Flyers Will Honor Ed Snider on Wednesday

Flyers' Ed Snider
31 December 2011: Flyers legend Gary Dornhoefer (L) and Flyers Chairman Ed Snider (R) talk and laugh with each other during the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Alumni game between the Rangers Alumni and Flyers Alumni at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Philadelphia Flyers will honor their founder, the late Ed Snider, ahead of their home tilt versus the New York Rangers.

Today marks six years since he lost his battle with cancer. Ahead of their Stanley Cup Playoff run in 2016, the Flyers wore the initialed “EMS” patch before they clashed with the Washington Capitals.

Hockey was his passion. The Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation became a nationally acclaimed non-profit to empower and educate the youth of Philadelphia through hockey. He wanted his team to win and his city to thrive. “He has created jobs for thousands of people. He has created happiness, you know, for millions of people,” Bernie Parent said of Snider.

He’s right about that. When Snider was 33-years-old, he risked it all to bring hockey to “the City of Brotherly Love.” Claude Giroux said Snider “is the Philadelphia Flyers.” Without him, the Flyers do not exist.

In 1974, Philadelphia became the first expansion team to win the Stanley Cup. In 1975, they were the first expansion team to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. These accomplishments and many other contributions to the growth of hockey allowed Snider to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988, the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in 2005, and the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011.

His legacy is a beloved one. Snider supported the Broad Street Bullies’ identity that glorified being a Flyer. Teams didn’t want to visit Broad Street. Snider’s competitiveness was infectious, spreading from the front office to the players on the ice. Fans matched that energy as Gary Bettman noted of Snider’s relationship with the fanbase:

“Ed Snider was the soul and spirit of the Flyers who have reflected his competitiveness, passion for hockey, and his love for the fans.”

Gary Bettman

He was an owner that wanted to win as bad as his fans wanted. In my lifetime, Philadelphia reached two Stanley Cup Finals. They lost to the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks, but Snider has his fingerprints on those rosters. The Flyers were so close, but the ride of those Stanley Cup Playoffs was unlike anything else.

Snider gave us memories. I remember some of the best hockey in Philadelphia history. I remember a will to make the roster competitive annually.

“All he wants is his Flyers to win,” Paul Holmgren said of Snider.

Philadelphia paid it in full to Snider. A young man with a dream turned a high risk into immediate championships, sparking a rabid fanbase that would make him proud.

“The great thing about this building is the memories, and not necessarily the bricks and mortar. I will always have these memories no matter what.”

Ed Snider

(Mandatory Credit/Icon Sportswire)