Devils’ Dainius Zubrus has fond memories of playing for Flyers

Charles LeClaire/US PresswireDevils winger Dainius Zubrus has fond memories of playing for the Flyers.

PHILADELPHIA — Devils winger Dainius Zubrus would like nothing more than to knock the Philadelphia Flyers out of the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean he hates the team or the city.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

“This was the organization that drafted me. I was happy when I was here,” Zubrus told me today after the Devils’ morning skate. “After they traded me I called (former general manager) Bobby Clarke and thanked him for what they’d done for me. I thought they were good to me.”

He broke in with the Flyers, who drafted him 15th overall in 1996, during the 1996-97 season.

“I was here almost three years. My first games were with Joel Otto and Shjon Podein. they were my linemates when I scored my first goal,” Zubrus recalled.

Those were the Legion of Doom years for the Flyers with John LeClair, Eric Lindros and Mikael Renberg.

“My rookie year we went to the finals. at the end of that year, in the third round and conference finals in the playoffs (coach) Terry Murray used me with LIndros and LeClair,” Zubrus said.

There are many who feel the Flyers should’ve won the Stanley Cup in 1997.

“Should? well, we didn’t. Detroit swept us, so it’s tough to say that,” Zubrus said. “But it was a very good team.

“Look back now– Paul Coffey, Dale Hawerchuk, Rod Brind’Amour, Joel Otto, Lindros, LeClair, Renberg, Eric Desjardins, Petr Svoboda. the list goes on.”

Zubrus said he was aware of attempts to dig into his relationship with former youth coach Ivan Pravilov, who committed suicide on Feb. 10 while being held on child molestation charges.

Pravilov had been held in a Philadelphia jail since child molestation charges on Jan. 19. Zubrus played six seasons for Pravilov while growing up in the Ukraine and had helped bring Pravilov’s youth hockey team to new Jersey in recent seasons.

Asked if he had ever been sexually molested by Pravilov, Zubrus said: “No.”

When asked if there was physical abuse, Zubrus responded: “Honestly, I don’t want to touch that subject again. I issued a statement. I meant it. I know if I start answering questions there would be a lot more questions and stories, so I don’t want to get into that.”

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Devils’ Dainius Zubrus has fond memories of playing for Flyers

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