On this day in 1996, the Flyers acquired future Fall of Fame center Dale Hawerchuk from the St. Louis Blues in a straight-up trade for fellow veteran center Craig MacTavish. Hawerchuk, who had not clicked with the Blues after signing a three-year contract as an unrestricted free agent, stepped right into the Flyers' lineup, playing either center or right wing as needed.
Despite being less than 100 percent healthy, Hawerchuk contributed 20 points (four goals, 16 assists) in 20 games down the stretch drive of the 1995-96 season. In the playoffs, he was an important contributor in the Flyers' first-round playoff victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning (three goals, seven points) in six games. He was quiet in the Flyers' second-round upset loss to the Florida Panthers.
In 1996-97, worsening hip and groin problems limited Hawerchuk to 51 games and also hampered his effectiveness. He reached the Stanley Cup Final with the team and then retired after the season.
March 15: Through the Years
- 1975: The Flyers play to a 4-4 road tie against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bernie Parent has to leave the game with a deep thigh bruise but returns next game. Bill Barber (29th goal of the season), Rick MacLeish (31st), Bill Clement (20th) and Reggie Leach (36th) tally for Philly.
- 1984: After falling behind 2-0 early in the game, the Flyers go out to double up the visiting Boston Bruins in a fight-filled 6-3 game. Goals by Thomas Eriksson (10th), Rich Sutter (14th), Glen Cochrane (7th) and Dave Poulin (26th and 27th) open up a 5-2 lead by 2:17 of the second period. Tim Kerr (48th) adds some extra insurance in the third period after Boston's Ray Bourque cuts the gap to two goals. Dave Brown and Cochrane (29 total penalty minutes, including two separate high-sticking minors) each receive game misconducts for three separate fighting majors apiece.
- 1986: A seesaw game at Maple Leaf Gardens sees the Flyers fall behind 2-0 early, take leads of 4-2 and 5-3 and then win 6-5 in overtime on a Doug Crossman goal. Ilkka Sinisalo scores his 33rd and 34th goals of the season, while Dave Brown, Tim Kerr (48th goal) and rookie Pelle Eklund also score.
- 2001: Mark Howe is inducted into the Flyers' Hall of Fame. On the same night, Roman Cechmanek breezes to a 15-save shutout in a 3-0 home win over the Minnesota Wild. Rick Tocchet (power play), Dean McAmmond and Michal Sykora provide the offensive support.
- 2006: The visiting Flyers jump quickly on the Florida Panthers to earn a 4-0 win. Robert Esche posts a 27-save shutout, while Simon Gagne (39th goal of the season), Petr Nedved (fifth goal as a Flyer), and rookies R.J. Umberger (13th goal) and Jeff Carter (15th goal) score for the Flyers.
- 2014: In the front end of a home-and-home set with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the host Flyers score early and often in a 4-0 victory. Matt Read (shorthanded and even strength goals), Scott Hartnell and Vincent Lecavalier provide the goal support as Steve Mason turns back all 25 shots fired on his net.
MARCH 15 FLYERS BIRTHDAYS
- Checking forward Chris VandeVelde was born on March 15, 1987 in Moorehead, Minnesota.
- Two-tenured Flyers center and American Hockey League Hall of Fame member Peter White was born March 15, 1969 in Montreal.