Congratulations to Flyers chairman Ed Snider, who is collecting Hall of Fame inductions like they were printed on cardboard and had stats on the back. Already a member of the Flyers team Hall of Fame, the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada, and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, Snider is adding one more — he’s now been elected to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
It’s taken a while for the U.S. version of the Hall to catch up, with Snider first entering the PA Hall in 1985, then Canada in 1988 and finally the Flyers in 1989. So this is last one feels a bit overdue considering all that Snider represents to the NHL and the Flyers specifically.
“They really keep it a secret,” the 78 year-old Snider said regarding his election, per csnphilly. “I was really caught by surprise when they told me. I had thought it might never happen. It’s a great day for me.
“I remember when the six new teams were coming into the league that The Hockey News voted Philadelphia the least likely to succeed. I had a lot of satisfaction over the fact that we have been successful, and I’ve been there the whole time.”
It’s not a surprise to hear Snider bring up a certain name regarding his and the Flyers’ legacy of success.
“I think the turning point for us was Bob Clarke. We drafted him in our third season, and we started to put our team together, and we kept growing a little bit at a time, and that sort of put us over the top.”
Going in with Snider are former players Chris Chelios, Gary Suter and Keith Tkachuk, as well as Mike “Doc” Emrick, the first broadcaster to be elected to the U.S. Hall.
“It’s an extraordinary class,” said Ron DeGregorio, president of USA Hockey. “The varied contributions to the landscape of hockey in our country is truly amazing and, collectively, this class has positively impacted every level of hockey.”
It’s yet another honor for the Flyers founder and community leader.
“When I started in 1967, I think, there was one American [player] in the NHL,” Snider said. “I haven’t really studied the books to know that I am absolutely correct, but that’s my recollection.
“To see all the great U.S.-born players today throughout the league is thrilling and very satisfying, and a credit to your organization [USA Hockey] and what has happened throughout the United States and hockey.
“In fact, a local kid from Philly, Mike Richter, won the Stanley Cup as the goalie for the Rangers, and it shows how far hockey has come in the Philadelphia region. The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame is a great inspiration to young American hockey players, and I really want to thank you guys for doing such a great job, and again thank you for this great honor.”
Snider continues to play a strong role in the community, supporting both kids and the sport with his Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation.
“Right now we have several thousand kids playing in the inner city,” Snider said. “We provide the uniforms, the ice time, we give them education, off ice education. We have five city rinks, plus we use rinks throughout the community.
“This summer we are closing the three city rinks and remodeling them because they have become somewhat dilapidated and they were open air rinks so we decided what we are creating there and these kids are showing tremendous progress, and it gives me a great deal of satisfaction just to help these inner city kids out.”
PhillySportsCentral.com – Philadelphia sports news, rumors, blogs, & message board discussion forums