In the 1970s the Philadelphia Flyers earned the nickname “The Broad Street Bullies.” This was due to the fact the team played a hardnosed and tough style of hockey. Even top goal scorers like Bobby Clarke never thought twice about dropping the gloves for a fight.
After 40 years of having a reputation as a team of goons, are the Flyers still bullies?
Let us first take a look at where the Flyers as a team ranked in overall penalty minutes over the last five seasons.
Second Place – 755 Penalty Minutes (Lockout Shortened Season)
First Place – 1318 Penalty Minutes
Seventh Place – 1119 Penalty Minutes
Second Place – 1362 Penalty Minutes
First Place – 1432 Penalty Minutes
Based on this, the Flyers remain close to their antagonistic ways.
Let us take a look further into where these penalty minutes are coming from. This is where the Flyers rank in Fighting Majors in these same seasons.
Third Place – 33 Fights (Lockout Shortened Season)
Third Place – 57 Fights
Thirteenth Place – 47 Fights
Second Place – 77 Fights
Second Place – 74 Fights
From this we see the Flyers are a team who fights, but this is not why they are bullies. This is a team that consistently draws minor penalties more than anything else. A part of it could come from reputation. While the numbers and several players on the team can convince us that they are still bullies, the reputation as dirty players definitely has something to do with it.
The minor penalties the team has received are as follows:
First Place – 213 Minor Penalties (Lockout Shortened Season)
First Place – 382 Minor Penalties
Eighth Place – 347 Minor Penalties
First Place – 400 Minor Penalties
First Place – 406 Minor Penalties
We can safely say that the Flyers are indeed bullies. Who has led the team in penalty minutes in these recent years?
Zac Rinaldo – 85 Penalty Minutes (Lockout Shortened Season)
Zac Rinaldo – 232 Penalty Minutes
Scott Hartnell – 142 Penalty Minutes
Daniel Carcillo – 207 Penalty Minutes
Riley Cote – 174 Penalty Minutes
Whether the Flyers are bullies or not is probably up to the teams they play. What some people consider bullying others will call playing hard.