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!
In two very close battles, Laperriere squeaked by Roenick and, in my least favorite match-up of the tournament, Carle barely edged out Niittymaki by a measly 2 votes.
Today’s candidates: (Note: the authors of the write-ups below are not the individuals that nominated the player.)
write-up courtesy of kimpollock
From the moment Simon Gagne put a Flyers sweater on at his introductory press conference, he was one of the classiest athletes ever to play for a Philadelphia team. More than that, he was a highly skilled player who always gave it all when he took the ice. In his time with the Flyers, he had five 50-point seasons, and was always a consistent scorer in the postseason. If there was one defining moment of his career, it was the Bruins series in the 2010 playoffs, where Gagne returned from injury to not only score the game-winning OT goal in Game 4, saving the team from elimination, but also scoring the game-winner in Game 7, sending the Flyers to the Eastern Conference Finals. Gagne was a much-loved player in Philly both on and off the ice, and he finally got his well-deserved Stanley Cup, though unfortunately with another team.
write-up courtesy of kimpollock
Soft-spoken but hard-working, Danny Briere has been one of the best players the Flyers have had in recent years. Despite a lackluster performance last season, there’s no denying that he’s been a consistent player and always manages to come up big just when his team needs him to. In the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, he finished with nine points – just one short of the record set by Wayne Gretzky. Briere is a quiet guy, but commended often by his teammates for being a strong voice in the locker room. He was credited for giving the team a boost during their series against the Buffalo Sabres in the 2011 playoffs — though Patrick Kaleta could also be credited for that, since his comments were what got Briere so fired up. Either way, Briere has been a great contributor to the team since arriving in Philadelphia.
Who is the more loved Flyer of the past decade, Gagne or Briere?
- Simon Gagne (89%, 113 Votes)
- Danny Briere (11%, 18 Votes)
Total Voters: 127
write-up courtesy of Bob H
Why should a player who suited up in nine games for the franchise 10 years ago be on this list? While the Flyers may be guilty of signing North American players in the exaggerated mold of their Broad Street Bully days, Tibbetts represented an actual criminal element that was not an exaggeration off the ice. He was convicted of statutory rape at age 17 then was convicted of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon along with witness intimidation three years later — for which he served 39 months in prison.
What’s worse is that his presence in Philadelphia managed to kill two birds with one stone: he brought an undesirable element to a fragile club and made GM Bob Clarke seem like nothing more than a callous businessman who was duped in the deal. Clarke made the trade on St. Patrick’s Day of 2002 to ship Kent Manderville to Pittsburgh because Manderville’s contract was up at the end of the year, and Tibbetts, three years younger, had a year remaining on his deal. Tibbetts posted one assist and 69 penalty minutes before being released near the end of the regular season, cut loose because of a “numbers game” that included the need to make room for Marty Murray to come off injured reserve.
write-up courtesy of Kevin A
Jeff Carter will long be remembered as a polarizing figure in Philadelphia. His lethal wrist shot, size, effortless skating and natural talent made him one of the team’s best players. However, all of these gifts mean nothing if they’re not applied when the going gets tough. During his tenure in the City of Brotherly Love, Carter often struggled to translate the best of his game to his playoff performances. While this is due in large part to his inability to stay healthy, he always lacked the “killer instinct” that allows top-end players to remain go-to guys during the tighter-checking, higher-intensity NHL postseason. To wit, his hard charge on an empty-netter in Game 4 against Chicago in the Finals balanced against his missed open chance on Antti Niemi in the waning regulation minutes of Game 6.
Carter’s natural ability should have made him the Flyers’ unquestioned best player, but he lacked the will to get things done when it mattered most. For that reason, he will always have his detractors in Philadelphia.
Who is the more hated Flyer of the past decade, Tibbetts or Carter?
- Billy Tibbetts (67%, 83 Votes)
- Jeff Carter (33%, 41 Votes)
Total Voters: 123