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  • Andrew McGuinness

Philadelphia Flyers All-Decade Team


A lot has changed on the ice for the Philadelphia Flyers over the last ten years. Joel Farabee, the youngest player on the Flyers today, was 9 when the decade began. Ian Laperriere was the oldest member of the Flyers roster at the start of the decade - now, he's 45 and a member of the Flyers coaching staff.

The Flyers have dressed 127 skaters and 19 goaltenders since New Year's Day 2010, names both famed and forgotten making their mark (or failing to do so) in the City of Brotherly Love. They have finished as high as 3rd in the NHL (2011, 106 points) and as low as 24th (2015, 84 points, and 2019, 82 points). They have gone to the Stanley Cup Finals. They have failed to make the playoffs four times in the last seven seasons. They have been aggressive. They have been conservative. In the last decade of Flyers hockey, we have truly seen it all.

That being said, it's time to put together the all-time 2010s roster for the Orange and Black. For this team, we'll assemble a roster of twelve forwards, six defensemen, and two goaltenders of players from the last decade of Flyers hockey. Longevity and production will be the two main factors for my picks, but intangibles and fan support will also be taken into account. I'll allow some basic shifting of positions, like putting a player on their off-wing, but nothing too crazy like putting Shayne Gostisbehere on the wing.

Now, without further adieu:

Forwards

Line 1: Wayne Simmonds-Claude Giroux-Jakub Voracek

It makes sense that the Flyers three leading scorers of the last ten seasons make up the first line. Perhaps no player has been more consistently loved by the Flyers fanbase than Wayne Simmonds. His combination of old-school grit and toughness with outstanding offensive numbers (back-to-back 30 goal seasons in 15-16 and 16-17) made him a fan favorite from start to finish. There's a reason Simmer received a standing ovation when he returned to the WFC in October, even as a member of the hated Devils. He was Philadelphia through and through.

However, it's clear that Claude Giroux is the best Flyer of the last 10 years. Captain of the team since 2013, 734 points in 774 games, Hart trophy finalist in 2018 and the only 100 point season by a Flyer in the last 25 seasons. Giroux spent most of the decade at center, though some of his greatest success came at wing at the end of the decade. He was phenomenal on the power play and (when used on it) the penalty kill. Though he's had his fair share of critics, Giroux's numbers speak for themselves; oh, and he's almost a point-per-game (60 in 63 games) in the playoffs, too.

Jake Voracek hasn't always been as loved as the first two players, but he's had some amazing seasons as well. Voracek owns the two highest single-season scoring totals by anyone not named Giroux, with 81 points in 14-15 and 85 in 17-18. Voracek is one of the best playmakers in the NHL and possesses silky smooth hands. He's capable of making any play you can imagine, and though some of that creativity leads to frustrating turnovers, Voracek is one of the most skilled Flyers in recent memory.

Line 2: Scott Hartnell-Sean Couturier-Danny Briere

Speaking of fan favorites, everybody loved Scott Hartnell. Whether it was his antics with opposing crowds, knack for goals around the net, or turning falling down on the ice into charity, Scott Hartnell endeared himself to the fans at every turn. He was on Giroux's line with Jaromir Jagr during G's breakout 93 point 11-12 campaign and a staple of the Flyers power play for most of his five seasons with the Flyers this decade (seven overall).

It might be somewhat surprising that Sean Couturier has the fourth most points of any Flyer this decade. After all, just two and a half seasons ago, Couturier was regarded as merely a good defensive middle-six center. But Coots was given the opportunity to be the Flyers 1C starting in 2017-18, and he never looked back. Coots has put up consecutive 76-point campaigns and finished second in Selke voting in 2018. He also has two playoff hat-tricks, both against the Penguins, adding to his stock as the Flyers second best center of the decade.

Danny Briere was brought to the Flyers in 2008 as part of a makeover to the Flyers following their dismal 06-07 campaign. Briere was brought in as a veteran goal-scorer who knew what it took to win. Briere etched his name into Flyers lure with a 31-point performance in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, leading the NHL in those playoffs. Briere would put up another great regular season in 2011, and though injuries hampered his 2012 campaign, he was a force in the playoffs both years. Briere was over a point-per-game player in the playoffs for the Flyers.

Line 3: James van Riemsdyk-Brayden Schenn-Travis Konecny

James van Riemsdyk is one of two players that started and ended the decade with the Flyers, though he spent most of the last ten years with the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, when JVR was in Orange and Black, he was certainly a solid player. Though maybe a little bit of a disappointment for a former #2 overall pick, van Riemsdyk has been a great goal-scorer for the Flyers, scoring 27 goals in just 66 games last year. He currently leads the Flyers in goals with 12 this season as well.

Brayden Schenn was considered by some to be the best player not in the NHL when the Flyers acquired him in the Mike Richards trade (along with Simmonds) in 2012. Though Schenn was never a superstar with the Flyers, he developed into a quality top-six scoring forward who was lethal on the power play. Schenn played center and the wing during his six seasons as a Flyer and was a top offensive threat for the Flyers at the end of his tenure. He was traded for two first round picks in 2017, which turned into Joel Farabee and Morgan Frost.

On his wing, Travis Konency may be the best pure goal scorer on the Flyers since Jeff Carter. The Flyers traded up to select Konecny 24th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, and he hasn't disappointed. TK would make his NHL debut just one season after being selected, and after putting up consecutive 40-plus point campaigns, Konecny has broken out and leads the Flyers with 33 points already this season. His blend of speed, skill, and spunk makes him easy to love, as long as you're not playing against him.

Line 4: Matt Read-Mike Richards-Jeff Carter

Matt Read went through two different phases as a Flyer. The undrafted rookie out of little known Bemidji State University, Read led all rookies in 2011-12 with 24 goals, scoring at a similar pace in the lockout year (11 goals in 42 games) and then 22 more times in 13-14. After that, his scoring touch dried up; Read would never score more than 11 goals in a season. However, he was still a viable NHL option as he re-worked his game, becoming a legitimate penalty killer who always graded out well by analytics.

Mike Richards was only a Flyer for two seasons in this timespan (just like the guy to his right on this line), but Richards made his impact felt. The Flyers captain since 2008, Richards was a leader of the Flyers group who went to the Finals in 2010. Richie was a star in the regular season and playoffs alike, a capable scorer and defensive stalwart alike.

Jeff Carter is the other Flyer for only played two seasons this decade, but he was the team's leading goal-scorer in both. Carter only played 115 games for the Flyers in the 2010s, but still put up an impressive 95 points. Carter was an electric offensive threat for the Flyers during his stay in Philly, and also netted a heck of a return - Jake Voracek, plus draft picks that turned into Couturier and Nick Cousins - from Columbus.

Defense

Pair 1: Kimmo Timonen-Shayne Gostisbehere

Kimmo Timonen was an icon on the Flyers blueline from the moment he was acquired from Nashville in June 2007 until he was traded to Chicago in 2015. Timonen was a two-way force; stellar in his own defensive zone and also an offensive threat, quarterbacking the Flyers power play for most of his tenure. Timonen was a legitimate great defenseman in addition to being a fan favorite. His influence on the fans was so great that many of them even rooted for the hated Blackhawks to win the 2015 Stanley Cup (which they did) just so Timonen could get the Cup he deserved.

On the other side, no Flyers defenseman has been more dynamic than the Ghost Bear. Gostisbehere broke onto the scene with a rookie season for the ages, scoring 47 points in 64 games. His 15-game point streak was a league record for a rookie defenseman was electric. Gostisbehere would dominate similarly in 2017-18, when he scored 65 points, fourth among defenseman in the NHL. His other two full seasons have been underwhelming, and 2019-20 hasn't been amazing either. But Ghost's electric skating and offensive ability are enough to crack this top pair.

Pair 2: Ivan Provorov-Mark Streit

In hindsight, and maybe even in the moment, signing then 34-year old Mark Streit to a four-year contract could have aged poorly. But Streit was a solid defenseman for the Flyers for three and a half years before being traded to Pittsburgh in 2017, winning his first Cup in the process. Streit took over Timonen's role as the top power play quarterback, and put up solid advanced metrics even playing alongside pylons like Nicklas Grossman, Luke Schenn, and Andrew MacDonald. Streit put up 96 points in his first two years as a Flyer - he was definitely worth his deal.

Ivan Provorov has the chance to be the best Flyers defenseman since the aforementioned Timonen. Provorov was selected 7th overall in the 2015 Draft and made his NHL debut in October 2016. It wasn't long before he would become a staple of the Flyers top pairing, as Provorov has led the Flyers in ice-time per game five years running. He was an offensive force in 17-18; his 17 goals were tied for the league lead among defenseman. Provy's numbers took a dip during a trying 18-19 campaign, but he appears back on track with an amazing first half of the 19-20 season.

Pair 3: Braydon Coburn-Radko Gudas

The third pair on this team is definitely the shutdown pairing, allowing pair 1 to thrive offensively and prevent pair 2 from being overworked. Braydon Coburn was quietly a solid defensive defenseman for the Flyers for eight and a half seasons (five and a half during this decade). Coburn put up 161 points in 576 games as a Flyer, but he's more known for his defensive play. Coburn wasn't quite a fan favorite, but his work was certainly appreciated. Bonus points for being traded for a third, a first used to trade up and draft Konecny, and the guy playing on his right.

Radko Gudas was acquired from the Bolts along with those picks for Coburn in February 2015, but didn't play his first game until the start of 15-16 due to injury. Gudas brought old-school snarl and physicality to the table on a nightly basis, but unlike most defensive defenseman, Gudas graded out well by analytics. Part of that is Gudas was always shooting the puck, but I digress. Gudas always seemed to be loved by his teammates, and beats out stalwarts like Luke Schenn to be named the best right-handed defenseman of the decade for the Flyers.

Goaltenders

Steve Mason-Carter Hart

Steve Mason's Flyers career is a lot more underrated than it should have been. When he was acquired by the Flyers from Columbus in 2013, it was seen as a low risk, medium reward move that could provide a stopgap between the pipes. But Mason proved to be far more than that. Mason's .918 save percentage leads all Flyers goalies in the last 10 years, and his .928% in 2014-15 was third in the entire NHL (min. 25 games played).

Perhaps it's a little earlier to put Hart as Mason's understudy for this team. After all, the Flyers played 784 regular season games in the 2010s; Hart has played just 56. He's never played in the playoffs either. But Hart makes up for his inexperience with great numbers - a .917 save percentage is nipping on Mason's heels, and Hart is only beginning as a great NHL goaltender. Combine that with the love the fanbase has for him (and the fact I got his signed jersey for Christmas), and Carter Hart makes this team behind Mason.

In conclusion, here's your all 2010s Philadelphia Flyers:

Simmonds-Giroux-Voracek

Hartnell-Couturier-Briere

van Riemsdyk-Schenn-Konecny

Read-Richards-Carter

Timonen-Gostisbehere

Provorov-Streit

Coburn-Gudas

Mason-Hart

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