Philadelphia Flyers Friday Flubs, Part 7: Pat Falloon

Once more unto the breach as we discuss yet another Philadelphia Flyers failed project — Pat Falloon.

You know that your NHL career wasn’t so hot when your name is commonly twisted to “Fat Balloon” just as often as people say your actual name. So is the legacy of former Philadelphia Flyers winger Pat Falloon, who wasn’t a terrible player but still had the distinction of being drafted second overall in 1991 between two Hall of Famers, thereby qualifying most definitely as a bust.

Falloon was taken by the San Jose Sharks one pick after the Quebec Nordiques had chosen Eric Lindros (who?) in that ’91 draft, and he’d go on to post some adequate numbers for what were mostly wretched teams. He was in his fifth NHL season when the Flyers came calling for the disgruntled Falloon, giving San Jose a minor leaguer and two draft picks, including a first-rounder. It was believed that Falloon could thrive playing further down the lineup among the Flyers’ loaded group of forwards. And, for a while, he did fine.

Falloon produced 22 goals and 26 assists in 62 games with the Flyers in 1995-96 after coming over in the trade, with the highlight no question being his two-goal game on St. Patrick’s Day (against the Sharks) where I started a “We want Pat!” chant at the Spectrum, trying to urge him on to his third goal of the game. The whole building joined in. True story. He never did get that goal, although John LeClair managed a hat trick that night, which made up for it.

That was pretty much the high-water mark for Falloon, who chipped in a ho-hum 5 points in 12 playoff games that spring and then struggled for the entire 1996-97 season, producing only 23 points in 52 contests. The Flyers would make it to the Cup Final that postseason, but Falloon had little to do with it, managing 4 points over his 14 playoff games.

Then came the 1997-98 regular season, one that saw Falloon essentially pick up right where he left off, scoring 12 points in 30 games. It was at this point that the Flyers decided they had seen enough, tired of his lack of conditioning and severe underperformance. Fat Balloon, indeed. He was shipped off to Ottawa in a package deal that saw Alexandre Daigle, an even bigger bust himself, coming the other way. In total, Falloon tallied 38 goals and 45 assists over 144 regular season games as a Flyer, “adding” 6 goals and 3 assists in 26 playoff games. Also, the Sharks benefited for years to come after trading him away. Great.

Next: Flyers Flubs: Steve Eminger

Pat Falloon’s time with the Flyers was only memorable for the moderate disappointment it produced, but at least he didn’t end up being any better once they got rid of him, as he made forgettable stops in Edmonton and Pittsburgh after his time in Ottawa. He was out of the NHL for good by age 27. On the bright side, he’ll always have that St. Patrick’s Day game, though I regret ever exclaiming that I wanted Pat.

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