Congratulations Flyers West.

Posted: June 13, 2012 in Flyers

The Los Angeles Kings dominated the New Jersey Devils 6-1 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals Monday in Los Angeles to take the series 4-2, and capture the franchise’s first ever Stanley Cup. 

As nice as it was to see the Kings win, as opposed to the hated Devils, there was definitely a bittersweet feeling among Flyers fans.

Dubbed “Flyers West” by many Flyers fans, the Kings have a host of former Flyers within their organization. Fans were able to see longtime Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall (Currently the Kings Assistant General Manager), former player and Head Coach John Stevens (Currently the Kings Assistant Coach), Simon Gagne, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, and Justin Williams all hoist the Stanley Cup.

As happy as Flyers fans (myself included) were to finally see those former Flyers win a Stanley Cup, there was a bittersweet feeling that filled the air as well. Almost all of the former Flyers currently within the Kings organization came oh so close to taking that skate around the ice with the cup in South Philadelphia.

Like many other athletes who spent time in Philadelphia, they did not win that championship until after they left, which is something that Flyers fans, and Philadelphia fans in general, are far too familiar with.

However, the former Flyers that I was happiest to see hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup were Assistant GM, and beloved Flyers goaltender, Ron Hextall, as well as former Flyers winger Simon Gagne.

Hextall made it to the Stanley Cup Finals with the Flyers in 1987 and 1997, but fell sho both times. The sight of him skating around the Spectrum and Wells Fargo (then CoreStates) Center ice would have truly been special in so many ways.

Simon Gagne had spent his entire career in Philadelphia up until 2010 when h was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. On a personal note, Gagne was my favorite Flyer ever since I went to my first game in November of 2000 against the Edmonton Oilers. In the second period Gagne scored the first goal of the game taking a pass just inside the blue line and, in spectacular fashion, slid the puck past Tommy Salo while diving to avoid Salo’s stick. Then Color Commentator Gary Dornhoeffer acknowledged Gagne’s speed and skill during the play. From that point on, I always wore my #12 sweater while watching Flyers games.

Each player on that Los Angeles Kings team deserves that Stanley Cup. They earned every win they got in this years playoffs. But for the former Flyers on that Kings team, I want to especially congratulate you guys. I hate that you didn’t win it with the Flyers, but you still deserve it. 

Congratulations Flyers West.

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