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New Era Of Flyers Honors Former Owner Ed Snider

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Ed Snider and students from his Youth Hockey & Education program.
Ed Snider and students from his Youth Hockey & Education program.

At the recent New Era of Orange news conference, proper respect was paid to the Flyers’ late owner Ed Snider.

The Flyers were stung by criticism when the team did not either publicly acknowledge or pay tribute to Snider’s birthday on Jan. 6, 2022. Snider, the co-founder and former owner of the Flyers, would have turned 89.

In 2023, the Flyers rectified their oversight on what would have been his 90th birthday with a variety of public acknowledgments. In 2013, the team’s Twitter feed published a tribute with a photo of Snider and former Flyers goalie Bernie Parent.

On Jan. 7, 2023, the Flyers paid tribute with the Ed Snider Youth Hockey & Education Night during a game against the Maple Leafs. Players wore Snider jerseys during pregame warmups that were auctioned off to benefit the Ed Snider Youth Hockey & Education program.

Snider died in 2016 of cancer at the age of 83.

Snider was a Flyer through and through. He was a man of many accomplishments, but Snider might have been most proud of his Flyers.

His loyalty to the Flyers and his dedication to winning left its mark in Philadelphia. He helped develop the Flyers into one of the NHL’s prestigious franchises.

Unless you’re winning championships, sports ownership often is an easy target for disgruntled fans. Even as the Flyers had ups and downs over the years — and no championships since 1974 and 1975 — Snider was highly regarded by some of the toughest fans anywhere. Why? Fans knew Snider wanted to win just as badly as they did and he showed it every day.

Snider’s loyalty to former players was the source of some tension. When the Flyers struggled — and at times even when they didn’t — some fans thought the team should move away from hiring former players to run the organization.

“I’m excited to say more about our future in a moment,” Comcast Spectacor chairman and CEO Dan Hilferty said at Friday’s news conference. “But first, I want to acknowledge our amazing, amazing past. 

“I like to remind people what is past is prologue. I say that quote and I think of Ed and the entire Snider family. What Ed Snider Youth Hockey and Education has done has transformed the lives of so many.”

Youth Hockey & Education program

The mission statement of the Snider’s Youth Hockey & Education program is: “to create opportunities for under-resourced youth of the Greater Philadelphia Region to prosper in life.”

According to the website, the impact of the program includes $8 million invested in scholarships, 99 percent grade-to-grade matriculation rate, 15+ years of sustained impact and $2 matched for every $1 donated.

More than 3,000 student-athletes participate in the program, and approximately 1,900 are enrolled in a daily after-school excellence program.

New president of hockey operations Keith Jones spoke warmly of Snider as Friday’s news conference ended.

“I would just like to touch on something,” said Jones, who played for three years in Philadelphia and spent the last 23 years as a Flyers broadcaster.

“Dan mentioned Mr. Snider’s name. This is Mr. Snider’s team. This is the Philadelphia Flyers.

“We’re going to work hard to honor that. To get out there for him. He did a lot for all of us, so we’re not going to lose sight of that.

“That’s one of the most important messages you can get from leaving here today.”

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