Ed Snider was a co-founder of the Philadelphia Flyers, a billionaire entrepreneur and one of the most respected individuals in the hockey community. He had been battling cancer for quite some time and passed away at the age of 83 on Monday morning.
Snider was an extremely humble individual and never wanted to be treated differently because of his status. Many who worked for him would call him “Mr. Snider” and Ed hated that.
From Phil Weinberg, executive vice president of Comcast-Spectator Philadelphia:
Ed hated to be called Mr. Snider. Ed was always one of us. He always wanted to be one of the group, one of the team. He was Ed. Every time somebody would call him Mr. Snider he would say, ‘Call me Ed,’ or, ‘I hate that.’ He might not say that to them, but when the conversation was over he would turn to the person he was with and say, ‘I hate that.’
He brought a hockey franchise to Philadelphia in 1967 and became a huge part of the NHL. Regardless of your opinion of the Flyers team, this is a sad day for the hockey world everywhere. Very few men have impacted and shaped the growth of the NHL the way Snider did. Many inside and around the Flyers organization are worried about the future of the Flyers without Snider’s involvement.
To Comcast, the Flyers are just another part of their business, but to Snider it was his life, his legacy and his way of impacting the world.
Flyers Speak About What Ed Snider Meant To Them
Here’s what Captain Claude Giroux had to say about his passing:
Every time we get to see him, you can just feel the passion. Him talking about hockey, he really likes the sport, he loves his Flyers. He’s the Philadelphia Flyers. He started the whole thing and he will always be the guy that kind of brought that to the city. He’s a really good man.
Jakub Voracek offered some thoughts on the situation:
It’s a very sad day for hockey. Mr. Snider was the kind of person who was very compassionate and was proud of the city of Philadelphia; especially the Flyers. For us, it’s a big hit like it is for everybody around the NHL. Unfortunately, under the circumstances you don’t pick the date which day it’s going to happen. It’s too bad for us and for everybody else, he can’t watch the playoff game this year, but we are going to have him in our thoughts in the playoff run.
And Wayne Simmonds spoke about the difference between Snider and other ownership around the league:
I just think of his presence, the way he carried himself, the way he came off. I remember meeting Mr. Snider; coming from L.A., we never really spoke with our owner in L.A. So I got the chance to come to the Philadelphia Flyers and he was one of the first people I spoke with. It was amazing, to me, the interaction that he had with his players and how he cared about everyone so much. Just his passion for this organization, for hockey. He was a great man.
Snider was the face of the Flyers and so much more to many. He gave back to the community anyway he could, including the Snider Hockey Foundation. Signs of his deteriorating health were evident early in the season when he chose to remain home and miss the home opener for the first time in quite a few years.
However, despite remaining in California, Snider kept a close eye on the team and was never out of the loop. He closely communicated with many within the organization. It’s hard to put into words the impact he had on the team, the community and the city of Philadelphia.
Snider’s goal was to win another championship, and the 2015-16 Flyers used his deteriorating health and vision as motivation to push for the playoffs. They would say things like “we’re doing this for Mr. Snider” and other comments after games.
Under his guidance, the Flyers were one of the most consistently successful organizations in the NHL, despite not winning the Cup since 1974-75. Dating back to the 1993-94 season, the Flyers missed the playoffs a grand total of three times.
“Mr. Snider” will be missed by many and there’s an uncertain future that awaits the Flyers. But with the playoffs about to begin, the players will undoubtedly use this as motivation to play their hardest every night.
Michael Pityk is an analyst who has written for numerous sites since beginning his professional career. He’s acted as a credentialed member of the media for the Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Pirates and the Pittsburgh Penguins. His work has been featured in Sports Illustrated, The Sports Journal, MSN, PensLabyrinth, Montreal Hockey Talk, ESPN Pittsburgh, The Hockey Writers, Todays SlapShot and The Bleacher Report. He formerly was the editor of Pens Labyrinth and an analyst for The Sports Journal. Michael presently acts as an NHL Analyst for The Hockey Writers