You just never know ...
What if the Flyers had never traded Ruslan Fedotenko to Tampa Bay in exchange for a first-round pick that became Joni Pitkanen?
Certainly Fedotenko never would have scored both goals in that tense Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup final against Calgary to win the Cup for the Lightning.
And what about Pittsburgh in 2009?
Fedotenko played with Max Talbot in that Game 7 at Detroit. Talbot scored twice to win the Cup for the Penguins.
Funny how things turn out.
As general manager Paul Holmgren said recently, you cant put a value on a guy whos won two Cups.
The 33-year-old Fedotenko is the only Flyer on the roster who has multiple Cups to his name.
Its probably not a coincidence that his locker is right beside sophomore forward Sean Couturier.
Hockey coaches and GMs like to make sure veterans of experience, especially those with a ring, sit near young players, hoping they can impart some wisdom.
Last season, Jaromir Jagr sat next to Jakub Voracek. Again, thats not a coincidence. Its done for a purpose and Voracek, who had a good year, will tell you that he learned from Jagr. They quickly became very tight friends.
I dont know if its a coincidence, Fedotenko said of his own situation right now. Maybe not. I will try to help the young guys to learn if they want to learn.
Im not the kind of player who will say, Listen to me. Its more lead by example in certain things. Im not, Hey, Ive been there, done that, so you have to listen to me.' Im not like that.
Trust us when we say Fedotenko leads by example.
The afternoon before Game 7 in Detroit, Fedotenko sat beside Sidney Crosby at the podium in the MGM in the Motor City and talked about who would step up for the Penguins, much like he did for the Bolts five years earlier.
Turned out it would be Talbot.
A lot of things go into winning the Cup, Fedotenko said. But I think the biggest, biggest, biggest point is the chemistry in the locker room, being able to buy into the one goal.
If everybody believes in that and will do everything to accomplish that, when no one is out of that thinking, you have a really good opportunity to win the Cup.
I was excited, he said. I started my career here and I still know people in the organization here, so Im excited.
Im going to be myself, and what I can bring to the team. Ive been on the winning team twice, and know those kind of experiences and how the room has to be and the team mentality.
I feel I can bring that to the room, and hopefully this will be the year.
Fedotenko played on Vinny Lecavaliers line in Tampa and with Evgeni Malkin in Pittsburgh.
Ive been fortunate to be playing with a lot of great players, he said. Great teammates and you bond so much, especially when you win. I feel like chemistry in the locker room is really important to your success as a team.
For lack of a better term, that is what equipment manager Derek Settlemyre refers to the hard, clear plastic shells that fit over players' skates.
They are designed to offer additional protection for shot blockers.
Some of the Flyers wear them during their penalty kill practices, yet only three are wearing them full-time, much to the displeasure of Settlemyre and coach Peter Laviolette.
The two Schenn brothers wear them Brayden and Luke, Settlemyre said. And so does Max Talbot.
Although they are not shatterproof when hit by a shot one broke this week in camp its better than not having any protection.
Imagine if a shot breaks one of these, what it would have done to the players foot without it, Settlemyre said. I just wish I could get more players to wear these.
They are custom-fitted, by the way.