The last time the Philadelphia Flyers won the Stanley Cup was in 1975. This was their second consecutive championship and if not for a few dominant dynasties in the 1970s and 1980s, they would have won at least another. Meanwhile as the team struggles to win the championship, a few former players are currently thriving in different cities with new teams.
Chicago Blackhawks – Michal Handzus, Patrick Sharp, Kris Versteeg
Consistently one of the best teams in the NHL and the defending champions, the Chicago Blackhawks are succeeding with the help from a few former Flyers. A trio of Michal Handzus, Patrick Sharp, and Kris Versteeg are contributing to the Blackhawks in their own way.
Handzus is no longer the player he once was, but certainly offers veteran leadership. Sharp, who played with the Flyers at the beginning of his career in a limited role, has developed into a true goal-scorer, consistently putting 30+ pucks in the net per season. As for Versteeg, after some traveling around the league he’s back in Chicago where he began his career after a trade earlier in the 2013-2014 season hoping to capture a title.
Columbus Blue Jackets – Sergei Bobrovsky
Will the Flyers ever find a solid permanent goaltender? Not since Ron Hextall have they had someone between the pipes they could entrust to keep them in the game. Sergei Bobrovsky was a possibility until the team decided to stick with Ilya Bryzgalov instead. Bryzgalov was later amnestied while Bobrovsky has already won a Vezina Trophy away from the not-always-friendly confines of Philadelphia. “The Bob” has come back down to earth in 2013-2014 season, but still remains a solid young goalie with a huge upside.
Los Angeles Kings – Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Justin Williams
Maybe the group that hurts the most, the combination of Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, and Justin Williams managed to win the Stanley Cup in the 2011-2012 season. The only positive from that Stanley Cup victory filled with former Flyers was that it came against the rival New Jersey Devils.
Carter and Richards were supposed to be the future of the Flyers, as was Williams who left the team several years prior and had already won a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes. The only thing the Flyers can be grateful for are the players they got in return for Carter and Richards. For Richards the team received Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds. For Carter they got Jakub Voracek along with two draft picks, one of which ended up being Sean Couturier. These four players are all now part of the current core for the Flyers and maybe one day will hoist the Stanley Cup in Flyers’ orange and black.
Toronto Maple Leafs – James van Riemsdyk
The former number two overall draft pick by the Flyers, the team may have given up on James van Riemsdyk a little too quickly before trading him to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Luke Schenn. Van Riemsdyk set career highs in goals and assists in his first full season with the Maple Leafs. Still a very young player, he has the opportunity to develop even further as a top player in the NHL. It is very likely that somewhere down the line the Flyers are kicking themselves for letting him go if they are not already.