Tributes pour in for Snider, ‘the soul and the spirit of the Flyers’

AP
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The passing of Flyers owner Ed Snider has been met with an outpouring of emotion, sadness and respect for what many are calling not just a Philadelphia hockey icon — but a hockey icon, period.

“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 in a release. “On a personal note, I have valued Ed’s counsel, I have admired his philanthropy and truly have cherished his friendship. Ed was an unmistakable presence and an unforgettable personality.

“Like most people who had the pleasure of knowing Ed, I will miss him terribly.”

Clubs across the league — including two of Philadelphia’s fiercest rivals — tweeted out their condolences:

Great story here from the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Frank Fitzpatrick, about a lunch with Snider that ended with Snider demanding the author “have some goddamned shrimp!”

As you’d expect, a number of current and ex-Flyers shared their memories:

Snider had been battling bladder cancer for the last two years and, prior to the start of this season, his ailing health prevented him from being in the Flyers’ team picture for the first time in 47 years.

Fittingly, the club rallied down the stretch to make the postseason — the 38th time Philly qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs during the Snider era.