PHILADELPHIA — Ed Snider, the Philadelphia Flyers founder whose “Broad Street Bullies” became the first expansion team to win the Stanley Cup, has died after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 83.
The Flyers said Snider died early Monday morning.
“Our Dad was loved and admired for his big heart, generosity of spirit, and dedication to his family. Despite his considerable business achievements and public profile, he was first and foremost a family man,” the Snider family said in a statement. “Unrivaled, however, was his love for the Philadelphia Flyers Hockey Club, the team he created 50 years ago and to which he remained fiercely devoted through his final days.”
With Snider ailing, the Flyers clinched a Stanley Cup playoff spot Saturday and dedicated the playoff push to him.
Snider watched Lauren Hart sing “God Bless America” on FaceTime as the team’s longtime anthem singer held out her phone during her performance. She blew kisses after the song.
“You get a little emotional when you start to think about it,” Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. “We know he’s happy we made the playoffs.”
Snider arguably was the most influential executive in Philadelphia sports. He was chairman of the 76ers, once was a part-owner of the Eagles and had a hand in founding both Comcast’s local sports channel and the city’s largest sport-talk radio station.
Snider, chairman of the Flyers’ parent company, Comcast-Spectacor, was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988.
“Ed Snider was the soul and the spirit of the Flyers, who have reflected his competitiveness, his passion for hockey and his love for the fans from the moment he brought NHL hockey to Philadelphia in 1967,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.
The Flyers will play the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs.
Thumbnail photo via Matt Rourke/Associated Press
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