Is it me or are the Broadstreet Bullies alive and well in 2012? Every year, the Philadelphia Flyers make some major news. The summer the Flyers made their biggest news as they presented RFA defenseman Shea Weber with a monster offer sheet to the tune of a 14-year, $110-million offer with $68 million in bonuses for the first six years of the contract (more on this later). The Flyers, who have played on Broad Street in Philadelphia since their inception are always throwing their weight around. From the fight filled games of the seventies to boardroom strong-arming, the Flyers seem to carry a lot of pull in the National Hockey League.
5 Reasons Why the Philadelphia Flyers Rule the NHL
- The Bully Perception – the Flyers are known to have some bitter rivalries, including classic rivalries with their old Patrick division enemies the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils. And based on this spring’s first round battle you have to add the Pittsburgh Penguins to that list. As a fan of the Edmonton Oilers, the Oil and Flyers met twice in the finals and yet another rivalry was established. Fact is the Flyers pretty much have a rivalry with every team in the League. You cannot really say that for any other NHL franchise. Their Broad Street bully moniker was a result of the 70’s teams that featured the likes of Bobby Clarke, Ed Van Impe, Bob Kelly, Don Saleski and of course Dave “The Hammer” Schultz. Schultz still holds the NHL record for most penalty minutes in one season with 472. That is a lot of scraps. This team loves to be hated. Check out this feature on the Broad Street Bullies:
- A Mob-Like Mentality – the Spectrum was a rough place to play, as is the Wells Fargo Center where the Flyers currently play. For whatever reason, when a player is drafted or acquired by the Flyers, the player is often one who is not afraid to stick up for their team and the history of the Flyers. Why do you think that players as villainous as Eric Lindros, Bobby Clarke and Chris Pronger were welcomed with open arms in Philly? Look at how the Flyers banded together against the favored Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2012 playoffs. Playing for the Flyers is like going to war, and the Flyers brass wouldn’t have it any other way.
- Passionate Fans – fans of the orange and black can be compared to the notorious fans of the Oakland Raiders of the NFL. In fact if you are a Flyers fan, there just might be a strong chance that you are also a fan of the Oakland Raiders. We have all heard the stories of fights breaking out in the stands, the Fans in Philly are ruthless. Although Tie Domi might have a different opinion… check out #8 from this list involving Domi and a Flyers fan.
- Savvy Ownership – Ed Snider is pretty mean hombre in his own right. He does not back down from much. Snider is a member of the NHL’s board of governors and in 1988, Snider was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Not sure of all of the offer sheets that the Flyers have tendered over the years are savvy or ballsey, but Ed Snider sure knows how to place the spotlight on the Flyers. In 2006 for example, as Sportsnet.ca reports, “With the Philadelphia Flyers’ losing Keith Primeau to retirement, general manager Bobby Clarke was looking to add some depth to a team that already had the likes of Mike Knuble, Peter Forsberg, and Simon Gagne. For some odd reason, Clarke thought that guy at the time was unproven Vancouver Canucks’ forward Ryan Kesler, who signed the tendered offer sheet of one-year, $1.9 million that the Flyers handed him. It is one thing to hand out an offer sheet to well-known and proven stars in the NHL but to hand out one to someone who has not done much of anything is quite perplexing.” Now I like Shea Weber and do believe that he is the best defenseman in the league, but the Flyers put together a pretty complex offer sheet in order to secure the rights to Weber for fourteen years. Apparently giving up four first round draft picks is of no concern to Ed Snider, then again at the time of this writing rumors persist that the Nashville Predators and the Flyers are working out details of a trade for Weber.
- A Strong Winning Percentage – although having won only two Stanley Cups in their 45 year history, the Flyers have always had strong teams and have the second best all-time points percentage in the NHL at .579. (The Montreal Canadiens lead with .588 – as of 2012). Of the original expansion teams the Flyers are tied with the Blues having reached the playoffs in 36 of 44 seasons. Quite often the Flyers have been in the top half of the leagues standings. A strong history with a winning tradition.
The Flyers have a lot of pull in the NHL. They spend like drunken sailors and they are not afraid to intimidate the opposition. The Flyers are in the top ten in terms of NHL worth yet the Stanley Cup has remained elusive. The one thing that puzzles many is why the Flyers have not been able to land a solid #1 goaltender. Maybe they know something that the rest of us don’t, but the Philadelphia Flyers have not won a Cup in nearly 40 years, something has to give soon. With the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement set to expire in mid-September, you can bet that Mr. Snider and the Philadelphia Flyers will have something to say about how the negotiations go. The black and orange attack is always up to something. Make no mistake, love them or hate them, the Philadelphia Flyers are one of the most powerful teams in the National Hockey League.