Nineteen coaches have had the privilege of working with the Philadelphia Flyers, but only one man has stuck with the team since day one.
PHILADELPHIA, PA. — Philadelphia’s high lasted just one week after Villanova claimed the NCAA National Basketball Championship on April 4. Today, Philadelphia and hockey fans across the nation mourn the loss of the Philadelphia Flyers Founder and Chairman Ed Snider.
Snider passed away, surrounded by his family, early this morning after a two-year battle with bladder cancer at his home in Montecito, California.
He will be remembered and commemorated as one of the most influential executives in the history of Philadelphia sports. In 1966, Snider was awarded a hockey team after petitioning the National Hockey League during its expansion. His passion and dedication to the Flyers franchise started in 1967 when he founded the Orange and Black. Five seasons later, the ‘Broad Street Bullies’ won back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions, 1974-75.
Over the last half-century, Snider’s involvement in sports was not limited to the hockey arena. In 1964, he became chairman of the 76ers, and at one point was part-owner and team treasurer of the Philadelphia Eagles. Over his tenure in Philadelphia, he worked as the chairman of the Wells Fargo Center, Comcast Spectacor, Comcast SportsNet and Global Spectrum.
Mr. Snider was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame for his immeasurable dedication to the Orange and Black franchise in 1988. He was also inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame and the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
Snider’s legacy will be continued through the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation. Established in 2005, the foundation provides hockey programs at no cost to underprivileged children living in Philadelphia.
Current and former players, in addition to Comcast SportsNet announcers, extended their condolences on Twitter:
He was, is, and always will be the Philadelphia Flyers. RIP Ed Snider, a true Philadelphia icon and a man who so many owe so much to.
— Jim Jackson (@JimJPhilly) April 11, 2016
Our great leader has left us but Mr. Snider will walk with us forever.
— Bill Clement (@BillClement10) April 11, 2016
I feel privileged to have known such a great leader. Rest in peace Mr. Snider, you will be missed.https://t.co/i4lk3BShW8
— Claude Giroux (@28CGiroux) April 11, 2016
A man as great as mr Snider. You will always be remembered may you RIP
— Wayne Simmonds (@Simmonds17) April 11, 2016
Ed Snider watched his final hockey game, as the Philadelphia Flyers clinched a playoff spot for the 38th time, after defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins (3-1) this past Saturday. Before the puck dropped, Lauren Hart sang “God Bless America” to him via FaceTime, as he was surrounded by family.
The Philadelphia Flyers and hockey fans across the nation will miss Ed Snider’s involvement in day-to-day team matters, as the Flyers head into playoffs. But thanks to him, Philadelphia is a hockey town. “A Flyer Forever.”