Dazzlers and Duds: Primeau v. Kapanen and Leighton v. Asham

Image courtesy of Bleacher Report

Image courtesy of Bleacher Report

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:
Despite my own man-love for Simon Gagne, I was still slightly surprised to see him so handily defeat Danny Briere; while Billy Tibbetts took down Jeff Carter.

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

Keith Primeau:
write-up courtesy of Dain S

Two moments stand out for me with Keith Primeau; one was his overtime goal against Pittsburgh in the 2000 playoffs in the longest overtime game of the modern era. I stayed up and watched that whole game, it must have been 2 AM when he finally scored, I jumped up and down and then collapsed in my bed. The second moment is the 2004 playoffs, when Keith Primeau was the most dominant player on Earth. He had 9 goals and 7 assists during those playoffs and scored huge goal after huge goal to force a Game 7 against Tampa Bay. I feel that if the Flyers won that game and reached the Stanley Cup finals, they would have won the Cup. His career ended too soon from post-concussion syndrome, but Keith Primeau will always be fondly remembered by Flyers fans.

Sami Kapanen:
write-up courtesy of Marcello De Feo

Sami Kapanen was Kimmo Timonen before Timonen ever made his way to Philadelphia. The hardworking and reliable Finn was impossible to dislike and his presence always managed to boost the spirits of those around him.

The NHL’s former Fastest Skater worked his way up and down the Flyers’ lineup, providing reliable secondary scoring, great penalty killing, terrific two-way play, and grinding his way through his final NHL seasons. Kappy, hockey’s ultimate utility player, even did two tours of duty on defense for the Flyers.

Whether you are a diehard fan or have watched the NHL Network for more than 20 minutes, you have seen the clip of Darcy Tucker’s vicious hit on Kapanen. What followed, was one of the most courageous acts you will see from a hockey player, one of those moments that separates this sport from all others. The clearly-injured Kapanen, who was incapable of getting to his feet, crawled his way back to the bench to allow another player to get on the ice.

Shortly thereafter, Kapanen’s effort paid off. Jeremy Roenick skated up the ice and put the overtime series winner behind Ed Belfour in Game 6 of the 2004 Conference Semi-Finals against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Oh, and the Leafs have not been back to the playoffs since then. It is the longest active postseason drought in the NHL.

Who is the more loved Flyer of the past decade, Primeau or Kapanen?

  • Keith Primeau (56%, 45 Votes)
  • Sami Kapanen (44%, 35 Votes)

Total Voters: 80

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Michael Leighton:
write-up courtesy of Craig F

All Flyers’ fans will forever link Patrick Kane’s overtime goal in Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals to Michael Leighton. A magical postseason run abruptly ended due to a weak wrist shot from a horrendous angle that any goalie in the NHL could stop 999 times out of 1,000 is the reason why Leighton is on this list. There is a certain feeling of uneasiness when Jim Jackson utters, “And Michael Leighton will be in net tonight for the Flyers.” Whether it’s the slow and laidback look over his shoulder when he thinks the puck traveled through his gigantic five-hole and trickled into the net or it’s Paul Holmgren’s weird obsession to sign the journeyman goaltender for the sake of discount over value, there aren’t too many Flyers’ fans who enjoy the Orange and Black on Leighton.

Arron Asham:

Asham filled his role at times during his stint in Philadelphia, however, the guy gets passed around the Atlantic like <insert your favorite inappropriate analogy here>. I think his blatant cheap shot on Brayden Schenn cemented him as a villain in many fans’ eyes.

Who is the more hated Flyer of the past decade, Leighton or Asham?

  • Arron Asham (52%, 43 Votes)
  • Michael Leighton (48%, 40 Votes)

Total Voters: 83

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