The Philadelphia Flyers have had many great players wear the Orange and Black jersey during the team’s long and rich history.

However, if you had to pick the four best Philadelphia Flyers of all-time, who would make your list? In other words, who would be on your Mount Rushmore of Philadelphia Flyers Hockey? It’s not as easy as you may think.

With that said, here are some of the criteria I used to get to my final four…

  • When you think of this person, you have to think Philadelphia Flyers
  • They had to have made you jump out of your seat with excitement
  • They had to have dominated the game of hockey, statistically speaking, for a number of years
  • There is no question about the person’s Hall of Fame numbers;

With that, here we go, in no particular order.

Bobby Clarke

Bobby Clarke is undoubtedly the quintessential Philadelphia Flyer. Not only is he one of the greatest Philadelphia Flyers of all time, but to this day he is still one of the greatest NHL players of all time. The Bobby Clarke “feel good” story is one of pure perseverance, dedication, and overcoming the odds. Due to diabetes, Clarke was overlooked by many NHL teams during his draft year, even though he was the best player in that draft class. That forced him to play with a chip on his shoulder his entire career.

From the first time he stepped on the ice as a member of the Flyers in October of 1969 to the very last game he ever played, Clarke was a fierce competitor and always worked harder than anyone else on the ice. As a result, he captained the Flyers to 4 Stanley Cup Finals, including back-to-back cup wins in 1973-74 and 1974-75. He also won the Hart trophy during a 3 out of 4 years span, given to the NHL’s Most Valuable Player.

The Flyers retired Clarke’s number 16 jersey and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of fame in 1987. After his hockey days were over, Clarke spent almost 18 full seasons, during two different stints as the Flyers General Manager and in the front office. It’s simple really: There is no Mount Rushmore of Flyers Hockey without Bobby Clarke.

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Eric Lindros

At 6’4” and 240 lbs, Eric Lindros was an absolute physical specimen. He had sweet hands and in the 1990’s he dominated the game of hockey like no other player ever had. He was able to change the course of a game with an incredible play, a goal, a big hit, or an even big fight. The Flyers captain centered the famous “Legion of Doom” line between John LeClair and Michael Renberg. Together they formed one of the most feared lines in hockey history. Lindros was so dominant; he became the fifth-fastest player in NHL history to score 500 points. Lindros won the Hart Trophy in 1995 and led the team to a Stanley Cup final in 1997. Unfortunately, his physical play took a toll on Lindros and his career was cut short due to injuries.

In 2016, Eric Lindros was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and in 2018 the Flyers retired number 88 in his honor. It was a different game back then, but just the thought of Lindros would do playing in today’s NHL should give you goosebumps. Eric Lindros is undeniably one of the greatest Philadelphia Flyers of all time and definitely deserves a spot on our Mount Rushmore of Flyers Hockey.

Bernie Parent

To this day, Bernie Parent is not only considered the greatest Flyers goalie of all time but one of the greatest goalies in NHL history. In terms of goaltending, Bernie Parent was as dominating as anyone ever has been. In the two seasons between 1973-74 and 1974-75, Bernie recorded an unprecedented 30 combined regular and post-season shutouts.

He backstopped the Flyers to three consecutive Stanley Cup finals, including 2 Cup victories in which he both times was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner, given to the NHL’s most valuable player during the playoffs. He won the Vezina trophy twice, given to NHL’s best goaltender. During the 1973-74 campaign, Bernie Parent appeared in 73 games, posting an incredible .932 SV% and a 1.89 GAA. He went 47-13-12 that season. The 47 wins in a single season was an NHL record at the time, a record that stood for 33 years!

The famous Bernie Parent’s number 1 jersey was retired by the Flyers and hags from the rafters at the Wells Fargo Center. In 1984, Bernie Parent was inducted in the NHL’s Hockey Hall of Fame. Being the greatest goalie in Flyers history, Bernie Parent definitely deserves to be on our Mount Rushmore of Flyers Hockey.

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Claude Giroux

There is no question that captain Claude Giroux has been the Flyers best player over the last decade. He currently ranks fourth in the team’s all-time lead scoring at only 32 years of age and before the end of next season, he should be second all-time just behind Bobby Clarke.

Giroux has had a dominating decade, with only 3 NHL players having earned more points than him during that time. ONLY 3 in the entire NHL! Not only are Giroux’s offensive numbers really impressive, but he plays an absolutely incredible 2-way game. He plays both the power play and penalty kill. He’s been one of the league’s best faceoff men his entire career. Giroux has some of the softest hands in the NHL. Click on this video link to see some of Giroux’s slick moves.

There is no doubt in my mind that when it’s all said and done, Giroux will be a Stanley Cup Champion, will have his number retired by the team, and will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He’s been just that good for such a long time.  For me, Giroux already deserves to be on the Mount Rushmore of Flyers Hockey.

Honorable Mentions

Ron Hextall

One of the Flyers greatest goalies of all time; First goalie to score a goal by shooting the puck (Sorry Billy Smith, I mean a real goal) in the regular season and first goalie to score in the playoffs; Vezina and Conn Smythe trophy winner;

Mark Howe

Considered one of the all-time best Flyers defensemen; Hockey Hall of Fame inductee in 2011 and has his number retired by the team;

Paul Holmgren

He spent over 30 years in the Flyers organization as a player and multiple positions in the front office. Regardless of what you may think of him as a GM, Holmgren absolutely bleeds Orange and Black;

Third Tier Mentions

Tim Kerr, Brian Propp, Bill Barber, John Leclair, Simon Gagne, Eric Desjardins.

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One Comment

  1. Sheri Barberini

    April 23, 2020 at 9:22 PM

    You nailed it. I love Barber, LeClair, Gagne, Hextall, and Pelle, but the four on the mountain are the four who belong there. When the game’s on the line, they’re the ones you want on the ice, making the play. Each of them has, more than once, carried the team on his back.

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