When you have a history as rich as the Flyers over 50 years, you recognize the legends of that history.
The Flyers have done so for 25 legends of the franchise with enshrinement in the Flyers Hall of Fame, starting with the inaugural class in 1988.
The Flyers will honor the members of the franchise's Hall of Fame on Thursday night in their first of five Heritage Nights prior to the game against the Arizona Coyotes.
Here is a history of the Flyers Hall of Fame and its members.
Class of 1988-1989: Bobby Clarke, Bernie Parent, Ed Snider, Keith Allen, Bill Barber
When it came time for the Flyers to enshrine an inaugural class, the first two choices among players were easy. The captain and goalie behind back-to-back Stanley Cup championships were the first to take their place in the Flyers Hall of Fame.
Clarke is the greatest Flyer of all-time, essentially a part of the Flyers organization since 1969. As a player, he was among the NHL's best during the 1970s, scoring 358 goals and adding 852 assists for a franchise record 1,210 points in 15 career seasons, all with the Flyers. As captain of the two Stanley Cup winning teams in 1974 and 1975, Clarke was the consummate leader with tremendous heart, grit and guts that led to the glory days of the 70s.
Parent is the Flyers greatest goalie, a position the Flyers will honor later this season, and as the netminder for the two Stanley Cup teams, sealed two championships with shutout wins. Over the two Stanley Cup championship seasons, Parent combined for 91 regular-season wins and a goals against average of 1.96 and had 24 shutouts in that time, numbers that seem almost unfathomable for that era.
With the two best players enshrined in the inaugural class of 1988, the builders took center stage in 1989, as did one other member of the Stanley Cup teams.
Ed Snider's impact on the Flyers doesn't need to be put to words anymore. With his passing in April, his impact was felt more than ever and his presence remains as the Flyers embark on their first regular season with their founder physically present.
Snider joined the ranks of Flyers Hall of Famers in 1989 for the ultimate contribution, the existance of the Flyers that, at the time, had lasted over 30 years. Now at 50, the Flyers have become a fixture of Philadelphia, thanks largely in part to the contributions of Mr. Snider.
The Flyers also inducted executive Keith Allen into the Hall of Fame that year, the GM behind the Stanley Cup championships of the 70s.
Lastly, Bill Barber was inducted as the franchise's leader in goals and part of the greatest forward line in franchise history.
1990-1999: More Cup Members, Coach and Broadcaster
For the rest of the 90s, the Flyers continued to honor the members of the Broad Street Bullies. Rick MacLeish and Fred Shero were honored in 1990. Barry Ashbee and Gary Dornhoefer were inducted in 1991. Broadcaster Gene Hart and Reggie Leach were inducted in 1992.
Former Flyers president Joe Scott and Ed Van Impe were inducted in 1993. Joe Watson was inducted in 1996.
The Flyers also inducted two fixtures of the 1980s Flyers teams that made three Stanley Cup Final appearances during the 90s. Tim Kerr was inducted in 1994 and Brian Propp was inducted in 1999.
2000-2009: Five New Members Inducted
Flyers Hall of Fame inductions were few and far between during the first decade of the 21st century. Mark Howe was inducted in 2001. It would be three years before the Flyers would induct their next member, Dave Poulin, in 2004 and another four before the next member, Ron Hextall, would be inducted in 2008. Dave Schultz was inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame in 2009.
2014-2016: After Hiatus, Five New Flyers Join Hall Ranks
The Flyers did not induct any new members to the team's Hall of Fame for five years before tapping into the teams of the 90s with the induction of John LeClair and Eric Lindros in November 2014 and Eric Desjardins in February 2015.
The following season, two more members joined, as Rod Brind'Amour was inducted in November 2015 and Jim Watson was inducted in February 2016.
The Flyers will be well represented at Thursday's ceremony. The following 14 members will be attendance for Thursday's ceremonies:
- Bill Barber
- Rod Brind'Amour
- Bobby Clarke
- Ron Hextall
- Mark Howe
- John LeClair
- Reggie Leach
- Eric Lindros
- Bernie Parent
- Brian Propp
- Dave Poulin
- Dave Schultz
- Joe Watson
- Jim Watson
In addition, six more Hall of Fame members who have since passed on will be represented by family members -- Ed Snider, Gene Hart, Barry Ashbee, Rick MacLeish, Keith Allen and Joe Scott.
The ceremonies will take place prior to Thursday's game at 7 p.m.