Can You Name the Nine Flyers to Wear '2' Since Mark Howe?

Can You Name the Nine Flyers to Wear '2' Since Mark Howe?

The
Flyers are set to officially retire Mark Howe's number 2 tonight, when
the team hosts the Detroit Red Wings, Howe's other NHL home. As we've
discussed in previous posts on Howe, while he is certainly deserving, it
has seemed somewhat odd for so much time to pass between Howe's last
wearing the 2 here and the actual retirement of the number. Two decades
have passed since Howe was a Flyer, and nine players have worn the
number 2 for the Orange & Black in that time.

Can you name them all? [plus much more on Howe's honor below]

I couldn't, but Bill Meltzer put a list together.

Derian Hatcher, Eric Weinrich, Dmitri Yushkevich, Vladimir
Malakhov, Adam Burt, Kerry Huffman, Lukas Krajicek, Frantisek Kucera,
Brad Tiley.

When Howe was being inducted into the Hockey
Hall of Fame and musings over his number retirement became reality, I
tried to think of as many former 2's as possible, but came up with only
Yushkevich, Hatch, Weinrich (yellow visor ftw), and Krajicek off the top
of my head. My bad, Kerry Huffman.

I'm not sure why the number wasn't sooner deemed untouchable. I
suppose it's because Howe wasn't a Cup-winning Flyer, nor yet a Hall of
Famer, though his play was certainly good enough to be both. His call to
the Hall was ultimately the difference in the eyes of the franchise, as
the number retirement was announced nearly simultaneous to
the induction, and Ed Snider said as much. Per Tim Panaccio in November:

“We think very carefully about the numbers we retire,” Snider
said. “I don’t want to say one thing one way or another, but I feel that
anybody who was in the Hall of Fame that was a Philadelphia Flyer,
their number should be retired.”

Howe's Flyers credentials haven't changed, and maybe that
makes him all the more worthy, 20 years later. At the time he left the
Flyers for Detroit, Howe was the best defenseman the team ever had.
Through a handful of reboots and countless players taking the ice in
south Philadelphia, he still is. While it feels a little "after the
fact," Howe's legacy with the club is perhaps even greater today than it
was then, because we've seen how rare a talent he was.

Tonight, some fans will see a Flyer's number retired for the first
time. Bill Barber's 7 going up in 1990 was the most recent, and that's
now 22 years ago. Others, like me, will for the first time witness the
occasion for a player they've actually seen play (I was alive for the
final years of Clarke and Barber, but not yet cognizant of hockey). All
previous retirees—Bernie Parent, Barry Ashbee, Clarke, and Barber were
Broad Street Bullies. Pelle Lindbergh's 31 has not been worn since his
death, but it is not officially retired.

We'll enjoy seeing the first Flyer of our generation honored in this
way, granting a wish many fans have had since he hung up the skates.

Previously:
>>2 the Rafters? Sources Say Flyers Will Retire Mark Howe's Number
>>Mark Howe Sports a Red Wings Jersey at His Hall of Fame Induction, and It's All Good

Villanova stays put at No. 2 for the 3rd straight week

Villanova stays put at No. 2 for the 3rd straight week

Villanova stayed put in the national rankings this week.

The defending champion Wildcats remained the No. 2 overall team in the Associated Press top-25 poll behind 24-0 Gonzaga. The Bulldogs received 59 first-place votes while Villanova received five votes. Kansas, which came in at No. 3, received the other No. 1 vote.

Villanova stayed where they were in the rankings after holding their own with two comfortable road wins, in large part thanks to sophomore point guard Jalen Brunson. Brunson was the big man on campus this week, beginning with a team-high 18 points in a 75-62 win at DePaul on Monday. He followed it up with his first career double-double as he put together a 22-point, 10-assist effort in a blowout win over Seton Hall in Newark on Saturday.

The win over the Pirates meant the Wildcats clinched a share of the Big East regular-season title for the fourth straight year. One win in their last three regular season games or one loss each by Butler and Creighton would hand Villanova sole possession of the Big East crown. 

Therefore, it's only fitting that the Wildcats' next two games are against none other than Butler and Creighton. Butler handed Villanova its first loss of the season back on Jan. 4 at Hinkle Fieldhouse, but the No. 22 Bulldogs now have to travel to Philadelphia for the rematch on Wednesday. The No. 23 Blue Jays then head to the Pavillion for a Saturday afternoon duel. The Wildcats beat Creighton, 80-70, on New Year's Eve in Omaha, Neb. 

At this point last season, Villanova had four losses (two in conference) and had just a one-game lead in the conference. This year, they have much more room for comfort, albeit with a tough week with two ranked opponents ahead of them. 

Behind the top three, which remained static this week, the Pac 12 had three teams ranked 4-6 – Arizona, UCLA and Oregon – in the poll this week. The ACC had six teams in the top 25, including No. 7 Louisville, No. 8 North Carolina and No. 10 Duke. Baylor, which lost to Kansas on Saturday, fell from No. 4 to No. 9. 

Sixers were right to reject Pelicans' reported Jahlil Okafor trade offer

Sixers were right to reject Pelicans' reported Jahlil Okafor trade offer

If the reports are accurate, Bryan Colangelo probably made the right decision not trading Jahlil Okafor last week.

After the Pelicans acquired DeMarcus Cousins early Monday morning in a shocking, post-All-Star Game blockbuster, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported several interesting pieces of information regarding the Sixers.

"The Pelicans were very close on a deal for Jahlil Okafor about 10 days ago, offering a similar package except it didn't include [Buddy] Hield," Shelburne wrote

A few hours earlier, she reported on ESPN that the deal for Okafor would have netted the Sixers Tyreke Evans, a protected first-round pick and a future second-round pick from New Orleans.

The protection the Pelicans sought was heavy — they wanted top-20 protection, according to Shelburne.

That just isn't a meaningful enough return, even for a player without a role in Philly.

Why? 

• Evans is a free agent after the season who has had three knee surgeries in the last two years and can't shoot threes. 

• A second-round pick is just a sweetener, so moving on from that ...

• A top-20 protected first-round pick isn't that enticing at all. Of the players selected between 20 and 30 in the last draft, only Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Toronto's Pascal Siakam and San Antonio's Dejounte Murray even have roles. 

In the previous year's draft, the best picks between 20-30 were Bobby Portis and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. 

The year before, Rodney Hood and Clint Capela panned out for their teams, but the eight others selected in that range have done little.

This sort of trade might have worked for the Sixers if they weren't already accumulating some roster depth. They don't need to go search for another late-first-round pick they can hopefully turn into the eighth or ninth guy in a rotation. With players developing like T.J. McConnell, Robert Covington, Richaun Holmes and Nik Stauskas, the Sixers are already building a decent second unit for the future.

There are a lot of people in this city ready to give Okafor away, but doing so just makes no sense for the Sixers. All it would solve is the center logjam and awkwardness, but the value in that New Orleans proposal just wasn't there for the Sixers. 

At this point, it's looking extremely unlikely Okafor is traded before the Feb. 23 deadline. The Blazers were interested but acquired Jusuf Nurkic from Denver instead. The Pelicans were interested but landed Cousins. 

The only team left we've heard connected to Okafor is the Bulls, who don't have much of intrigue to send the Sixers' way.

But still, hanging on to Okafor and trading him after the season, or on draft night, could yield the Sixers a better return than New Orleans was offering. Forget about Evans and forget about the second-round pick — that offer was basically a pick in the 20-30 range for Okafor. 

Not enough. 

The Sixers held out in hopes of New Orleans' making the pick top-10 protected or lottery-protected instead, but Pels GM Dell Demps knew the Sixers didn't have much leverage and thought to himself, "If I'm trading away a potentially valuable draft pick, I want a better player in return."

And so he got Cousins. That's how we ended up where we are today.

The Sixers' future is brighter because their pick swap with the Kings now holds more value, so last night was a win for them even though Okafor remains on the roster.