April 26, 2013 |
EVEN THOUGH A Stanley Cup hasn't been added to the trophy case since 1975, the Flyers usually are in contention. That's obviously not the case this season as the Orange & Black failed to reach the playoffs for just the ninth time in franchise history. Here's a quick look at the years the Flyers missed the postseason with some of the key moves that resulted: 1969-70 - 17-35-24 Recap: Blew a seven-point lead with six games left and lost out on a tiebreaker with the Oakland Seals.
May 16, 2002 |
Bob Gainey took Ken Hitchcock for a walk around a lake in Minneapolis. It was 1993. Gainey, the general manager of the Minnesota North Stars, was thinking of hiring Hitchcock to coach the Kalamazoo Wings, a minor-league affiliate of the Stars. But Hitchcock had two serious impediments to overcome - lack of National Hockey League playing experience and a scale-busting weight that once had reached more than 450 pounds. Instead of quizzing Hitchcock in the office, Gainey conducted the interview during a 75-minute walk.
June 23, 2001 |
They went through two mock drafts a year ago. They had Justin Williams rated the 14th-best skater in the first round. Imagine the Flyers' surprise when the skinny right winger was still on the board when they made their pick at No. 28. "It's more difficult to predict this year," Flyers assistant general manager Paul Holmgren said about today's NHL draft at the National Car Rental Center. Holmgren oversees the scouting department and coordination of the draft, which begins with three rounds today and ends tomorrow with rounds 4-9. "Last year, we had an idea of four or five guys who'd be available," he said.
December 11, 2000 |
Bill Barber's Stanley Cup championship rings and plaque in the Hockey Hall of Fame got his old linemate Bobby Clarke off the hook with Flyers fans. After an embarrassing 5-1 Flyers loss in Detroit on Friday night, Clarke reluctantly decided that Craig Ramsay had to go. Yesterday he elevated Barber - his linemate on the Broad Street Bullies in the 1970s - to head coach. The move, Clarke's fifth coaching change since inheriting Terry Simpson from Russ Farwell in 1994, might have smacked of panic.
September 5, 1999 |
Mikael Renberg, a second-round pick in 1990, was the highest-drafted player among the Flyers' own picks on last season's final roster. "That sort of surprises me," said Renberg, who himself was traded before being reacquired last season. But, he acknowledged, "there are a lot of trades around the league. " When it comes to making deals, the Flyers have been active. Shifts in upper management as general manager Bob Clarke left the team for five years between 1989 and 1994 and changes in philosophy have played a role.
June 17, 1999 |
Ken Hitchcock, two victories away from the Stanley Cup, is having a wonderful time. The Dallas Stars coach meets with the media every day, twice on game days, and he always gives the impression that there is nowhere he would rather be. Even after the Stars' 2-1 loss to Buffalo Tuesday night, which sent the series back to Dallas for tonight's Game 5 tied at 2-2, Hitchcock was upbeat, expansive, calmly analytical. Discussing the gut-wrenching twists of the evening with him was like debating with your neighbor across the fence the performances in a movie you both have seen.
May 21, 1999 |
Quite often, it appears that Peter Forsberg is so concentrated on his hockey chores that he seems removed from the brief but joyous celebrations that break out after each goal scored by the team he leads, the Colorado Avalanche. Whether it's the result of Swedish stoicism, single-mindedness, or a mixture of both, Forsberg's intense expression - a focus of ESPN's Stanley Cup pregame montage - rarely changes. So when Forsberg raised his arms in triumph and his bearded face brightened with a smile after his beautiful third-period goal gave the Avalanche a 5-2 lead over Detroit on Tuesday night in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals, you knew the Red Wings' dreams of a third straight Stanley Cup were dead and Colorado was in the tournament's final four.
August 7, 1998 |
When Bob Clarke returned as the Flyers' general manager four years ago, there was one apparent certainty: He and Eric Lindros would get along. Clarke and Lindros forged a close relationship during Lindros's rookie year, when Clarke had spent nine months as a Flyers senior vice president between GM stints in Minnesota and in Florida. The strength of that bond was demonstrated when Eric showed up for his second NHL training camp in 1993, a bit lighter than he'd played as a rookie.
June 12, 1998 |
Enjoy Barry Melrose and his thoroughbred mane on TV while you can. The ESPN hockey analyst wants to coach in the NHL again. "I probably do need my head examined," he said before last night's Game 2 of the Detroit-Washington Stanley Cup final. Melrose, who coached Los Angeles to the 1993 Stanley Cup finals, has conferred with Chicago general manager Bob Murray about the Blackhawks vacancy. During the dark days of Russ Farwell's term as the Flyers general manager, Melrose was mentioned as a coach in Philadelphia.
June 7, 1996 |
The poor Florida Panthers couldn't have seen this coming. After clawing through three rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs by being hungrier than anybody in their path, the Panthers ventured out West to the finals, only to run into the Donner party. The McNichols Arena crowd gave its Colorado Avalanche a standing ovation in the final seconds of last night's 8-1 victory, partly because the rout was so pleasing, and partly because, with the series shifting to Miami for Game 3 and Game 4, the Colorado fans might next see their heroes outdoors, at a parade.