Here we are in December with little to do in this tough lockout time. What’s a blog to do? Well, it looks like a 12 Days of Christmas-themed series of posts is the way to go. But, we realize that all of you hockey fans aren’t into Christmas, so we’ve named it after the man nicknamed Orange Jesus and called it Claudemas.
On the second day of Claudemas, Flyers Faithful gave to me…two Flyers who wore the number two that aren’t the great Mark Howe!
Mark Howe finally made it into the Hockey Hall of Fame this year, and the Flyers accordingly put his number two in the rafters with Parent’s one, Ashbee’s four, Barber’s seven, and Clarke’s sixteen. A number of years have gone by since the Flyers and Howe parted ways, and a number of players have worn the number two since then.
“Adam Burt, who the hell is that?” Well, Adam Burt was a mediocre defenseman who played with the Flyers in the late 90s. He put up a whopping 8 points in 84 games. He’s not exactly memorable, but for some reason he sticks out in my mind as someone who wore the number two for the Flyers. That reason is Tie Domi.
There was a brawl in a nasty Maple Leafs/Flyers game, as was the custom at the time. Both Craig Berube and Sandy McCarthy were on the ice, gooning it up as fine as any goons have ever gooned before. And there was Tie Domi, the king of weasels, skating backwards with his gloves off, urging Berube and McCarthy to come fight him. But Domi never did fight either of them, and managed to find poor Adam Burt, being held back by Tomas Kaberle. Domi pummeled Burt and never fought Berube or McCarthy. Luke Richardson also went after Domi, but naturally the snake didn’t fight him either and hid behind Kaberle. Who was Adam Burt? The victim in the incident that I hate Tie Domi most for.
Coming out of the last NHL lockout (sidenote: how sad is it that we can discuss multiple lockouts?), the Flyers retooled and signed some players that were only available due to the amnesty clause. One of them was Derian Hatcher.
Hatcher was a great and nasty defenseman in his time. He’s in the US Hockey Hall of Fame and easily one of the best American born defensemen of all time. That being said, Hatcher is probably best remembered for breaking fellow American Jeremy Roenick’s jaw in the 1999 playoffs, when Hatcher was with the Dallas Stars and Roenick was with the Phoenix Coyotes.
Hatcher also came to represent Bob Clarke, the GM’s, lack of understanding of the new NHL coming out of that lockout. He was a big, physical defenseman who thrived in the big hit, clutch-and-grab era of the late 90s/early 2000s. He certainly had some good games for the Flyers, but he wasn’t the kind of defenseman that the team needed at the time and was the type of player that the league was moving away from.
Hatcher also served as captain of the team at times as Keith Primeau was dealing with the concussion issue that would end his career far too soon. He would eventually take coaching and development roles with the team when he couldn’t play anymore. Even if Hatcher didn’t have his best days as a Flyer, he is by far the most memorable player to have worn the number for them since Mark Howe retired.