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1996–97 Philadelphia Flyers season

The 1996–97 Philadelphia Flyers season was the Philadelphia Flyers 30th season in the National Hockey League (NHL). The Flyers reached the Stanley Cup Finals but lost to the Detroit Red Wings in a four-game sweep.

Regular season

While Eric Lindros rehabbed from a bothersome groin injury, the Flyers treaded water through the early part of the schedule. They dropped the first-ever home game at the new CoreStates Center to the Florida Panthers, 3–1, on October 5, and lost again to their new rivals three weeks later. However, they rebounded to end the Panthers' season-opening 8–0–4 run with a 3–2 victory in Miami on November 2.

With John LeClair, Mikael Renberg, Dale Hawerchuk and Rod Brind'Amour expected to pick up the slack on offense, the club was inconsistent and went 12–10–1 prior to Lindros' return in a 2–0 loss in Boston on November 26. Another loss the next night to the Islanders dropped the team into fourth place, but the team soon caught fire, ripping off a 14–0–3 stretch from November 30 to January 7.

The run included an incredible stretch of four consecutive shutout wins in mid-December (Hartford, Boston, Islanders, St. Louis), a trade which netted high-scoring defenseman Paul Coffey and a thrilling come-from-behind 4–4 tie against the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on January 4.

In a 9–5 win over Montreal on February 6, the Legion of Doom line set a franchise-record with 16 points and spoiled the NHL debut of Tomas Vokoun, and in a 5–5 tie on March 1 in Boston, third-line winger Trent Klatt recorded his first (and only) 20-goal season with a hat trick.

A 2–3–2 finish which saw Lindros sit out a one-game suspension and the Devils vault over the team for first place in the Atlantic was mitigated when LeClair scored his 50th goal of the season in a 5–4 win over New Jersey in the final regular-season game.

Season standings

Atlantic Division
No. CR GP W L T GF GA Pts
1 1 New Jersey Devils 82 45 23 14 231 182 104
2 3 Philadelphia Flyers 82 45 24 13 274 217 103
3 4 Florida Panthers 82 35 28 19 221 201 89
4 5 New York Rangers 82 38 34 10 258 231 86
5 9 Washington Capitals 82 33 40 9 214 231 75
6 11 Tampa Bay Lightning 82 32 40 10 217 247 74
7 12 New York Islanders 82 29 41 12 240 250 70

Playoffs

Backstopped by the goaltending tandem of Ron Hextall and Garth Snow, the Flyers dominated the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Rangers all in five games apiece to win the Eastern Conference championship, and clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1987. However, their opponent, the Detroit Red Wings, swept the Flyers in four straight games. After Game 3, Terry Murray said that the team was in a "choking situation". It is said this remark cost Murray his job, as he was fired soon after.

Schedule and results

Regular season

1996–97 regular season

Legend:       Win (2 points)       Loss (0 points)       Tie (1 point)

Playoffs

1997 Stanley Cup playoffs

Legend:       Win       Loss

Player stats

Skaters

Note: Pos = Position (C = Center; D = Defense; G = Goaltender; LW = Left Wing; RW = Right Wing); GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/- = Plus-minus; PIM = Penalties in minutes; = Joined team via trade or waivers during the season. Stats reflect time with the Flyers only. = Left team via trade or waivers during the season. Stats reflect time with the Flyers only.

# Player Age Pos GP G A P +/- PIM GP G A P +/- PIM
Regular season Playoffs
10 LeClair, JohnJohn LeClair 27 LW 82 50 47 97 44 58 19 9 12 21 5 10
88 Lindros, EricEric Lindros 23 C 52 32 47 79 31 136 19 12 14 26 7 40
17 Brind'Amour, RodRod Brind'Amour 26 C 82 27 32 59 2 41 19 13 8 21 9 10
19 Renberg, MikaelMikael Renberg 24 RW 77 22 37 59 36 65 18 5 6 11 1 4
37 Desjardins, EricEric Desjardins 27 D 82 12 34 46 25 50 19 2 8 10 9 12
20 Klatt, TrentTrent Klatt 26 RW 76 24 21 45 9 20 19 4 3 7 1 12
44 Niinimaa, JanneJanne Niinimaa 21 D 77 4 40 44 12 58 19 1 12 13 3 16
18 Hawerchuk, DaleDale Hawerchuk 33 C 51 12 22 34 9 32 17 2 5 7 -2 0
25 Podein, ShjonShjon Podein 28 LW 82 14 18 32 7 41 19 4 3 7 4 16
29 Otto, JoelJoel Otto 35 C 78 13 19 32 12 99 18 1 5 6 3 8
77 Coffey, PaulPaul Coffey 35 D 37 6 20 26 11 20 17 1 8 9 -3 6
6 Therien, ChrisChris Therien 25 D 71 2 22 24 27 64 19 1 6 7 14 6
15 Falloon, PatPat Falloon 24 RW 52 11 12 23 -8 10 14 3 1 4 -1 2
9 Zubrus, DainiusDainius Zubrus 18 LW 68 8 13 21 3 22 19 5 4 9 3 12
24 Dykhuis, KarlKarl Dykhuis 24 D 62 4 15 19 6 35 18 0 3 3 1 2
26 Druce, JohnJohn Druce 30 RW 43 7 8 15 -5 12 13 1 0 1 2 2
45 Prospal, VaclavVaclav Prospal 21 C 18 5 10 15 3 4 5 1 3 4 0 4
23 Svoboda, PetrPetr Svoboda 30 D 67 2 12 14 10 94 16 1 2 3 4 16
32 Lacroix, DanielDaniel Lacroix 27 C 74 7 1 8 -1 163 12 0 1 1 0 22
22 Daniels, ScottScott Daniels 27 RW 56 5 3 8 2 237
28 Samuelsson, KjellKjell Samuelsson 38 D 34 4 3 7 17 47 5 0 0 0 -3 2
21 Kordic, DanDan Kordic 25 LW 75 1 4 5 -1 210 12 1 0 1 1 22
11 Darby, CraigCraig Darby 24 C 9 1 4 5 2 2
5 Haller, KevinKevin Haller 26 D 27 0 5 5 -1 37
8 Petit, MichelMichel Petit 32 D 20 0 3 3 2 51 3 0 0 0 -1 6
48 Forbes, ColinColin Forbes 20 LW 3 1 0 1 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0
30 Snow, GarthGarth Snow 27 G 35 0 1 1 N/A 30 12 0 2 2 N/A 11
34 Bowen, JasonJason Bowen 23 D 4 0 1 1 1 8
3 Brimanis, ArisAris Brimanis 24 D 3 0 1 1 0 0
27 Hextall, RonRon Hextall 32 G 55 0 0 0 N/A 43 8 0 0 0 N/A 0
5 Rumble, DarrenDarren Rumble 28 D 10 0 0 0 -2 0
2 Kucera, FrantisekFrantisek Kucera 28 D 2 0 0 0 -2 2
38 Healey, PaulPaul Healey 21 RW 2 0 0 0 0 2

Goaltenders

Note: GP = Games played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts; GA = Goals against; SV% = Save percentage; GAA = Goals against average; MIN = Minutes played

# Player Age GP W L T SO GA SV% GAA MIN GP W L SO GA SV% GAA MIN
Regular season Playoffs
27 Hextall, RonRon Hextall 32 55 31 16 5 5 132 .897 2.56 3094 8 4 3 0 22 .892 2.97 444
30 Snow, GarthGarth Snow 27 35 14 8 8 2 79 .903 2.52 1884 12 8 4 0 33 .892 2.83 699

Awards and records

Awards

NHL
Award Recipient
All-Star Game representative Paul Coffey
Dale Hawerchuk
John LeClair
Eric Lindros
NHL All-Rookie Team Janne Niinimaa (D)
NHL Player of the Week John LeClair (November 11)
Eric Lindros (December 16)
NHL Plus-Minus Award John LeClair
NHL Second All-Star Team John LeClair (LW)
Team
Award Recipient
Barry Ashbee Trophy Eric Desjardins
Bobby Clarke Trophy John LeClair
Class Guy Award Shjon Podein
Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy Trent Klatt

Records

NHL player
Player Record Mark
Rod Brind'Amour Shorthanded goals, one playoff game 2[1]
Rod Brind'Amour Shorthanded goals, one playoff period 2[1]

Milestones

Player Milestone Reached
Ron Hextall 500 games November 21, 1996

Transactions

The Flyers were involved in the following transactions from June 12, 1996, the day after the deciding game of the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals, through June 7, 1997, the day of the deciding game of the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals.

Trades

Date
Details
July 18, 1996 To Philadelphia Flyers
Frank Bialowas
To Washington Capitals
future considerations
December 15, 1996 To Philadelphia Flyers
Paul Coffey
3rd-round pick in 1997
To Hartford Whalers
Kevin Haller
1st-round pick in 1997
Hartford's 7th-round pick in 1997
March 18, 1997 To Philadelphia Flyers
Frantisek Kucera
To Vancouver Canucks
future considerations

Other transactions

Date Player Team (League) Notes
Signed via free agency
June 27, 1996 Scott Daniels Hartford Whalers
July 3, 1996 Dominic Roussel Winnipeg Jets
July 18, 1996 Daniel Lacroix New York Rangers
July 31, 1996 Steven King Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
August 6, 1996 John Stevens Springfield Falcons (AHL)
August 10, 1996 Peter White Toronto Maple Leafs
Lost via free agency
July 17, 1996 Dan Quinn Pittsburgh Penguins
July 31, 1996 Shawn Antoski Pittsburgh Penguins
August 27, 1996 Tim Cheveldae Boston Bruins
October 12, 1996 Kerry Huffman Las Vegas Thunder (IHL)
Claimed off waivers
January 17, 1997 Michel Petit Edmonton Oilers
Lost on waivers
September 30, 1996 Bob Corkum Phoenix Coyotes Waiver draft
September 30, 1996 Rob DiMaio San Jose Sharks Waiver draft
Re-signed
July 18, 1996 Trent Klatt
August 6, 1996 Karl Dykhuis
September 10, 1996 Petr Svoboda 4 years
Signed to Entry Level contracts
June 18, 1996 Janne Niinimaa Jokerit (SM-liiga) Drafted 36th overall, 1993
July 31, 1996 Brian Wesenberg Guelph Storm (OHL) Drafted 29th overall, 1995 (Anaheim)
October 10, 1996 Brian Boucher Tri-City Americans (WHL) Drafted 22nd overall, 1995

Draft picks

Philadelphia's picks at the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.[2]

Round # Player Position Nationality College/Junior/Club Team (League)
1 15 Dainius Zubrus Right Wing  Lithuania Caledon Canadians (MJAHL)
3 64 Chester Gallant Right Wing  Canada Niagara Falls Thunder (OHL)
5 124 Per-Ragnar Bergkvist Goaltender  Sweden Leksands IF (SEL)
5 133 Jesse Boulerice Right Wing  United States Detroit Whalers (OHL)
7 187 Roman Malov Center  Russia Omsk Avangard (RSL)
8 213 Jeff Milliker Center  Canada Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)

Farm teams

The Flyers were affiliated with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL[3][4] and the Mobile Mysticks of the ECHL.[5]

References

General
  • Results and Schedule
  • Schedule and Results
  • Playoff Results
Specific
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