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

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

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.

>>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

In long-awaited NBA debut, Joel Embiid treats Sixers fans to a show

In long-awaited NBA debut, Joel Embiid treats Sixers fans to a show

The crowd erupted as Joel Embiid stepped to the free throw line. They chanted a phrase Embiid has been repeating for the past two years, a fitting welcome to his NBA debut.

“That was great,” Embiid said after the Sixers' 103-97 loss to the Thunder on Wednesday in the season opener (see Instant Replay). “That’s my motto, 'Trust the process.'”

After two years of rehabbing foot injuries, Embiid has his first regular-season game behind him. Embiid scored a team-high 20 points, shooting 6 for 16 from the field, 1 for 3 from long range and 7 for 8 from the line. He also recorded seven rebounds, two blocks, four turnovers and four fouls in over 22 minutes. 

“The beginning I was nervous, but once you make that first shot, it just goes away,” he said. “The fans were so into the game that it was fun. I love having fun.”

Sixers head coach Brett Brown enjoyed watching Embiid on the court as much as the big man liked being on it. Brown has seen the 7-foot-2 center grow and develop during his rehab. Finally, he was able to utilize his versatile skills in a real game setting.

“I can't say this loud enough,” Brown said. “For the city to be rewarded with a player that we all understand has unique gifts, special gifts, for him to go through all the things he has been through and play like he did on opening night, the city deserves it. Most importantly, he deserves it.”

Now that Embiid has been cleared to play, he would like to do so for longer periods of time. He began the preseason at 12 minutes and was increased to 20 in segmented spurts for opening night. Even though he exceeded that limit by over two minutes, Embiid is itching to be cleared to play more extensively. 

“It sucks,” Embiid said. “I feel like I could have played more but you know you’ve got to trust the process, got to trust those guys. If I have my minute restriction at 20 minutes, I guess I’m going to go with that. But obviously I want to play more and more and I think it can help the team better. But they have a plan for me and I’ve got to follow it.”

Embiid has maintained he wants to be a clutch player. Brown looked to him toward the end of the game as the Thunder pulled ahead late in the final quarter. He drained a fadeaway jumper to tie the game at 97 apiece with 50.7 to go. 

Later trailing by four with 10 seconds left, the Sixers went to Embiid. While he was whistled for an offensive foul, Brown was glad to have a go-to unlike in years past. 

“You have a target,” Brown said. “We tried to get the ball to him a lot. … By and large, to have somebody like Joel, where the mystery is solved like, 'What do you do?' You get him the ball as much as you can.”

The more the Sixers found Embiid, the more the Thunder had to try to defend him. Thunder head coach Billy Donovan knew what his team was going up against. He watched Embiid as a high schooler and coached against him during his tenure at Florida. 

“He’s gifted and skilled,” Donovan said. “It was probably our guys' first time seeing him … I knew the talent, the gifts. The one thing with him is, he’s got great footwork. He’s hard to guard because he’s herky-jerky. He moves. He’s got a lot of [Hakeem] Olajuwon to him.”

Opening night had been two years in the making. Even though the Sixers didn't win, the significance of the evening didn't disappoint. 

"I thought this moment was going to be special," Embiid said, "and it was just great."

Best of NBA: Davis' 50 points not enough in Pelicans' loss to Nuggets

Best of NBA: Davis' 50 points not enough in Pelicans' loss to Nuggets

NEW ORLEANS -- Jusuf Nurkic scored 23 points, Will Barton added 22, and the Denver Nuggets survived a dominant performance by Anthony Davis to defeat the New Orleans Pelicans 107-102 in both teams' regular season opener Wednesday night.

Davis had 50 points, 16 rebounds, seven steals, five assists and four blocks. His production helped New Orleans trim a deficit as large as 14 late in the second quarter down to two points in the waning minutes. He simply didn't have enough help.

The rest of the Pelicans combined to shoot 21 of 58. Tim Frazier scored 15 for the Pelicans. E'Twaun Moore added 10 points, but missed a 3-point attempt that could have tied it with 24 seconds left.

Danilo Gallinari scored 15 for Denver and Wilson Chandler added 12 points (see full recap).

Celtics top Nets in Horford's home debut
BOSTON -- Isaiah Thomas had 25 points and nine assists, Jae Crowder added 21 points and Al Horford pitched in 11 in his Boston debut on Wednesday night as the Celtics survived a late scare to beat the Brooklyn Nets 122-117 in their season opener.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 21 for Brooklyn, including a 3-pointer to make it 120-117 with 47 seconds left after the Nets erased most of a 23-point deficit against the Boston bench. But he missed one with a chance to tie it after Joe Harris intercepted Thomas' cross-court pass, and the Celtics were able to hold on.

Justin Hamilton came off the bench to score 19 points and grab 10 rebounds for the Nets in coach Kenny Atkinson's debut (see full recap).

Turner's opening act leads Pacers past Mavs in OT
INDIANAPOLIS -- Myles Turner scored 30 points, tied his career high with 16 rebounds and made a 3-pointer with 1:18 left in overtime to start an 8-0 run that allowed the Indiana Pacers to close out a 130-121 victory Wednesday night over the Dallas Mavericks.

Three-time All-Star Paul George added 25 points, including another 3 with 55 seconds left to seal Indiana's fifth season-opening win in six years.

Deron Williams scored 25 points, while J.J. Barea and Dirk Nowitzki each added 22 as the Mavs lost their fifth straight in the series. They still haven't won in Indianapolis since February 2014.

Dallas didn't tie the score or take a lead until the fourth quarter, yet still forced overtime when Harrison Barnes' open 3-pointer made it 115-all with 2.3 seconds left.

Turner could have won it with a long buzzer-beating 3, but it bounced off the back of the rim (see full recap).