Kincade & Salciunas: Weekdays 6am – 10am

Kincade & Salciunas: Weekdays 6am – 10am

Kincade & Salciunas: Weekdays 6am – 10am

The iconic brand of the Philadelphia Flyers has developed through a storied history since Ed Snider founded the franchise in 1967. There have been 19 players to earn the honor of wearing the “C” on their jerseys as the captains for the Flyers.

The days of the Broad Street Bullies during the 1970s put the Flyers on the map in Philadelphia. They’ve since transitioned into different eras that have inspired the consensus around the NHL as the seventh integral team to hockey tradition outside the Original Six.

Flyers Captains

Wearing the “C” as an NHL captain is part of the allure of the sport. Fans hear the rhetoric whenever a hockey player receives the honor.

The importance has lessened in the modern era of the NHL. Many captains wear the letter just as the star player and most recognizable name on the team. However, the heart and soul players still have a place in the game.

The Flyers prioritize their history and the spirit of their organization more than any other NHL franchise. The honor of the captaincy aligns with those ideas of following in the footsteps of Bobby Clarke, Eric Lindros, or Claude Giroux.

The Proud Tradition of the Flyers

Back-to-back Stanley Cup in 1974-75 established the identity of the Flyers. They revolutionized the NHL with intimidation tactics that changed the game forever. The organization still considers the Broad Street Bullies the root of their DNA.

Their success as one of the top teams in the NHL continued during the 1980s when they made it back to three Stanley Cup Finals. The Flyers proved they can never stay out of the spotlight when they sent shockwaves through the NHL by acquiring Lindros in 1992.

The era that followed kept them in the conversation as a contender through the 1990s and into the 2000s. The leadership of their legendary captains has led them to their greatest accomplishments.

  • Lou Angotti (1967-68)

    The Flyers weren’t a hot ticket in town yet during their first season in the NHL. The expansion wave of 1967 doubled the size of the league, but the Original Six teams still remained the only true Stanley Cup contenders.

    Lou Angotti and the Flyers played the little brother role to the St. Louis Blues, the early powerhouse of the expansion teams. He passed away in 2021.

  • Ed Van Impe (1968-73)

    The Broad Street Bullies began to take shape with bruiser Ed Van Impe wearing the “C.” The biggest mark of his legacy came after he handed the captaincy to Bobby Clarke.

    The big defenseman threw a monstrous check on Valeri Kharlamov when the Flyers defeated the Soviet Red Army team at the Spectrum in 1976. The hit led the Russians off the ice in a tantrum against the rough style of the beloved Bullies.

  • Bobby Clarke (1972-79, 1982-84)

    It’s hard to find any player in NHL history who embodies the identity of a franchise better than Bobby Clarke represents the Philadelphia Flyers. He helped usher in the era of the fiercest, most intimidating team that bullied their way to consecutive Stanley Cup in 1973-74 and 1974-75. 

    Clarke still holds franchise records in goals, assists, games played, and plus/minus. He had two stints as the captain in Philadelphia.

    Bobby Clarke, Philadelphia Flyers Captain

  • Mel Bridgman (1979-81)

    The Flyers selected Mel Bridgman with the 1st-overall pick in the 1975 amateur draft. It’s the only time in franchise history they’ve picked in the top spot. Bridgman totaled 324 points over seven seasons in Philadelphia. His tenure with the “C” included a run to the 1980 Stanley Cup Final against the New York Islanders.

    The Flyers dealt him to the Calgary Flames in 1981, and he played 14 total seasons in the NHL.

  • Bill Barber (1981-83)

    Bill Barber still holds the franchise record with 420 goals. He was part of the feared LCB Line (Reggie Leach, Bobby Clarke, Bill Barber) during the 1970s, and he took over the captaincy toward the end of his 12-year career.

    He entered the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990, and his number 7 hangs in the rafters at the Wells Fargo Center.

  • Dave Poulin (1984-90)

    Dave Poulin wasn’t the best player in franchise history, but he played an invaluable role for the Flyers teams at the top of the NHL during the 1980s. He received votes for the Selke Trophy as the league’s best defensive forward eight times, and he won the award for the 1986-87 season.

    The Flyers reached the Stanley Cup Final against Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers in 1985 and 1987 during Poulin’s captaincy. He entered the franchise Hall of Fame in 2004.

    Dave Poulin, Philadelphia Flyers Captain

  • Ron Sutter (1989-91)

    The Sutter family remarkably sent six brothers to the NHL. Ron Sutter played 19 seasons in the league. Nine of them came with the Flyers. He played 555 games and recorded 360 points in orange and black.

    Ron Sutter, Philadelphia Flyers Captain

  • Rick Tocchet (1991-92)

    Rick Tocchet earned the respect of the entire hockey world as a heart and soul player in the deep playoff runs of the 1980s. The Flyers awarded the captaincy to the “Rocket” for the 1991-92 season after their success in the 1980s had waned.

    They dealt him away to the Pittsburgh Penguins before the end of the season, but he returned for a second stint in 2000. His impact on multiple eras of Flyers hockey landed him in the franchise Hall of Fame.

    Rick Tocchet, Philadelphia Flyers Captain

  • Kevin Dineen (1993-94)

    The Hartford Whalers sent Kevin Dineen to the Flyers in 1991. He became the captain for the 1992-93 season as a respected veteran during a forgettable era in Philadelphia.

    Dineen played 19 seasons in the NHL and retired with 760 career points and 2,229 career penalty minutes. He has continued his life around the game as an NHL and AHL coach for over two decades.

    Kevin Dineen, Philadelphia Flyers Captain

  • Eric Lindros (1994-2000)

    The Eric Lindros era didn’t end the way that Ed Snider and Bobby Clarke hoped it would. However, the organization has buried a bad memory of stripping his captaincy in favor of honoring the good times.

    The most talented hockey player ever to wear the Flyers jersey won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP in 1995 and led the Flyers to the 1997 Stanley Cup Final. His point per game average ranks among the best in NHL history.

    Eric Lindros, Philadelphia Flyers Captain

  • Eric Desjardins (1999-2002)

    The Flyers handed the “C” to Eric Desjardins in response to the Lindros saga. He had previously spent time as an alternate captain with Rod Brind’Amour.

    The puck-moving defenseman was the rock of the Philadelphia blue line during the memorable era of contention in the 1990s and early 2000s. He ranks toward the top of the franchise record books in most statistical categories among defensemen.

    Eric Desjardins, Philadelphia Flyers Captain

  • Keith Primeau (2001-06)

    It took a great hockey player to make the Flyers forget about trading Rod Brind’Amour, but Keith Primeau quickly made an impression in Philadelphia. He proved himself as the team leader in the early 2000s after Lindros left a void as the top-line center.

    Primeau’s goal in Game 4 of the 2000 series against the Penguins still stands as one of the best memories in Flyers history. He scored a comparably memorable goal four years later in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final.

    Keith Primeau, Philadelphia Flyers Captain

  • Derian Hatcher (2005-06)

    The Flyers unsurprisingly made a splash after the 2004-05 lockout. Derian Hatcher spent his best years with the Dallas Stars, but he occupied the captaincy as a stopgap during his time with the Flyers. He played his final three seasons in the NHL in Philadelphia.

    Hatcher hung around long enough to play in the Eastern Conference Final in 2008.

    Derian Hatcher, Philadelphia Flyers Captain

  • Peter Forsberg (2006-07)

    The decision to trade Peter Forsberg as part of the Lindros deal is questionable with the benefit of hindsight. The crafty Swede did return to the organization in his 30s after his prime years. Forsberg struggled with injuries in Philadelphia, but he was stunningly skilled with the puck in the 100 games he played for the Flyers.

    Paul Holmgren dealt Forsberg to the Predators to begin a series of moves that ultimately brought Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell to Philadelphia.

    Peter Forsberg, Philadelphia Flyers Captain

  • Jason Smith (2007-08)

    The Flyers came back with a vengeance in 2007-08 after their worst season in franchise history. Holmgren flipped his roster upside down, and his retool included acquiring veteran Jason Smith to wear the “C” for a team that reached the Eastern Conference Final.

    Smith wasn’t a star player. However, he served his purpose well enough in one season with the Flyers to earn a position in the organization after his retirement.

    Jason Smith, Philadelphia Flyers Captain

  • Mike Richards (2008-11)

    An organization that stripped the “C” off one of the most publicized players in NHL history experienced another controversy just over a decade later. Mike Richards was a hard-nosed hockey player who took over the captaincy at age 23.

    The Flyers hoped they found the next Bobby Clarke, and Richards played with incredible intensity as a two-way forward and a penalty killer. The Sea Isle City regular flamed out quickly in Philadelphia, however, and Holmgren dealt him and Jeff Carter away on the same day in a summer stunner in 2011.

    Mike Richards, Philadelphia Flyers Captain

  • Chris Pronger (2011-13)

    Chris Pronger was one of the most intimidating players in NHL history. The 6-foot-6 defenseman captured the hearts of Flyers fans as the general of the 2010 team that reached the Stanley Cup Final. He was the obvious choice as the captain after the Richards trade.

    He only played 13 more games in the NHL. An unfortunate injury ended his career too soon, and the Flyers have not truly replaced him since. Look for Pronger’s name on any list of the best defensemen in NHL history.

    Chris Pronger, Philadelphia Flyers Captain

  • Claude Giroux (2012-22)

    The Flyers hoped for a new era of Stanley Cup glory with Claude Giroux as the centerpiece. After they named him the captain in 2013 following the latest NHL lockout, they fell off the face of the Earth. Giroux became one of the most consistent point scorers in the NHL for a decade as the captain, and the depth behind him never gave him a chance to lead the Flyers to the Stanley Cup.

    The Flyers traded Giroux in 2022 in the deal that brought Owen Tippett to Philadelphia.

    Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers Captain

  • Sean Couturier (2024)

    The John Tortorella era began without a captain while the Flyers attempted to establish a new standard for performance on and off the ice. They named Sean Couturier their captain in 2024 during his 12th season in Philadelphia.

    Couturier broke into the NHL at age 18 in 2011-12. He steadily ascended into the role of a top-line center. The peak of his career came in 2019-20 when he won the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive (but really two-way) forward.

    Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers Captain

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