Most casual hockey fans know that the Philadelphia Flyers’ captain and leading goal scorer from last season both helped the Los Angeles Kings reach the Stanley Cup finals this year.
But Mike Richards and Jeff Carter aren’t the only players with Flyers ties who will lace them up for the Kings in Game 1 against the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night.
Below is a list of connections that have led to the Kings being known as “Flyers West.”
RICHARDS: Drafted by the Flyers with the 24th overall pick in 2003, he played six seasons for them before being dealt to the Kings last offseason.
CARTER: Drafted by the Flyers with the 11th overall pick in 2003, he played six seasons for them before being dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets last offseason. He was subsequently traded to the Kings during the season. He also owns a home in Sea Isle City and frequently has been spotted around Avalon.
SIMON GAGNE: Drafted by the Flyers with the 22nd overall pick in 1999, he played 10 seasons for them before being traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning two years ago. He subsequently signed with L.A. as a free agent.
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: Drafted by the Flyers with the 28th overall pick in 2000, he played three-plus seasons for them before being traded to the Carolina Hurricanes during the 2003-04 season. He spent four seasons with the Hurricanes, winning a Stanley Cup under coach Peter Laviolette in 2006, before being dealt to Los Angeles during the 2008-09 season.
COLIN FRASER: Drafted by the Flyers in the third round in 2003, he never played for them. He was traded during the 2003-04 season along with Jim Vandermeer to the Chicago Blackhawks for Alexei Zhamnov. Chicago dealt him to Edmonton in 2010, and the Oilers sent him to L.A. last offseason.
JOHN STEVENS: Drafted by the Flyers in the third round in 1984, he had a brief playing career with them and the Hartford Whalers before becoming coach of the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms and then the Flyers. After being fired as the Flyers’ coach in 2009, he briefly served as an assistant at St. Augustine Prep, where his son played. He joined the Kings as an assistant last season. He briefly served as interim coach earlier this season after the firing of head coach Terry Murray — who also coached the Flyers previously.
RON HEXTALL: Drafted by the Flyers in the sixth round in 1984, he spent most of his 13-year NHL career with them and is in the team’s Hall of Fame. He served as the Flyers’ director of pro personnel for four years before joining the Kings’ front office in 2006 as vice president and assistant general manager — positions he still holds.
DEAN LOMBARDI: Immediately before being hired as the Kings’ president and general manager in 2006, he had been a Flyers pro scout since 2003.
If five former Flyers draft picks on the Kings’ roster aren’t enough, look to the opposing bench. Devils center Dainius Zubrus was the Flyers’ first-round pick, 15th overall, in 1996.