This one was expected ever since the news was given in July that the Flyers wouldn’t re-sign him. Eric “Rico” Desjardins is another great Defenseman I am going to miss. He was from the Quebec school of hockey—tough, physical and a good puck-handler. He was also a scoring Defenseman (the role now given to Joni Pitkanen) who was key to playing point-man on the Flyers’ anemic power play; the problems with their PP isn’t necessarily Rico’s fault, I agree with Pannachio’s theory, they think too much.
Desjardins had a pretty good career with the Flyers and Canadiens (he’s the only Defenseman I know with a hat trick in the Stanley Cup) but recently he had been plagued with injuries which weren’t really his fault. The last two major ones I remember really hurt the Flyers in the playoffs, especially when they were up against Tampa for all the marbles in the East. His broken foot blocking the puck was done out of grit and Roenick accidentally broke his arm in a collision; painful and humiliating for both players.
Thanks for the decade of service Rico. I know his tenure as Captain was right after the whole Lindros debacle so even a 55-gallon drum of teflon couldn’t make it smooth, but he tried. Hopefully he’ll get a coaching gig in the minors like Eric Weinrich did.
August 12 Update: I think there’s a good chance they might retire ol’ 37, and they should. According to more stories in the Philly paper and Flyers’ website, Rico is rated at as the number two Defenseman of all time. Who’s number one? Mark Howe, who also hasn’t had his number retired. Maybe they can do a joint ceremony because the way things are going next season, it’s a big, fat chance the Flyers will have anyone that great soon.