The Philadelphia Flyers of the 1990s had a lot of big-name players who represented the club well. Names like Eric Lindros, John LeClair, and Ron Hextall are a few of the first that get brought up when mentioning players from that era. However, there is a center that consistently came up big for the Flyers when he played for the team. He might not have been recognized as much as other names during this time, but he still made a significant impact. His name is Rod Brind’Amour, and he was a key contributor during his days with the Orange and Black.
Entry Into the NHL
Brind’Amour was drafted ninth overall by the St. Louis Blues in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft. Players selected ahead of the young man included Mike Modano (who went first overall to the since-relocated Minnesota North Stars), Trevor Linden, Martin Gelinas, and Jeremy Roenick among others.
Brind’Amour came off of an impressive collegiate career at both Notre Dame and Michigan State. He posted the following production between both college teams:
- 1986-87 (Notre Dame): 38 goals and 50 assists for 88 points in 33 games
- 1987-88 (Notre Dame): 46 goals and 61 assists for 107 points in 56 games
- 1987-88 (Notre Dame) (Centennial Cup): five goals and nine assists for 14 points in five games
- 1988-89: 27 goals and 32 assists for 59 points in 42 games
Brind’Amour made his jump to the pro scene in 1989. During his few seasons in St. Louis, he joined a solid Blues roster in regards to skill and ability. Teammates of his off the bat included Brett Hull, Adam Oates, and Scott Stevens to name a few. Brind’Amour made his NHL debut during the 1989 playoffs for the Blues. He chalked up two goals in five games during that postseason run.
Overall, Brind’Amour put up decent totals during his tenure in the Gateway to the West. They were just a mere glimpse into what he was able to provide for other organizations, but he was a stellar complementary talent for St. Louis. These are the regular season stats from his days as a Blue:
- 1989-90: 26 goals and 35 assists for 61 points in 79 games
- 1990-91: 17 goals and 32 assists for 49 points in 78 games
Even despite the bright future, the Blues wanted to make a move in 1991. Brind’Amour was a guy who became available for the right price, a price a team like Philadelphia was willing to pay.
Reaching Another Offensive Gear
The Blues traded Brind’Amour and center Dan Quinn to the Flyers for Ron Sutter and Murray Baron. Longtime Flyers general manager Bobby Clarke had been a fan of Brind’Amour from the time that he was draft eligible in 1988.
It has been said that Clarke wanted to do what he could to move up and select either Brind’Amour or winger Teemu Selanne, who was instead picked by the original incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets. Philadelphia had instead drafted Claude Boivin at the time. Years later, Russ Farwell was now the Flyers GM, but shared the high view of Brind’Amour that Clarke had before, landing the forward in the trade mentioned.
Brind’Amour played from the 1991-92 season until 1999-00 representing the Orange and Black. Point production was something he consistently thrived in season after season. While his numbers in St. Louis were decent, he really took off during his days in the City of Brotherly Love. He did not have to be heavily relied on either; the team had solid depth that could provide production all throughout the lineup. Guys like the Legion of Doom trio (Lindros, LeClair, and Mikael Renberg) and Mark Recchi also carried the team’s load offensively.
Rod’s statistics during his time in Philadelphia are below:
- 1991-92: 33 goals and 44 assists for 77 points in 80 games
- 1992-93: 37 goals and 49 assists for 86 points in 81 games
- 1993-94: 35 goals and 62 assists for 97 points in 84 games
- 1994-95 (lockout shortened): 12 goals and 27 assists for 39 points in 48 games
- 1995-96: 26 goals and 61 assists for 87 points in 82 games
- 1996-97: 27 goals and 32 assists for 59 points in 82 games
- 1997-98: 36 goals and 38 assists for 74 points in 82 games
- 1998-99: 24 goals and 50 assists for 74 points in 82 games
- 1999-00: five goals and three assists for eight points in 12 games
In total, Brind’Amour accumulated 601 points (235 goals and 366 assists) in 633 regular-season games as a Flyer. When it came to the postseason, he posted 24 goals and 27 assists for 51 points in 57 contests. A good portion of these games in the playoffs came specifically from the 1997 Cup run. Brind’Amour in 19 games that year accrued 13 goals and eight assists for 21 points.
Brind’Amour’s time in Philadelphia came to an end during the 1999-00 campaign when he was dealt to the Carolina Hurricanes. The deal in its entirety was Rod going to Carolina along with goalie Jean-Marc Pelletier and a 2000 second-round pick for Keith Primeau and a fifth-round pick in 2000.
Brind’Amour’s career in Carolina was the highlight of his NHL playing tenure. He made an attempt to win the Stanley Cup in 2002, but the Hurricanes fell short to a dominantly stacked Hall-of-Fame Detroit Red Wings roster. Brind’Amour was named captain of the team before the 2005-06 season and was a significant factor for them winning the franchise’s first Stanley Cup that same season. They defeated the Edmonton Oilers in seven games.
After he hung up his skates in 2010, he soon returned as an assistant coach for the Hurricanes. This eventually led to his promotion as a first-time head coach in 2018, after former coach Bill Peters resigned from the position and headed behind the bench for the Calgary Flames.
Brind’Amour’s number 17 was also retired by Carolina in 2011. Accolades during his overall career included an All-Star Game appearance in 1992 and back-to-back Frank J. Selke Trophies (award for forward with a significant defensive skillset) in 2005-06 and 2006-07. Overall, he tallied 452 goals and 732 assists for 1,184 points in 1,484 regular-season games in his career.
One Solid Two-Way Talent
Brind’Amour was a fan favorite for whoever he suited up for. He put up great numbers in production while having a strong defensive mindset as well. Some of Rod’s best moments were during his Flyer days in the 1990s. He may not have helped Philadelphia win the ultimate prize during his time there, but he did everything he could on his end. The Flyers could not have asked for more out of Brind’Amour, and it is why he is considered one of the best to ever wear the Flyers sweater.