More than 10 years ago, a new NHL player was born on the league’s first-line power play, the one that would later become known as the Philadelphia Flyers.
That player was Sean Couturier, who went on to score eight goals and help the Flyers reach the Stanley Cup Final.
In 2006, the Philadelphia 76ers picked up Couturiers draft rights, sending him to the New Jersey Devils for the second overall pick in the draft.
While the 76ers made the leap from a playoff team to a perennial contender, they weren’t quite there yet.
In the 2007-08 season, the 76, who were in the midst of their first-ever playoff appearance in the playoffs, went 7-11-1.
As the 76ERS continued to stumble through the year, the rest of the league began to turn around.
The Philadelphia Flyers had a 10-game winning streak in the final two weeks of the season, and the Philadelphia Stars finished with a 19-9-1 record in the regular season.
In October, the Flyers traded Couturies draft rights to the Dallas Stars.
In a blockbuster deal, the Stars acquired Couturiests draft rights in exchange for defenseman Alex Goligoski and a conditional seventh-round pick in 2018.
The move, which was one of the most anticipated in the history of the franchise, helped propel the Stars to a playoff berth for the first time since 2009.
It was also a sign of things to come.
By the end of the 2006-07 season, Philly had already made the playoffs six straight years, but the 76 were still without a franchise defenseman, and they had been without a top-six forward for the last three years.
The 76ers roster was filled with some of the best talent in the league, and it looked like they had a shot to be good again.
The team was ranked No. 2 in the NHL and No. 3 in the Eastern Conference.
The Flyers, however, were on the verge of a fourth straight losing season.
The franchise, with its new-look roster, was not exactly expected to be a contender again.
But after an 11-game losing streak in December 2007, the team finally found a spark in its star.
After a playoff run in 2008 that saw them go 7-12-1 and win the Stanley War Memorial Cup, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Couturie put up nine goals and 17 points in 30 games to help the 76 be one of three teams to earn a playoff spot in the 2008-09 season.
That run culminated in the team’s first postseason appearance since 2011.
After the Flyers won the Stanley Final in 2014, they signed Couturily to a five-year, $20 million contract, one that he would sign on Feb. 27, 2019.
After winning the Stanley Trophy and capturing the Presidents’ Trophy, Couturiness was on the final year of his deal.
He had signed a two-year extension with the Flyers before the season and had been on a one-year deal with the team before that.
The two sides were set to hit a snag when the deal went down, and Couturius’ agent, Mark Bartelstein, said it would not happen.
But in the months that followed, Couturs salary would increase and his agent would begin to push for a raise.
It would be one more year until Couturries salary was set to go up.
On Feb. 25, 2019, the season-ticket holder who helped secure Coutur’s deal, Michael D’Antoni, announced that Coutur was heading to the Montreal Canadiens.
In addition to having an impressive regular season and Stanley Cup, D’Anoni also said that Couturs future was in the making, saying that he had not spoken to Coutur since the Flyers acquired him.
That didn’t sit well with the 76s fans, who saw the deal as an opportunity to move on from Coutur and take a look at their franchise defenseman.
When the season began in the fall of 2019, it was hard to see the 76Sons chances of making the playoffs fading.
However, the first month of the schedule was rough, and when Couturied’s salary began to go higher, so did the optimism of the fans.
The season didn’t go as planned, as the 76-81-14 76ers were eliminated from the playoffs.
However,, the 76’s season ended with a 10th straight losing campaign, and with that came the end to Couturs tenure with the franchise.
The next day, Couturbies agent contacted Sports Illustrated to give a glimpse into his client’s thoughts on the end.
In an article titled “The Last Laugh” that appeared in the March 2019 issue of the magazine, Couture was asked about his contract situation with the organization.
“The end of this year was a very tough time for me,” he said.