Hockey Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike Emrick vividly can recall Rod Brind'Amour
's early years in Philadelphia, when playoff berths were few and far between.
Despite his efforts to lead the team, scoring more than 30 goals and at least 77 points in each of his first three seasons in Philadelphia, the Flyers still failed to qualify for the playoffs from 1991-92 through 1993-94.
"Rod was coming in at a time when there weren't a lot of guys who rode the bike and lifted weights both before and after games," Emrick said. "I remember one night, after a Flyers loss, I was going into the upper tier to get my coat to leave and Rod was up there, standing and staring at the wall. He was focused on not only reliving what happened that night, and it wasn't good, but also conditioning himself mentally, I guess, for what he had done and what he could do to make it better the next time.
"They're the team I played the other half of my career, essentially, with. There's so many great memories there. I'm grateful that the team would pick that night to do that. It couldn't really be better timing for me." -- Rod Brind'Amour
"There were a lot of people in Philadelphia at that time that had an interest in the Carolina Hurricanes
winning the championship against Edmonton in seven games (in 2006) because of Rod. He was a tremendous example to the people in Philadelphia of what you could accomplish on a team that failed to make the playoffs."
The fact the Hurricanes are hosting the Flyers on the night Brind'Amour will see his jersey banner raised to the rafters is special.
"They're the team I played the other half of my career, essentially, with," he said. "There's so many great memories there. I'm grateful that the team would pick that night to do that. It couldn't really be better timing for me. Like I said, I had a lot of great memories with the Flyers, and hopefully I'll be able to have enough time that I can thank the right people with the Flyers who really helped me to get to the point of having this night."