March 2, 1990 - Saying Farewell to Brian Propp
Flyers Hall of Fame left winger Brian Propp was one of the franchise's iconic players of the 1980s. A member of three teams that reached the Stanley Cup Final, Propp amassed 40 or more goals four times and had four seasons of 90 to 97 points. He also emerged over the course of his career as a two-way threat and a top playoff performer. "Propper" stands as the second-leading postseason scorer in franchise history, trailing only Hockey Hall of Famer Bob Clarke.
Alas, even good things must eventually come to an end.
Propp was eating breakfast with his visiting parents in the Flyers' team hotel coffee shop in Calgary on the morning of March 2, 1990. One evening earlier, he had scored a goal and added an assist in the Flyers' 4-2 win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Flames. The points were his 369th goal, 480th assist, and and 848th and 849th points of a 790-game regular season career.
Flyers head coach Paul Holmgren relayed a message to Propp to call Clarke. The player knew immediately that he had been traded. He did just not know to where.
The transitioning Flyers traded the 31-year-old Propp to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a 1990 second-round pick (Terran Sandwith). The deal by general manager Clarke was as much about finding a good situation for Propp, whom the team did not plan to re-sign to a new contract, as it was about trying to squeeze out additional draft pick assets from Boston.
"It was the right time for Brian, and I was glad it was Boston," Clarke recounted in Jay Greenberg's Full Spectrum.
While saddened to leave the only team he'd played for up to that point, Propp was glad for the opportunity. The Bruins shaped up as a top Stanley Cup contender that season. Additionally, a move to Boston meant rejoining former Flyers captain, who had been traded to the Bruins earlier in the season.
"I'll always be a Flyer in my heart, and I look back and would not have wanted to play anywhere else all those years," Propp recalls. "At the same time, I was excited to go to the Bruins and I was grateful to Clarkie for giving me the chance. The Flyers always treated me great, from the beginning to the end."
The greater Philadelphia area had become the Saskatchewan native's permanent home. However, there was now business to tend to in another hockey team's uniform.
Five days after the trade, Propp returned to the Philadelphia Spectrum; now as a member of the visiting Boston Bruins. He received a warm ovation as he stepped onto the ice for warmups. So did Dave Poulin, who was making his Spectrum return after being traded to the Bruins on Jan. 16 in a deal that brought Ken Linseman back for a second Flyers stint.
Propp was rejuvenated in Boston, contributing 12 points in 14 games over the remainder of the regular season. He then added 13 points in 20 playoff games as Boston reached the Stanley Cup Final. However, the Edmonton Oilers skated off with Cup.
The next season, after Clarke became general manager of the Minnesota North Stars, he and Propp were reunited. Once Propp became acclimated to head coach Bob Gainey's left wing lock system, the veteran forward enjoyed the best post-Flyers season of his career. During the 1990-91 campaign, Propp contributed 73 points in 79 games during the regular season and then produced 23 points in 23 playoff games. For the fifth time in his career, Propp reached the Stanley Cup Final.
March 2: Through the Years
- 1969: The Flyers make several roster moves. The team trades Forbes Kennedy and Brit Selby to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Gerry Meehan, Bill Sutherland and Mike Byers. Additionally, the team sells the contract of Pat Hannigan to the WHL's Vancouver Canucks.
- 1972: Doug Favell records a 32-save shutout in a 3-0 home win over the Minnesota North Stars. Bobby Clarke opens the scoring with a late first-period power play goal and then sets up a Bob Kelly goal just eight seconds after the drop of the opening faceoff of the second period. Barry Ashbee supplies a little extra insurance in the latter stages of the third period.
- 1974: Rallying back from a pair of one-goal deficits, the Flyers down the visiting Buffalo Sabres by a 4-2 count. Bill Flett, Bill Clement and Bill Barber (shorthanded) spur the three-goal charge after the Flyers fall behind 2-1. Gary Dornhoefer (power play) ties the game at 1-1 with a first-period power play goal before Buffalo retakes the lead.
- 1982: The Flyers lose a wild 7-6 decision to the visiting Winnipeg Jets. The first NHL hat trick of forward Ray Allison goes to waste, along with four Ken Linseman assists.
- 2002: A hat trick by former Flyers center Eric Lindros spurs the New York Rangers to a 6-5 win over Philly at Madison Square Garden. Simon Gagne's first NHL hat trick for the Flyers comes in a losing cause, along with a goal and assist by Jeremy Roenick.
- 2010: The Flyers explode for five unanswered goals in the third period to earn a 7-2 road win over the Tampa Bay Lightning after the game is tied, 2-2-, at the second intermission. Mike Richards (one goal, three assists), Simon Gagne (one goal, two assists) and Claude Giroux (two goals, one assist) spur the offense.
- 2014: Trailing the Washington Capitals, 4-2, midway through the third period, the Flyers rally back to claim a 5-4 overtime win. Vincent Lecavalier notches the winning goal after Jakub Voracek (power play) and Caude Giroux score goals to tie the game. Giroux's game-tying goal is his second of the game, as he previously knotted the score at 1-1 with a first-period power play goal. Adam Hall adds a shorthanded goal midway through regulation to give Philly a short-lived 2-1 lead.
- 2015: The Flyers trade long-tenured defenseman Braydon Coburn to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for defenseman Radko Gudas and a 2015 first-round draft pick. The pick is later traded by the Flyers to the Toronto Maple Leafs along with a second-round pick in order to move up in the first round of the draft and select forward Travis Konecny.
March 2: Flyers Birthday
- Early 2000s Flyers goaltender Roman Cechmanek was born on March 2, 1971, in Zlin, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic).