2021 NHL playoffs: Game times, live streams, more on 5 former Flyers to watch

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5 former Flyers to watch in NHL playoffs originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

For the fifth time in the last nine seasons, the Flyers are left watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

While the club hasn't missed the playoffs in consecutive years since the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons, it hasn't made the postseason in consecutive years since the 2010-11 and 2011-12 campaigns.

As a big offseason begins for general manager Chuck Fletcher and company, let's take look at five former Flyers to watch in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which begin Saturday night.

Wayne Simmonds, Maple Leafs, No. 24

The beloved former Flyer put up back-to-back 30-plus-goal seasons in Philadelphia and embodied the city's personality. In parts of eight seasons with the Flyers, Simmonds scored 203 goals, became a fan favorite and was revered by his teammates.

"He was a straight shooter, straightforward guy," Sean Couturier said in October 2019. "He’d let you know what he thought. There was no bulls--t around him, he was kind of one of those old-school guys that would let you know when you screw up, but he’d be the first one to tap you on your back afterward. He’s really good for young players. I think he’s one of those old-school guys that you can look up to and take a lot from.”

The 32-year-old winger is on a Maple Leafs team that went 35-14-7 and won the North Division. Former Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol is an assistant coach with Toronto.

Simmonds, who suffered a broken wrist in February, had seven goals and two assists over 38 regular-season games. With playoff hockey, you know he'll be in the middle of things.

Schedule

  • Game 1 — Thursday, May 20, 7:30 p.m. ET — Canadiens at Maple Leafs, NHL Network

  • Game 2 — Saturday, May 22, 7 p.m. ET — Canadiens at Maple Leafs, CNBC

  • Game 3 — Monday, May 24, TBD — Maple Leafs at Canadiens, TBD

  • Game 4 — Tuesday, May 25, TBD — Maple Leafs at Canadiens, TBD

  • Game 5 — (if necessary), Thursday, May 27, TBD — Canadiens at Maple Leafs, TBD

  • Game 6 — (if necessary), Saturday, May 29, TBD — Maple Leafs at Canadiens, TBD

  • Game 7 — (if necessary), Monday, May 31, TBD — Canadiens at Maple Leafs, TBD

Michael Raffl, Capitals, No. 17

The jovial and well-liked Austrian brought an under-the-radar effectiveness to the Flyers over parts of seven seasons.

With the Flyers' underachieving season and Raffl on an expiring contract, the 32-year-old forward was dealt to the Capitals at the April 12 trade deadline.

Raffl has drawn praise from Washington head coach Peter Laviolette for his fit in the Capitals' puzzle. Raffl recorded a goal, two assists and 15:13 minutes per game through 10 regular-season contests with Washington. His goal was a game-winner just before the regulation buzzer.

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At 24 years old, Raffl was signed by the Flyers to an entry-level deal back in May 2013. He ended up playing 504 career games with the Flyers, more than the likes of Eric Lindros, Paul Holmgren and Dave Poulin.

The Capitals finished second in the East Division and meet the Bruins in the first round.

"It's weird seeing him in those colors to be honest," Scott Laughton said this month. "Hopefully he gets a shot at doing something special there."

Schedule

Brayden Schenn, Blues, No. 10

Schenn, who played 424 games with the Flyers over parts of six seasons, was dealt the Blues in June 2017 on the night of the NHL draft. The Flyers were coming off a playoff-less season and had the long term in mind when they moved Schenn.

In return for him, the Flyers received two first-round draft picks and Jori Lehtera, a throw-in by St. Louis. The draft picks were used to select Morgan Frost (2017 — 27th overall) and Joel Farabee (2018 — 14th overall).

The 29-year-old Schenn has had a very productive career in a Blues jersey. The big forward has put up 86 goals, 132 assists and a plus-14 rating over 281 regular-season games in St. Louis.

He helped the Blues win their first-ever Stanley Cup in 2019 and signed an eight-year, $52 million extension later that year ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Schedule

  • Game 1 — Monday, May 17, 10 p.m. ET — Blues at Avalanche, NBCSN

  • Game 2 — Wednesday, May 19, 10:30 p.m. ET — Blues at Avalanche, CNBC

  • Game 3 — Friday, May 21, 9:30 p.m. ET — Avalanche at Blues, USA

  • Game 4 — Sunday, May 23, TBD, — Avalanche at Blues, TBD

  • Game 5 — (if necessary), Tuesday, May 25, TBD — Blues at Avalanche, TBD

  • Game 6 — (if necessary), Thursday, May 27, TBD — Avalanche at Blues, TBD

  • Game 7 — (if necessary), Saturday, May 29, TBD — Blues at Avalanche, TBD

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Avalanche, No. 41

The easygoing Frenchman will face his former Flyers teammate Schenn in the first round.

The 36-year-old Bellemare played his first three NHL seasons with the Flyers from 2014 to 2017. The Flyers lost him to the Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL expansion draft.

The penalty-killing, defensively-sound forward had nine goals, two assists and a plus-6 rating in 53 regular-season games for the Avalanche, who won the Presidents' Trophy and are a favorite to hoist the Cup.

Schedule

  • Game 1 — Monday, May 17, 10 p.m. ET — Blues at Avalanche, NBCSN

  • Game 2 — Wednesday, May 19, 10:30 p.m. ET — Blues at Avalanche, CNBC

  • Game 3 — Friday, May 21, 9:30 p.m. ET — Avalanche at Blues, USA

  • Game 4 — Sunday, May 23, TBD, — Avalanche at Blues, TBD

  • Game 5 — (if necessary), Tuesday, May 25, TBD — Blues at Avalanche, TBD

  • Game 6 — (if necessary), Thursday, May 27, TBD — Avalanche at Blues, TBD

  • Game 7 — (if necessary), Saturday, May 29, TBD — Blues at Avalanche, TBD

Radko Gudas, Panthers, No. 7

From 2015 to 2019, the burly and physical defenseman played 290 games for the Flyers, his most with any club.

Gudas was sent to the Capitals in June 2019 as part of the Matt Niskanen trade. He signed a three-year, $7.5 million deal with the Panthers last offseason.

The 30-year-old Gudas led the NHL in hits this season with 250 and was a plus-6 over 54 games. Florida finished second in the Central Division at 37-14-5 and meets the defending champs in the first round. The Panthers also have former Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

Schedule

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