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Then and Now: Johan Backlund

After spending three seasons with Timra IK in the SEL, now the SHL, Johan Backlund signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Flyers’ organization in the summer of 2009. The deal gave the undrafted goaltender $100,000 in the AHL and $800,000 in the NHL. In his first campaign in North American leagues, Backlund took part in 41 AHL games with the Adirondack Phantoms, as well as a pair of games for the Orange and Black. Although seven goalies did work in the Phantoms’ crease during the 2009-2010 season, Backlund had the most starts on the team with 41. Backlund had …

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Then and Now: Nikolay Zherdev

Many of the biggest names in today’s NHL were selected in the first round of the 2003 draft. After Marc-Andre Fleury, Eric Staal, and Nathan Horton were picked with the first three overall picks, the Columbus Blue Jackets picked Nikolay Zherdev. Thomas Vanek, Milan Michalek, and Ryan Suter were the next three players to be picked after Zherdev, as the group of Braydon Coburn, Dion Phaneuf, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Brent Seabrook, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Brent Burns, Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards, Brian Boyle, and Corey Perry were also taken in the opening round of the draft 10 years ago. …

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Then and Now: Dmitry Afanasenkov

Late in December of 2006, the Philadelphia Flyers claimed forward Dmitry Afanasenkov off of waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Impressed with his three goals and three assists in 33 games, Philly decided to dress the winger for 41 games in their lowly 2006-2007 campaign. For only playing half the season for the Orange and Black, Afanasenkov’s 15 points sounds pretty impressive. However, when you consider that Randy Robitaille finished two points ahead of him with 13 less games to work with and that Scottie Upshall produced just two points less than him in 23 fewer tilts, the Russian winger’s …

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Then and Now: Ossi Vaananen

After playing the 2007-2008 season in the Elitserien, defenseman Ossi Vaananen returned to the NHL to play for the Philadelphia Flyers. The Finn signed a one-year contract worth $1 million for the 2008-2009 campaign. Vaananen participated in a total of 46 games for Philly. He registered nine assists and ten points overall. The blue liner also deposited his final goal in the NHL (go to :55), which came in the first period of the Flyers’ 5-4 shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks on January 2nd, 2009. The contest also featured Josh Gratton’s lone goal for the Orange and Black, as …

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Then and Now: Petr Nedved

Dennis Seidenberg has had a respectable career. He has represented his native Germany three times at the Olympics and won the Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 2011. In addition to that, Seidenberg helped the Carolina Hurricanes make a deep and unexpected run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2009. The blue liner was snagged by Philly in the 2001 draft and was dealt to the Phoenix Coyotes during the first season back after the last lockout. In exchange for the 24-year-old defenseman the Flyers acquired a 34-year-old center in Petr Nedved. Philly completed the trade with Phoenix in …

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