What you see before you is the result of our efforts. While we may not necessarily agree with some of the nominations, the people have spoken!

Over three weeks, beginning on Monday September 3, we will determine who is the most loved and the most hated Flyer of the past decade.

Each weekday we will post a new poll, containing one match-up for each bracket, both the Loved and the Hated. That poll will remain open until midnight of the same day — or, frankly, whenever we decide to tally the votes — where we will note the winners, and announce them the following day, along with the next day’s match-ups.

Ranting and raving about your love and/or hatred for the given players, is not only allowed, it is encouraged. I, for one, am excited to see the results for some of the more polarizing Flyers!

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Yesterday’s Results:
Eric Desjardins defeats Chris Pronger pretty handily, and Dan Carcillo defeats Danny Briere in a landslide.

Today’s candidates: (Note: the authors of the write-ups below are not the individuals that nominated the player.)

Ian Laperriere:
write-up courtesy of Craig F

He may have only suited up in a Flyers’ uniform for one year, but Ian Laperriere is the definition of a Philadelphia Flyer. His willingness to stand up for teammates and put his body on the line made him a fan favorite in the small amount of time he played for Philadelphia. Although his physical play was a huge part to his success and likeability, it was Lappy’s courage to block two shots with his face during the course of the 2009-10 regular season and playoffs that will forever cement him in Flyers’ history. After he blocked the second shot, Lappy returned later in the playoffs and continued to put his body in front of the opposition’s shots. All Flyers’ fans ask out of their players is that give 100 percent every single night and not many Flyers have done that better than Lappy has over the past decade.

Jeremy Roenick:
write-up courtesy of Marc Siciliano

“Sudden death magic for JR!” was the call, but Jim Jackson’s euphoric description of that vivid moment in 2004 didn’t come close to describing the look on Roenick’s face, as he was bombarded by Flyer teammates bee-lining towards him faster than Darcy Tucker on a vulnerable Fin, just months removed from a horrific injury that almost cost him his career.

If Tony Amonte’s put-away on an empty net after the fact was ironically indicative of his worthlessness as a Flyer, then JR’s bar down delicacy is an equally opposite indication of his legend. If anyone was capable of making that shot look as pretty as it was, it was  Roenick — and that is why, in that moment, there was never a doubt that he was going to shoot there, cementing his legacy as one of the best that would never go on to reach the pinnacle of his sport. There will always be guys that you wish got an opportunity to hoist the cup representing your team: for me, “Styles” will always be near the top of my list.

The icing on the cake of his tenure in Philly for me comes as he was on his way out the door, graciously accepting a trade to the Kings so the Flyers could clear salary after signing Peter Forsberg. He understood the situation, and didn’t cause a stink while the team traded in one aging star for another, wishing the best to best to the fans on the way out and hoping that it worked out for the best for all the parties involved. He and the team parted ways, but it solidified an end to the type of tenure that goes down in fan folklore forever — Roenick’s brief time as a Flyer was simply that magical.

Who is the more loved Flyer of the past decade, Laperriere or Roenick?

  • Ian Laperriere (57%, 62 Votes)
  • Jeremy Roenick (43%, 47 Votes)

Total Voters: 109

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Matt Carle:

As if this needs any effort to write up. Easily the most polarizing player in Philadelphia over the last two seasons, Carle is certainly on many fans’ “hated” list (although, not mine). His lack of physicality and weak shot seemed to overshadow his positioning and superior puck handling to many. Coming from a player dominant enough in college to be named a Hobey Baker Award winner at Denver, it certainly is a perplexing duality. And even though many bigger-name defenseman recorded more turnovers, Carle’s did often seem to end up being big blunders at times when he seemed to be unguarded. It’s the nature of a “puck mover,” but that won’t stop some people from giving him the typical Philly treatment.

Oh and, despite the ever-raging arguments, his detractors insist he’s garbage without Chris Pronger.

Antero Niittymaki:

I can’t say I truly understand any hate for “Frank”. The only logical reason I can imagine for disliking him would be because he simply failed to live up to his potential in Philadelphia (or anywhere for that matter). The same potential we all saw supposedly rising to its peak in the 2005 AHL playoffs and then again in Torino during the 2006 Olympics where he was named MVP of the tournament as Finland clawed its way to a Silver medal was regrettably absent once he donned the Orange and Black. Good enough to replace Robert Esche but not able to stand on his own, then brushed aside for Marty Biron, he was yet another Philly netminder who failed to seize the moment.

This certainly has my vote for most lackluster match-up! Perhaps we’d be better off polling something else…”Who looks better in Orange: Alaskans or Finns?”

Who is the more hated Flyer of the past decade, Carle or Niittymaki?

  • Matt Carle (51%, 50 Votes)
  • Antero Niittymaki (49%, 49 Votes)

Total Voters: 98

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  • M.C. Philly

    This is a tough one. I am a huge Roenick fan, so obviously I’m pulling for him. But at the same time I can see why so many fans are endeared towards Laperriere.

    That being said Roenick’s OT goal in 2004 is what made me into a die-hard Flyers fan who’s never looked back since. I re-imagine that goal much like Stevie Y’s bullet in OT over Blues net minder Jon Casey. Pretty special moment. So if I had to pick between these two players, it has to be JR.

    • http://twitter.com/marcs797 Marc Siciliano

      I agree! I did the write up for JR and I still don’t know if I can vote against Lappy

    • http://www.flyersfaithful.com/ Kevin Christmann

      Definitely the toughest match-up yet I think!

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