Welcome to another installment of the soon-to-be critically-acclaimed Friday Mount Rushmore column.
In this weekly series, we’re not taking ourselves very seriously, but instead having some fun while spoofing the sports talk radio cliche and perhaps learning something at the same time. We believe that things can be goofy but informative.
Last Friday, we did a Mount Rushmore of Philadelphia athletes named “Bobby,” which resulted in Abreu, Jones, Clarke, and Taylor receiving the honors. Today we are giving you our “Mount Rushmore of Philadelphia Flyers not from the United States and Canada.” A little foreign flair on a Friday.
Best defenseman who fits the criteria, by far. A steady and productive fan favorite who wore the ‘A’ on his shirt the year the 7th-seeded Flyers went to the Stanley Cup finals.
Statistically, the only defensemen with more than assists than Kimmo are Mark Howe and Eric Desjardins, who had much longer Flyer careers. If you crunch the data based on games played, Timonen’s 232 assists in 519 games means he was bagging a helper at a rate of 1 per 0.447 games, which is pretty damn close to every other night. He also had 26 assists in 71 playoff games.
Timonen also had the health scare, when he was diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs and his calf, and wasn’t sure he’d ever play again. He overcame that, was traded to Chicago, and won the Cup there, which was bittersweet because you wanted to see him do it in Philadelphia.
Kimmo Timonen ties the game in the final 10 seconds. Electrifying goal pic.twitter.com/UH8VFCda7q
— Brandon Murphy (@2Murphy8) May 7, 2020
Did you know that Voracek is the points leader among all foreign Flyers? Yup.
There’s always going to be some recency bias with current players, who can frustrate at times, but Jake has been here for nine seasons now. He’s scored 168 goals and bagged 393 assists. He has more points than Simon Gagne and Rick Tocchet. More games than Danny Briere and Mike Richards.
As a result of that volume + longevity combination, Voracek earns a spot on the Mount Rushmore of Philadelphia Flyers not from the United States or Canada.
Due to his status as a member of the Legion of Doom line, Renberg is a LOCK for this honor.
His Flyers career was not long, just six seasons split into a couple of stints, but in that time he tallied 296 points in 366 games, which is a fantastic ratio. There are a ton of skaters on the all-time list who had fewer points while playing more games.
Renberg was also really good in the playoffs, scoring 33 points in the stretch that lasted from 1994 to 1997. Yeah, the Flyers were swept by the Red Wings to cap that era, but Renberg scored in three straight games that postseason and was the top goal getter not named Eric Lindros, John LeClair, or Rod Brind’Amour.
Mikael Renberg blasts one by Brodeur during the 1995 playoffs pic.twitter.com/NvipljnPwP
— Coots (@YaBoyCoots) January 4, 2021
This was the hardest choice, because it came down to Eklund vs. Ilkka Sinisalo for the final spot on the mountain.
You could make a compelling argument for either guy. Sinisalo played here from 1981 to 1990. He tallied 408 regular season points and 31 postseason points and was on two teams that went to the finals (1985 and 1987).
Eklund was here from 1985 to 1994, and he had 454 points to go with 43 playoff points. He also had finals experience (1987), though the back-end of his Flyers career was spent on teams that were not as good as the front-end of Sinisalo’s career.
You could honestly go either way. Both guys were wingers. Both contributed a lot of goals and assists. We asked on Twitter and the fan responses seemed to be split, but the raw numbers favor Eklund, so we’ll give him the slight edge.
One opinion here:
Eklund did more for a longer stretch. The show he put on in game 6 of the Montreal series in 1987 (pregame brawl game) should be enough. I’m still mad at Sinisalo for not scoring in game 7 in the cup finals. He had a golden chance. I can’t let go. Love that 87 team.
— david (@1stStateTarHeel) March 5, 2021
Anthony said this as we were discussing the Mount Rushmore in our CB Slack channel:
(Honestly, you could make a case for Eklund and Sinisalo to both be on, and Renberg to be off, but I’m biased towards those Legion of Doom teams and therefore decided to include Renberg. Anthony says he would not have included Renber.)
Honorable mention: Ilkka Sinisalo, Kjell Samuelsson, Pelle Lindbergh, Michael Raffl, Ivan Provorov, Michal Handzus, Peter Forsberg, Sami Kapanen
Not honorable mention: Ilya Bryzgalov, Roman Cechmanek