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

Wayne Simmonds gets engaged during Flyers' bye week

Wayne Simmonds gets engaged during Flyers' bye week

So far, 2017 has been a pretty big year for Wayne Simmonds.
 
In addition to being named to his first All-Star team this year, Simmonds clearly had big plans on how to spend his bye week away from hockey, before returning to play the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. He popped the question to his girlfriend, Crystal Corey, and she said yes.
 
Simmonds announced the engagement on his Instagram.

11,700 feet and she said YES! I Love you @cryscorey 💛#SimmondsandSimmonds

A photo posted by Wayne Simmonds (@wayne17simmonds) on

Simmonds is the second Flyer to get engaged this season after Claude Giroux popped the question in December.
 
Congratulations, Wayne!

2017 Eagles Cost Analysis, C: Cash money or Kelce?

2017 Eagles Cost Analysis, C: Cash money or Kelce?

Time to talk everybody's favorite Eagles whipping boy, or one of them in Jason Kelce, who's viewed very differently by fans than he is his peers. Case in point, it might surprise some readers to learn Kelce was named a second alternate to the Pro Bowl for 2016, which means a lot of NFL players and coaches must've been voting for him.

We know Eagles fans weren't coming out in droves. Yet if we were to go off of only the respect people around the league have for Kelce, he's considered one of the top eight centers in football. That ranking also happens to be roughly commensurate with his salary cap hit for 2017, which is currently 10th at the position, according to OverTheCap.

That's still going to be high for many critics that say Kelce is too undersized and has become too frequently penalized in recent years. It's especially high when you tell some of those same people the Eagles could save nearly $4 million by going in a different direction.

The trade or release of Kelce would free up $3.8 million to be exact, although once again, that's before we consider the cost of replacing him. And unlike other areas of the Eagles roster, there really isn't a young prospect waiting in the wings to take over, even somebody who is maybe only a year away from being ready to take over.

So if the Eagles were to get rid of Kelce, they would have to pay somebody to replace him. Granted, only 14 centers carry a higher cap number, and many starters make half of the six-year veteran's money, so there are cheaper options available — although, what kind of quality is the offense getting for that price?

Kelce is a perfect example of when the grass isn't always greener. There are some big, mauling centers around the NFL, like the Pouncey brothers, and who doesn't love that? But while Kelce isn't necessarily going to rip anybody's spine out at the point of attack, there probably isn't a better center in the league at pulling or blocking at the second and third levels. He's a unique player from that perspective, something people tend to forget.

The Eagles are not going to upgrade the position by going significantly cheaper. Kelce can hold his own in pass protection, and he's elite when the play design allows him to get into space. There's also something to be said for his knowledge of the offense, in addition to the rapport he's building with Carson Wentz.

Best case scenario, the Eagles are probably replacing him with Stefan Wisniewski, who the club paid $2.76 million in 2016. Figuring a raise, that's most of their cap savings right there, and Wisniewski is not nearly as decorated or so widely respected by his peers. There must be a reason for that.

Kelce is pretty good.

CENTERS UNDER CONTRACT

Jason Kelce
Age: 30*
Cap Number: $6,200,000

The bigger issue with Kelce is he's approaching his 30th birthday this year, although many centers enjoy lengthy careers, especially the guys who play more of a finesse game. And if the Eagles do want to start thinking about the future, it might help if they begin developing his replacement now. Kelce will be much easier to move on from in 2018 in terms of the salary cap, so if the Eagles draft somebody this year, theoretically they could move on next season. Keep in mind, Kelce was a sixth-round pick, and the club got a lot of mileage out of him, so it doesn't have to be a major investment. Plus, if that doesn't work out, renegotiation could be on the table, with Kelce's cap hit reaching $7.2 million in '18, but only $1.2 million of prorated signing bonus left on a contract that runs through 2020. The Eagles will be looking to reduce their costs, while Kelce will want some financial security.

Josh Andrews
Age: 26*
Cap Number: $615,000

Andrews joined the Eagles as an undrafted free agent out of Oregon State in 2014, and after a few years of clinging to the practice squad and on the 53-man roster as a reserve, finally saw his first action on offense this season. He played one snap at center against the Ravens in Week 15. Andrews can also line up at guard and has played special teams, though spent most of '16 inactive. He seems like a bit of a Chip Kelly outcast at this point, although it's difficult to put him in a box with so little actual experience. Is Andrews somebody who simply hasn't been given an opportunity and could fill in capably for Kelce, or will the Eagles feel the need to find competition for his roster spot?

Aaron Neary
Age: 25*

Neary originally joined the Broncos roster as an undrafted rookie, but found his way to the Eagles practice squad following his release. The Eastern Washington prospect was a two-time All-American at the Division I-AA level. At 6-foor-1, 305 pounds, Neary is considered undersized, like Kelce, which suggests this organization wants nimble centers like that. While he's probably a ways away from having any impact, the Eagles signed Neary to a futures contract at the conclusion of the season.

* Age as of 12/31/2017