• December 6, 2022

Weighing In on Recent Comments, Criticism of Ed Snider

Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer published an interview on Wednesday with Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider regarding the state of the team and his thoughts on the Stanley Cup Semifinals loss to the New Jersey Devils.

Snider’s reaction to the post-season was a reasonable and optimistic take compared with the dramatic conclusions he came to last year.

In a similar report from Carchidi in May of 2011, Snider made the following statements:

  • “It was strange, and something I never want to see again.”
  • “So either one of the goalies we have has to step up in training camp, or we have to make improvements to make sure it happens. But we are NEVER going to go through the goalie issues we’ve gone through in the last couple of years again.”
  • “If we trade or go for a goalie (through free-agency), we’ll make it work.  We can make anything work, even with the cap.”
  • “The extremes in the goaltending, from their goalie (Tim Thomas) to ours, had an effect on our team. I don’t look at it as why this guy only had one goal or this guy played that way. The bottom line is, when you have a goalie playing out of his mind (like Thomas), that confidence spreads to the whole team; the whole team becomes confident. And when your goalie is not playing well….”

Never mind that coach Peter Laviolette dropped Sergei Bobrovsky like a bad habit after one bad start against the Buffalo Sabres and replaced him with Michael Leighton; never again would the Flyers go into the post-season without solid goaltending.

As a result of Snider’s influence, the organization traded a 3rd round draft pick for the rights to Ilya Bryzgalov and subsequently signed him to the $51 million contract now tied around his neck like a Hangman’s knot.

Bryzgalov played decently in the series against the New Jersey Devils, but he finished the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs with 0.890 save percentage and 3.46 goals-against-average.

Last year’s net-minding trifecta, by comparison, had a combined 0.894 save percentage and 3.20 goals-against-average.

On paper, the team’s goaltending was worse. Snider’s reaction?

“I think [Bryzgalov] wasn’t prepared for Philadelphia fans and the microscope that he’s under. I think we’re tougher on goalies maybe than any other team in the league. I think our fans are frustrated, and rightfully so, for the goaltending carousel that we’ve had through the years… It’s the problem of management, not of Bryzgalov. We blew it, and we created the situation. I watch the playoffs and regular-season games, and all goalies let in bad goals. But when a goalie in Philadelphia lets in a bad goal, it’s like a disaster.”

“Look at the playoffs two years ago when we played New Jersey. Brodeur looked like he was through… But he was good enough to win [in 2012]. In Philly, if that would happen, they would be booing our goalie even if we were ahead.”

These last comments have drawn the ire of a number of fans who interpret Snider’s statements as blaming their criticism for the play of Bryzgalov.

In reality, though, the lesson that should be learned from the last two seasons is that jumping to erratic conclusions, whether you own the team or season tickets, isn’t going to produce a better product on the ice.

Had Snider been less adamant last year about acquiring a goalie by any means necessary, then perhaps the Flyers wouldn’t have handcuffed themselves with only one option for the next eight years.

Fans have every right to be disappointed in Bryzgalov’s performance thus far, but hasty reactions in 2011 are what galvanized Snider to lobby for him in the first place.

The buzz word in Flyerdom now is “defense,” and many would-be general managers have developed their own strategies for how to “fix” the Philadelphia Flyers’ blue line. Most of these scenarios include letting defenseman Matt Carle walk, trading blue chip prospects and first round draft picks or signing long-term contracts to unrestricted free agents.

Snider’s suggestions include re-signing Carle and making “some moves that help offset the loss of [Chris] Pronger.”

The best thing that general manager Paul Holmgren can do as he develops his strategy for the offseason is stand back, take a deep breath, and ignore Mr. Snider.  It’s not that, as the only owner of the franchise throughout its 45-year existence, he doesn’t deserve to be a part of the process.

The problem is that he’s a fan too.

Ed Snider wants the team to “win now” probably more than anyone in Philadelphia, but when he gives Holmgren directions, it’s most likely based on emotional decisions. He’s not the type of guy that’s going to review the list of available free agents and evaluate them based on age, health, offensive zone starts, CORSI rating, etc. He’s the type to say, “I want Shea Weber by any means necessary.”

Holmgren has earned enough rope at this point to be allowed to build the team as he sees fit, regardless of what his boss says. It’s reassuring to know that Snider may just let him do that this time around.

For the latest Flyers news and updates, you can follow me on twitter (@JoshJanet).

Josh Janet

Josh Janet was raised in Northern New Jersey, but by an odd set of circumstances, is a Philadelphia sports fan. While recently converted to the Phillies, Josh is a diehard Flyers fan and can be expected to stay on top of the latest NHL news.

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May 31, 2012 10:43 pm

Ed Snider has been the underlining problem with the Flyers for over 30 years now and behind closed doors has become the Al DAvis of Sports Ownership where he’s medddlesome, manipulative, inconsistent in his message but doesn’t know enough about the Sport where he acts like a GM…. He hires yes-men to be GM’s and then whispers to them what he want’s done while putting on a persona to the Media that he’s a hands-off executive..
He’s worse than Jerry Jones and the FlyBoys will never win a Stanly Cup as long as he is active with the Club.. Hire Good Hocky People and Scouts and let them do their job and stop acting like a Fantasy-Leauge Owner/GM would be my advice to him…

June 1, 2012 3:25 am

I want Weber, by no means necessary too. Paul, Homer is no yes-man. He actually, has done a great job, since taking over for the YES-MAN, nitwit, that was previously running this team. If Snyder didn’t blindly have faith/ love for Clarke, he wouldn’t even have a personnel job. He spent 19 years as the GM, & SUCKED at it. Every year added slop, muckers & grinders. Snyder is a great owner. He spends top $$$ every year, but his judgment, with his player personnel guys from 83-2006 were atrocious! McCammon & Farwell were idiots, his Son was a punk Daddies boy, who should of never been let near the ice surface, & his adopted son Clarke, not only sucked once, but twice. Other than a few runs with Lindros & the years against the Oilers & Islanders, this teams decision making was brutal. Homer, IMHO, is the best GM is the teams history. Period. You can’t put the Bryz signing on him. Snyder needs to sign the checks & STFU! I love the guy personally, but sign the checks & STFU!

June 1, 2012 5:56 am

D-Car no championships in 40 years. Please dont tell me anyone in the Flyers organization that has done a “GREAT” job. Please dont tell me Snyder is a “GREAT” owner he hasnt won a cup in 40 years. Its one thing to be the Pittsburgh Pirates and not win because you dont have the revenue. But to be the Flyers and “spend” money and still not win makes the whole organization look like a bunch of idiots for years. Now here comes the Weber talks. lol. Who else can we f&^&ing buy. Want to go through a list of all the teams with small payrolls that have won in hockey? The Flyers are the most dissapointing team in the history of hockey. Keep on buying Ed.

June 1, 2012 1:05 pm

dagg, stop with the over-exaggerations & contradictions. It’s been 37 years, not 40. You’re making comparisons to the Pirates & their small market & small payroll teams that have won in hockey, then admit & say the Flyers spend the $$$. Makes ZERO f^#@ing sense & is wacky. By saying that “The Flyers are the most disappointing team in the history of hockey,” shows your lack of knowledge & facts, about this team. YES, we haven’t won the cup since 74-75, but we’ve been to 8 Cups, won 2 of them, we’ve won our division 16 times, & have been in the playoffs almost every year of our existence, 36 out of 44 seasons (#1 amongst all expansion teams; we we’re the 1st expansion team), we have an .579 all time winning % (2nd all time to the Canadians .588), #1 all time in appearances in the semi-finals, & spend top $$$ every year. So pretty much your entire rant & comparisons are, flat out wrong! Now if you want to call Snyder, foolhardy, brash, misguided, ill-advised, & blindly loyal to a fault, you would be right, but stupid & an all time disappointment, is an idiotic statement. Also, yes the Weber talks are coming, along with all of the other speculation on how to better the team. Would you rather they stand pat & not spend any $$$? All teams have a mandatory floor & ceiling for the cap, so of course a big market team like ours is going to spend. I DON’T GET YOUR BEEF WITH THE FLYERS, OTHER THAN HATRID FOR SNYDER, BECAUSE YOU STATED ZERO FACT, ANYWHERE!
BTW, I doubt that a self-made Billionaire, is STUPID, as you say.
GO HOMER, FLYERS! Get us a couple good D-Men.

June 1, 2012 5:11 pm

How about thes facts dcar 37 years without a championship. I dont care how many division titles they won. 0 championships is pathetic, dissapointing and unacceptable. Great tradition for losing is the only tradition this team has. Anyone under 45 years old has no clue what a hockey championship in Philly is. How friggin pathetic is that.

June 2, 2012 1:11 am

Snyder interesred in money, period.

If the stands are filled, merchandise sells that’s it.

Homer f**k up with goalies.

June 2, 2012 3:07 am

dagg, I’m 42, & I remember the last Cup win. I was at the parade with my Grandfather. So wrong again. I feel your pain, but your points are over-exaggerated. If $$$ was all the dude cared about, he wouldn’t be in the stands every game.