Philadelphia Flyers: Top 10 Controversial Captains

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 22: Claude Giroux
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 22: Claude Giroux /
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Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images
Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images /

6. Rick Tocchet (1991-92)

Rick Tocchet‘s captaincy with the Philadelphia Flyers was short, less than one season. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992, where he would win a Stanley Cup. Tocchet would have a second go-round with the Flyers, in 2000, but he wasn’t given the C. In 2000, there was enough going on in that department with the boys in Orange and Black.

“Operation Slapshot’

So, where exactly is the controversy? Tocchet’s controversy, thankfully, happened AFTER he was a Flyer. In 2006, Tocchet was charged in an illegal gambling sting called “Operation Slapshot”. Also named in the indictments were Janet Jones, wife of Wayne Gretzky, and a New Jersey State Trooper named James Harney.

The scandal rocked the NHL, and Tocchet’s future in the league was in doubt. The gambling ring included NHL players, but Tocchet vehemently denied that there was ever any gambling on the actual NHL games. He was exiled from the NHL by Gary Bettman, who apparently was not concerned with what games were involved. Tocchet eventually pled guilty to conspiracy and promoting gambling, and received two years probation. The original charges could have resulted in a lengthy prison sentence.

Rick was reinstated by the NHL in 2008 and won two more Stanley Cups with the Penguins as a member of their coaching staff. He is currently the head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes. Tocchet still holds the Flyers record for Gordie Howe Hat Tricks, with nine.