Dazzlers and Duds: Gagne v. Briere and Tibbetts v. Carter


Image courtesy of NHLSniper.com

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!


Yesterday’s Results:
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.)

Simon Gagne:
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.

Danny Briere:
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

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Billy Tibbetts:
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.

Jeff Carter:
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

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  • http://www.facebook.com/vaughanpiccolo Vaughan Piccolo

    The “loved” is a battle of two guys who never really played to their full potential. Simon’s injuries keep him from being really high up on my list of all-time favorite Flyers. Danny has given me great recent playoff memories, so I am giving him the nod.

    I don’t know much about Tibbetts, bear no ill will towards Carter. He proved this year that he can be a clutch playoff scorer when healthy. It just sucks that it was with LA.

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

      Gagne is my favorite player ever, so he wins for me. I think Gagne played to his potential until he started having his concussion issues in his last few years here. His tenure, having made the team at 19, his two way play, and just being a classy dude made him my favorite.

      • http://twitter.com/GeoffDetweiler Geoff Detweiler

        I never understood the “failed to fulfill potential” criticism. Gagne ranks 5th in total points among 1998 draft picks, behind only Lecavalier, Tanguay, Gomez and B. Richards; 3rd among all 1999 draft picks; and 5th among all 1997 draft picks.

        For both the players one year younger, one year older, and the same age, the worst that can be said is that he had the 11th most successful career.

        Since he was a 22nd overall pick, that sure seems like he out performed what NHL teams thought was his potential.

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

          Very true; I guess it would be more of an expectation that people didn’t want it the decline (and by decline, it’s really just injury issues) to begin at roughly 28?

  • Kim Pollock


  • http://flyersfaithful.com Marcello

    Wow. I can’t believe Gags is running away with this (and Tibbetts isn’t).

  • Pingback: Flyers Faithful: Dazzlers and Duds: Primeau v. Kapanen and Leighton v. Asham

  • Andrew

    I’ll never understand the Carter hate. He was great in the 08 playoffs. Got hurt in 2010 because he went to the front of the net to deflect a shot for a put away goal. That looked like killer instinct to me. If that was Lappy we would all lose our shit about what a team player he was. Got hurt again in 2011. Then he wins a Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2012. He managed to put together just about his best playoffs ever in the prime of his career. Hat-trick in the conference final, and assisted on the Penner’s OT winner. And he just so happened to score an OT winner in Game 2, a put away goal in Game 3, and the cup winning goal in Game 6.

    The story with Jeff Carter in Philadelphia should be that the fans had a distorted perception of his talents and work ethic, which didn’t match the reality. So what player is he really? The guy who never showed up? Or the guy who shows up when it matters most?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.welsh.315 Jim Welsh

    Always loved Gagne, he has had a string of upper 30-40 goal seasons until he ran into the concussions. I am really happy for both him and Carter, as well as Richards and Williams. If the Flyers couldn’t be in position to win this year, it was good to see a bunch of former Flyers that I enjoyed playing here, finally get a cup.