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Thank You, Mr. Snider

Boston Bruins v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Six

Flyers chairman and face of the organization Ed Snider passed away this morning at the age of 83 after a 2-year battle with cancer. It’s hard to even know where to begin with this blog because Ed Snider was more than just an owner. He was more than just a face you’d see at the games wearing a suit in the luxury suites. He was everything for the Philadelphia Flyers and he was everything for the game of hockey in Philly. Because without Mr Snider, who knows if the sport would have worked out here. But when he brought the Flyers to town in 1967, he turned this city into a hockey city. And I don’t even think it’s possible for words to describe how much we as fans owe to him for what he’s done over the past 49 years.

Philadelphia wasn’t built to be an ice hockey city. It’s not Minneapolis, it’s not Detroit, it’s not Boston, it’s not any city in Canada. When Ed Snider brought the Flyers to Philly, the city knew nothing about the game. Kids weren’t growing up here spending every waking moment they had out on the pond with their friends and a few pucks. But after just a few quick seasons, Mr Snider was able to infuse the city’s personality and translate that into the product on the ice. And thus the Broad Street Bullies were born. Mr Snider wasn’t interested in building a fancy team with flashy players who skate beautifully and move the puck like they’re stroking a brush across a canvas. He wanted to create a team that matched this city’s intensity. He created a team that would never let anybody push them around and though I’m sure all the guys were nice enough off the ice, they were monsters on the ice. And it’s that team and their 2 Stanley Cup Championships that made the city of Philadelphia fall in love with the game of hockey and we owe it all to Mr Snider.

A top 3 Ed Snider story is when the Red Army team came over in 1976 and were were dominating their North American tour against all NHL opponents. That is, of course, until they went up against Mr Snider’s Broad Street Bullies. And after the Flyers beat the shit out of the Soviets physically, those communist pussies actually walked off the ice and back into the locker room. They had enough. they thought they were done with that game. But they were immediately met by Ed in the locker room who stormed down there to tell them that they wouldn’t be getting paid unless they got their bitch asses back on the ice to finish out the game. In the heat of the Cold War, Ed Snider and his band of bullies slapped the Soviets around and it was a 4-1 win for the Flyers but an even bigger win for the city of Philadelphia.

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Now I say that’s a top 3 Ed Snider story but there’s a very good chance that it doesn’t even crack the top 10 in real life. Because there are so many stories of Mr Snider that we’ll never even hear about. Because he was one of the only owners in his time that cared less about the hockey player he employed and more about the man. I’m sure that now after his passing more and more stories will come out, but Mr Snider was always there to take care of his guys both on and off the ice. When he brought the Flyers to Philly, hockey players barely got paid anything. But Mr Snider always made sure to take care of his players, their families and their children for the full 49-years we had with him. He was a great man and it won’t be the 2 Stanley Cups and only 10 missed playoffs in 49 years that will be his lasting legacy, but what he meant to his players and what he meant to the game of hockey in this city.

And then of course there is the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, which is really his biggest legacy he’ll be leaving behind. Hockey is an expensive sport to play. You have to pay for equipment, you have to pay for ice time, it all adds up pretty quickly. It’s why you mostly see it at a middle-to-upper class white kid sport. But Ed Snider said fucked that and devoted his life to bringing hockey to the kids of the inner-city. The foundation has done so many incredible things for this city since 2005 and that again just goes to show what type of man Ed Snider was. The hockey world lost one of the best it’s ever seen this morning. And we should all be forever grateful to the man that allows us to pack the Wells Fargo Center every night cheering on like a bunch of deranged lunatics for the boys in Orange and Black that we all love so much. Thank you, Mr Snider. Thank you for everything you’ve done.

Now let’s go out there and win it for Ed. This 2015-16 Philadelphia Flyers team has a ton of Ed Snider in them. They’re a scrappy bunch who scratch and claw for everything they have. They have a never give up attitude and realize that it’s them against the world. It’s fitting that Mr Snider got to see this team punch their ticket to the playoffs that everybody had them counted out of before his passing. I wish they were able to get him another Cup before he left us, but the next one is for Ed and every Cup after that as well.

Fuck cancer and fuck Nate. Let’s do it for Ed.

@BarstoolJordie