The History of the Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers were founded in 1967 as part of the NHL’s first expansion, which doubled the league’s size from six teams to twelve. The team was immediately successful, making the playoffs in their first two seasons and reaching the Stanley Cup Finals in 1976, 1980, and 1985. The Flyers won their first Stanley Cup championship in 1974 and repeated as champions the following year, in 1975.

philadelphia Flyers Logo

One of the defining characteristics of the early Flyers teams was their tough, physical play. Coached by Fred Shero, the Flyers’ style of play became known as the “Broad Street Bullies,” and they were feared by opponents for their rough and tumble brand of hockey. The Flyers’ roster included players such as Bobby Clarke, Reggie Leach, and Bernie Parent, who were all instrumental in the team’s early success.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the Flyers remained a perennial playoff team but were unable to capture another Stanley Cup championship. However, the team continued to field some of the NHL’s most talented players, including Eric Lindros, Ron Hextall, and Mark Recchi.

In the early 2000s, the Flyers underwent a rebuilding phase but returned to the playoffs in 2008 and made a surprising run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010. Although they ultimately lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games, the Flyers’ deep playoff run showed that the team was once again a force to be reckoned with.

Today, the Flyers continue to be a respected team in the NHL and have enjoyed success in recent years with players like Claude Giroux and Shayne Gostisbehere leading the way. The team’s passionate fan base, known as the “Philly faithful,” remains one of the most loyal in all of sports, and the Flyers’ legacy as one of the NHL’s great franchises is secure.

Greatest Players in Philadelphia Flyers History

Over the course of their storied history, the Philadelphia Flyers have had some truly great players. From the team’s early years as the “Broad Street Bullies” to their recent successes, here are the greatest players in Flyers history:

1:Bobby Clarke: Perhaps the greatest Flyer of all time, Bobby Clarke played his entire 15-year career with Philadelphia. He won the Hart Trophy (NHL MVP) three times and led the team to two Stanley Cup championships in the 1970s. Clarke was a fierce competitor and a great leader, and his name is synonymous with Flyers hockey.

2 .Bernie Parent: A two-time Vezina Trophy winner and two-time Conn Smythe Trophy winner, Bernie Parent was the backbone of the Flyers’ Stanley Cup championships in 1974 and 1975. His play in net was legendary, and he is still regarded as one of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history
Bernie Parent: 100 Greatest NHL Players

3 .Eric Lindros: The controversial superstar was a Flyer for just eight seasons, but during that time he was one of the league’s most dominant players. Lindros won the Hart Trophy in 1995 and led the team to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1997, although they ultimately lost to the Detroit Red Wings.


4 .Mark Howe: The son of NHL legend Gordie Howe, Mark Howe was a fantastic defenseman for the Flyers in the 1980s. He was a three-time Norris Trophy finalist and was named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team three times. Howe was an excellent skater and was one of the league’s most underrated players during his career.

5 .Bill Barber: A key member of the Flyers’ championship teams in the 1970s, Bill Barber was a tenacious forward who could score goals and play physical. He was a six-time All-Star and won the Selke Trophy (best defensive forward) in 1982.

Today in Hockey History: Philadelphia Flyers Bill Barber Retires - LWOH

6:Ron Hextall: A fan favorite, Ron Hextallwas a fiery goaltender who was never afraid to mix it up with opposing players. He won the Vezina Trophy in 1987 and was the first goalie in NHL history to score a goal by shooting the puck into the opposing team’s net.


7.John LeClair: A dominant power forward, John LeClair was part of the Flyers’ famed “Legion of Doom” line in the 1990s. He scored 50 goals in three straight seasons and helped lead the team to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1997.
john leClair
8.Reggie Leach: “The Riverton Rifle” was one of the most prolific goal scorers in Flyers history, and his playoff performance in 1976 is the stuff of legend. Leach scored 19 goals in just 16 games during the Flyers’ championship run that year, earning him the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff

Reggie Leach's big night for Flyers nearly didn't happen

9.Tim Kerr: A towering forward with a devastating shot, Tim Kerr was one of the league’s most feared power forwards in the 1980s. He scored 50 goals in four straight seasons and was a five-time All-Star.

The Sultan of the Slot: Tim Kerr

1O.Claude Giroux: The current face of the Flyers franchise, Claude Giroux has been a key player for the team for over a decade. He is a six-time All-Star and has led the team in scoring in eight of the last nine seasons. Giroux has yet to win a championship with the Flyers, but he remains one of the team’s most popular players and a fan favorite.

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