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Double Agents: Penguins/Flyers

Many players have shared both the black and gold and the orange and black over the years. Here’s a list of some memorable ones.

Philadelphia Flyers v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images

Ever since the birth of both Pennsylvania teams in the NHL in 1967, many players have come and gone through both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Some very notable, while some will make your head hurt trying to remember that particular player played in both jerseys.

Here’s a list of Double Agents in the Penguins/Flyers rivalry - players who played both sides of the game:

Honorable Mention

  • R.J. Umberger
    Although he may never have played for Pittsburgh, he’s from the Steel City. He’s probably the most decorated player that has Pittsburgh, PA on his hockey card, and he did a lot of damage against his hometown team. His numbers against the Penguins are second most against any team in the NHL - totaling 24 points in 37 games against the Penguins while totaling 26 points in the same number of games against the New York Islanders.
  • RHD - Nate Guenin
    Nate Guenin is one of the only players from the Pittsburgh area who has played for both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in his career. He’s from nearby Aliquippa, and just like Umberger played NCAA hockey at Ohio State University. His first taste of the NHL came with the Flyers in 2006-07 and he played two games with the Penguins in the 2009-10 season.

Cup of Tea Division

Players who dipped their toes in the polluted Philly water, then realized the errors in their ways and bolted for the better side of Pennsylvania.

  • RW - Billy Tibbetts
    Started his NHL career with Pittsburgh in 2000-01. Was more known for his fists than anything else. Scored two goals in 62 games to go along with 188 penalty minutes with Pittsburgh before being traded in March, 2002 to Philadelphia. Played nine games with the Flyers, recording one assist and 69 (nice) PIM and then signed with the New York Rangers the following season. Finished his career in the minor leagues before ending his career in Europe in 2007.
  • RW - Eric Meloche
    Son of former Penguins player and goalie coach Gilles Meloche. One of the few entertaining players for the Penguins during the Dark Ages before Sidney Crosby. Signed with the Flyers after the 2004 lockout and played 13 games in 2006-07 recording one goal and two assists. Finished his career in Germany and retired in 2011.
  • RW - Steve Downie
    When you think of Steve Downie, you most likely thought of a scrappy player who played with a clear edge to his game. And he was just that. He was the prototypical Flyer - someone who could chip in offensively and also get under the opponent’s skin. Which is exactly why the Flyers took him with the 29th pick in the 2005 NHL Draft. He got his start with the Flyers and bounced around the league before returning to Philadelphia (in a trade for Max Talbot, of all people, in 2013.) He signed with the Penguins the following season and had a pretty memorable year putting up 14 goals and 14 assists and leading the NHL with 238 PIM in 2014-15 with Pittsburgh.
  • RHD - Jeff Chychrun
    He was one tough customer taken by the Flyers in the 3rd round of the 1984 NHL Draft. He only scored three goals in 262 career games, but he totaled 742 penalty minutes in his career. His son, Jakob Chychrun, was drafted in the 1st round by Arizona in 2016 and is highly utilized in Arizona. Jeff was part of the package by L.A. in 1991 to acquire Jari Kurri from Philadelphia, completing a three-way trade with Edmonton. He was also traded to Pittsburgh from L.A. with Brian Benning in February, 1992 for Paul Coffey. So there’s that, too. He played 18 games with the Penguins across two seasons before being traded to back to L.A. in November, 1992.
  • RW - Richard Park
    Well known for being the second South Korean hockey player after Jim Paek (also a Penguin) as he was born in Seoul in 1976. The Penguins drafted him 50th overall in 1994. He bounced around in Pittsburgh and the minor leagues and several more in the NHL before landing in Philadelphia for seven games in 1998-99. Returned to Pittsburgh in 2011-12 and played 54 games - totaling seven goals and seven assists. Played one more year in the Swiss League before retiring in 2013.
  • RW - Arron Asham
    Played in nearly 500 games before signing with Philadelphia for two years from 2008-10. Played with Pittsburgh the following two seasons and recorded 10 goals and 17 assists in 108 games, to go along with 122 penalty minutes, before signing with the Rangers the following season.

No Hard Feelings Division

Kinda good for both teams. Hard to dislike as a Penguins fan.

  • RHD - Moe Mantha
    One of the first bonafide offensive defenseman in Penguins history. He scored 37 goals and added 131 assists in 232 games with Pittsburgh from 1984-87. Acquired by the Penguins in May, 1984 as part of the Randy Carlyle deal to Winnipeg. Was part of the deal in November, 1987 to acquire Paul Coffey from Edmonton. Traded to Philadelphia in December, 1988 and was claimed by Winnipeg in the waiver draft before retiring from the NHL in 1992.
  • LW - Dave Tippett
    Tippett played in over 500 games in his career before landing with the Penguins the season after winning back-to-back Cups in 1991 and 1992. He played 74 games with the Penguins in 1992-93 and totaled six goals and 19 assists and added one goal and four more assists in 12 games with the Pens in the playoffs. He relocated to Philly the following season, his last in the NHL, and played in 73 games and chipped in four goals and 11 assists.
    Tippett went on to be head coach for 15 NHL seasons and is currently the man behind the bench in Edmonton.
  • LHD - Paul Coffey
    The four-time Cup winner, Hall of Famer, three-time Norris winner, and eight-time All Star managed to play for nine teams in his illustrious career. He won his final Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 1991 and was gone before the repeat in 1992. Coffey was traded to Hartford for just over two months in 1996 before being traded to Philadelphia in December, 1996. He spent two seasons in the twilight of his career in the City of Brotherly Love and contributed eight goals and 47 assists in 94 games with the Flyers from 1996-98 before being traded to Chicago in the 1998 NHL Draft.
  • C - Dan Quinn
    Dan Quinn was traded to Pittsburgh in November, 1986 for Mike Bullard, who will be mentioned below. He put together a pretty impressive first four years with Pittsburgh, recording 111 goals and 162 assists (273 points; 94 points in 79 games in 1988-89) in 254 games with the Penguins from 1986-1990 before being traded to Vancouver in January 1990. Played two seasons in Philadelphia in 1991-92 and 1995-96 before finishing his NHL career with Pittsburgh one last time for 16 games in 1996-97.
  • C - Randy Robaitaille
    Bounced around the NHL until being claimed on waivers by Pittsburgh from L.A. in January 2002. Played on several dismal Penguins squads in 2001-02 and 02-03 before being part of a liquidation sale in 2003 by Pittsburgh. Played half a season with Philadelphia in 06-07 and was traded to New York Islanders in December, 2006. Bounced around European and Russian leagues and the AHL before retiring in 2013.

Forgivable Division

Started in Philadelphia, ended in Pittsburgh. It may have taken some time, but at least they came to their senses eventually.

  • LW - Dave Shultz
    He’s one of the most legendary fighters in the history of the NHL. He led the league in penalty four times, three times with Philly and once as a Penguin back when that was a distinguished honor. He won the Cup with the Flyers in 1974 and 1975 before a brief stint in L.A. that ended with him being traded to Pittsburgh in November, 1977. He amassed 533 PIM in only 113 games with the Penguins before moving his side show onto Buffalo in a trade in February, 1979.
  • G - Wendell Young
    Very memorable name for Penguins fans from the back-to-back Cups in 91 and 92. Doesn’t have the sexiest numbers as a Penguin (42-47-5) with an .876 sv% and 4.14 GAA, but has almost a cult following for his tenure with the Penguins and for his days in the minor league circuit throughout his career. Played six games with the Flyers in 1987-88 before being traded to Pittsburgh in September, 1988. Claimed by Tampa Bay in the 1992 Expansion Draft. Returned to Pittsburgh in 1995 and retired from professional hockey in 2001.
  • G - Garth Snow
    It felt like Snow was in Pittsburgh for much longer than he was, but he only managed one season with the Penguins in 2000-01 before moving on to bigger and better things with the New York Islanders the following year as a player and then as a manager for many years after his playing days were over. Snow got his first real gig with the Flyers in 1995-96 and played 90 games with the Flyers going 40-25-16 in three seasons with a .900 sv% and 2.59 GAA to go along with three shutouts.
  • G - Ken Wregget
    Wregget may have been riding Tom Barrasso’s coattails for most of his days with the Penguins, but he he still managed some pretty good numbers with the Penguins in his time with Pittsburgh. But he first played in 107 games with the Flyers from 1988-92 before being traded with Rick Tocchet and Kjell Samuelsson (more on them below) in February, 1992. Wregget played in 212 games with Pittsburgh and went 104-67-21 with an .898 sv% and 3.29 GAA to go along with six shutouts. He also has his named engraved on the 1992 Stanley Cup winning team.
  • LHD - Mark Eaton
    Eaton got his first taste of NHL action with the Flyers in 1999-00 after playing in 27 games with Philly. Eaton was actually traded to Nashville for a third round pick that the Flyers converted to Patrick Sharp in the 2001 NHL Draft. Eaton played 286 games with Nashville before signing with the Penguins in July, 2006. He paid his dues and was rewarded with a Stanley Cup in 2009. He played one more season with the Penguins after 2009 and then signed with the Islanders for two years before returning for a brief stint with Pittsburgh in 2013 and retiring from the NHL.
  • C - Orest Kindrachuk
    This is the second straight PensBurgh story I’ve wrote that mentioned Orest Kindrachuk. He’s my new favorite player. He does actually seem like an interesting player that chipped in across the board. He won the Cup with the Flyers in his first two full seasons in the NHL in 1974 and 1975. He spent four years with the Flyers and scored 79 goals and 181 assists (260 points) in 360 games along with 465 PIM. He was traded to Pittsburgh in June, 1978 and played in 144 games with Pittsburgh, totaling 38 goals and 80 assists (118 points) in 144 games along with 181 PIM.
  • LW - John LeClair
    John LeClair was one of the most honest players in the NHL. He played the game the way it was intended, and was one of the best players during his prime in the NHL with the Flyers in the mid-to-late 1990s. He recorded three straight 50+ goal season with the Flyers from 1996-98 and recorded 281 points in those three seasons. Much to the surprise of many people, he signed with the Penguins after the 2004 lockout. After 643 points in 649 games with the Flyers, he retired after two years in Pittsburgh and recorded 58 points in 94 games with the Penguins.

Legends Division

Hard to have hard feelings either way. Played a big part with Pittsburgh, and just-so-happend to have played in Philly, too.

  • LHD - Hal Gill
    One of the biggest players to ever play in the NHL at 6’7” and 243 lbs. Former Pens GM Ray Shero added Gill to bolster the Penguins defense for the playoff run in 2008 and Gill stuck around one more year after coming up short in 2008. He was rewarded handsomely in 2009 with a Stanley Cup and was one of the five skaters on the ice in the final moments as the Penguins won the Cup. He managed to stick around the NHL much longer than you would have expected with his mobility and actually ended his career with the Flyers in 2013-14 at the age of 38, playing in 1,108 games. Nothing but respect for Hal Gill.
  • LHD - Zarley Zalapski
    Zalapski is forever a legend in Pittsburgh. I recently discovered that he recorded a Gordie Howe Hat Trick the night he scored his first career NHL goal. He put together several promising seasons with Pittsburgh after being drafted 4th overall in 1986, and was part of one of the biggest trades in Penguins history when he was part of the package to acquire Ron Francis, Ulf Samuelsson and Grant Jennings from Hartford in March, 1994. Zalapski finished his NHL career with 12 games in Philly in 1999-00, recording two assists in those games before finishing his career overseas.
  • LW - Kevin Stevens
    It hurts to see Kevin Stevens in a Flyers jersey, but most Penguins fans were rooting for him even in the orange and black. After years of fighting with his addictions he returned to the NHL and played briefly with Philadelphia in 2000 before being traded back to Pittsburgh in January, 2001. He played in 64 more games the following two seasons before retiring from the NHL after the 2002 season.
  • C - Petr Nedved
    After being drafted second overall in the 1990 NHL Draft, Nedved was traded to the Penguins in July, 1994 from New York Rangers with Sergei Zubov for Luc Robitaille and Ulf Samuelsson. That’s a lot of star power in that trade. Nedved went on to have a fantastic few seasons with Pittsburgh, recording 78 goals and 92 assists (170 points) in 154 games with the Penguins. He also added 11 goals and 12 assists in 23 playoff games with the Penguins, including the 4OT winner against the Capitals in the 1996 playoffs. That’s right, 4OT. The Penguins traded him back to the Rangers a few years later for Alexei Kovalev. He definitely left a lasting impression in Pittsburgh. He was traded to the Flyers in January, 2006, and played 49 games across two seasons and recorded six goals and 15 assists before being claimed on waivers by Edmonton and retiring from the NHL after the 2007 season.
  • LHD - Ulf Samuelsson
    This one was probably the most surprising to me because I was old enough to remember him playing for the Flyers but yet have no recollection of it at all. Ulf made a very lasting impression in his five seasons with Pittsburgh, totaling 11 goals and 83 assists in 277 games with Pittsburgh to go along with 804 PIM. Of course he won the Cup with the Penguins in 1991 and 1992. He signed with the Flyers in October, 1999 and retired after playing 49 games with the Flyers as a 35 year-old.
  • C - Mike Bullard
    Mike Bullard was one of the first homegrown stars to come through Pittsburgh. He was drafted 9th overall in the 1980 NHL Draft by Pittsburgh and put up 185 goals and 175 assists (360 points) in 382 games to go along with 390 PIM before being traded to Calgary in September, 1988. He was traded to Philadelphia a few months later in November, 1988 and spent two seasons with the Flyers recording 50 goals and 63 assists (113 points) in 124 games to go along with 127 PIM. Bullard retired after the 1991-92 season with Toronto.
  • LW - Daniel Carcillo
    You may be wondering why Daniel Carcillo made the “Legends Division”. He was drafted by the Penguins, but never played for Pittsburgh. He did, however, partake in one of the biggest moments of the 2009 Stanley Cup run for Pittsburgh when he decided to accept Max Talbot’s invitation to dance. Carcillo shredded Talbot in the fight, but Talbot famously shh’d the Flyers crowd and the Penguins immediately went to work on the comeback and put the Flyers to rest after that. Without Carcillo, that comeback may have never happened, therefore Carcillo is also a legend for the Penguins.
  • LW - Ruslan Fedotenko
    This was news to me, but Fedotenko actually got his start in the NHL with the Flyers in 2000. He would famously go on to score both goals for the Lightning in their 2-1 Game 7 victory over Calgary in 2004, but he also played a big part in the Penguins Cup run in 2009. Fedotenko’s days with the Flyers weren’t done, however, as he played in 47 more games with the Flyers in 2013, his last taste of NHL action.
  • RHD - Kjell Samuelsson
    Samuelsson played 813 games in the NHL, and 728 came with the Penguins or Flyers. Samuelsson was having some of the best years of his career with Philly before being traded to Pittsburgh in February, 1992 with Rick Tocchet and Ken Wregget. He went on to win the Cup that spring with Pittsburgh, of course. He stuck around with Pittsburgh for four seasons before returning back to Philadelphia for three years before spending his final season in the NHL with Tampa Bay as a 40 year old in 1999.
  • RW - Mark Recchi
    The Penguins drafted Recchi 67th overall in the 1988 NHL Draft, and he turned into a Hall of Famer and three-time Cup winner. He burst onto the scene with Pittsburgh in 1989 as a 21 year old and won the Cup with Pittsburgh in 1991. He was traded the following year, however, for Rick Tocchet, Kjell Samuelsson and Ken Wregget. He had a legendary career with Philadelphia and holds their single season point record with 123 set in 1992-93. He went on to win the Cup again in 2006 with Carolina and once more with Boston in 2011 with Boston at 42 years old. One of the most decorated players of his era.
  • RW - Rick Tocchet
    Just like Recchi, Toccet wasn’t much of a commodity in the NHL Draft and slipped all the way to 121st overall in 1983. He was a full time NHL player by 1984 and became one of the most feared power forwards of his time. He was traded to Pittsburgh in February, 1992, and immediately won the Cup with Pittsburgh and had his best statistical season the following year. He played in 150 game with the Penguins and put up a staggering 76 goals and 103 assists (179 points) to go along with a ridiculous 435 PIM. Tocchet returned to the Flyers to end his career where he started and retired from the NHL in 2002.
  • LHD - Mark Streit
    May be the most legendary player to double-cross the Flyers. He had spent nearly four years of being the main guy on defense in Philadelphia before GMJR pulled the wool over Flyers GM Ron Hextall’s eyes by balking at the Flyers high price for Streit and secretly striking a deal with Tampa Bay to allow Streit to come to Pittsburgh at a reasonable clip. It also ended with a bad contract headed Philly’s way, which was an added bonus for GMJR. In the end, Streit got his name engraved on Lord Stanley’s Cup. Needless to say, one of the best Double Agents for the Penguins in his very short time with Pittsburgh.

No Turning Back Division

Dead to Penguins fans. Stabbed in the back with a rusty razor (Lange-ism). Unforgivable actions.

  • RHD - Matt Niskanen
    The rise and fall of Matt Niskanen in Pittsburgh has lasted for quite some time after his arrival alongside James Neal in a trade with Dallas for Alex Goligoski in February, 2011. He was a solid player for a few seasons before taking a massive leap in 2013-14 with Kris Letang injured the majority of the season. He got paid handsomely that offseason by the Capitals who in turn could no longer afford Niskanen and shipped him to Philly last summer. Niskanen didn’t make any new Penguins friends in his time with the Caps, and is now with an even bigger nemesis in Philly. Penguins fans won’t miss Niskanen once his playing days are over, despite the good times he brought in his time in Pittsburgh.
  • C - Maxime Talbot
    The writing was on the wall that Talbot’s days in Pittsburgh were numbered. He was the hero in Game 7 of 2009 and single-handedly brought the Cup to Pittsburgh with his two goal performance in that Game 7. Which is why most people were shocked when he signed with the Flyers in the 2011 offseason. After all the torment and anguish he brought to the Flyers as a Penguin, he now joined forces with them and it was not easy to accept that as a Penguins fan. Talbot went on to have his best statistical seasons with the Flyers but steadily declined during his time with Philly, which made it not so hard to get over as a Penguins fan. Talbot shuffled around several teams after his tenure with Pittsburgh and is now back in the Penguins good graces, but I’m sure there are still plenty who still haven’t gotten over him joining the enemy.
  • RW - Jaromir Jagr
    Just when things finally were as dormant as ever on the vitriol for Jagr from Penguins fans after his departure in 2001, Jagr burst back onto the scene with the biggest and brightest eruption that could have happened in the summer of 2011. Jagr had been playing overseas for several years and was then 39 years old, yet the whispers began circulating that Jagr was “destined” to return to Pittsburgh or possibly Montreal. But July 1, 2011 was one of the hardest days as a Penguins fan as both Jagr and Talbot willingly signed contracts with the Flyers. Jagr then went on a farewell tour that rivals only Ozzy Osbourne as the only farewell tours that has lasted several decades with the possibility of going on forever. Fortunately, Jagr played for every other team in the NHL since his days in Philly which takes a lot of the sting away. But once again, I’m sure there’s even more Pens fans who still haven’t gotten over Jagr’s original departure in 2001. If he ever decides to call it quits, I’m pretty sure his #68 won’t take long to be retired in Pittsburgh, despite him being the most infamous double agent in the intertwined history of the Flyers and Penguins.