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Ed Snider calls criticism of Flyers coaching change 'bullsh*t'

Flyers chairman Ed Snider appeared on Sportsnet The Fan 590 in Toronto this afternoon and discussed the firing of Peter Laviolette, and he's not very fond of your criticism. Here's a full transcript of the interview.

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Here's the audio of Ed Snider's interview.



There's a long standing assumption that preseasons don't mean much, in the National Hockey League especially. What made this one different for you compared to others?

I just felt very, um ... I felt that we had a very bad preseason. Nothing to do with wins and losses, just the fact that nothing stood out, nothing looked good, nothing was exciting. Not one player excelled. It was very unusual.

Mr. Snider, the goaltending. It just never seems to go away. You've got a team right now that looks good through the top of the lineup, top three lines are good. The defense is a veteran group that should be solid. And then you've got sort of two -- well, not sort of -- one inexperienced guy in Mason and a guy that's coming off some serious injuries and had a good, decent year last year as a backup. How do you-- how can that ever get fixed with the Flyers?

It gets fixed with the guys in front of 'em. Right now, they're being left out to dry. We were very happy with our goaltending the first three games believe it or not.

Ed Snider, the governor for the Philadelphia Flyers, on with Hockey Central at Noon the day after they made the decision to relieve Peter Laviolette and promote Craig Berube.

And it's someone again within your organization, and it almost seemed like people were questioning that in the press conference the other day to the point where obviously, I think you got annoyed a little bit. Is this blown way out of proportion here? I am a firm believer that, if I ran a company, I would first and foremost try to promote within, and it's almost as if you've gotta come up with answers for doing it.

Well, I don't have to come up with answers. And furthermore in our history only four coaches have been promoted from within. Fred Shero was not a member of our organization, Mike Keenan was not a member of our organization, Pat Quinn was not a member of our organization, and the great guy that unfortunately just lost his job was not a member of our organization. So that's bullshit.

What's your biggest challenge, Mr. Snider, with this team with 79 games to go?

Well, our biggest challenge is to turn around a horrible start and to change the fact that we didn't make the playoffs last year and find out if we're overrating our players.

When you look at the group, and Paul's mentioned it Mr. Snider, there was great excitement and a good vibe about this team and that's why he wanted to give Peter a chance, because he felt this team had a chance to win. You look at the group and it looks like a good hockey team. Are you guys now totally optimistic that this team can challenge? And I don't mean the Stanley Cup, you said it yesterday it's not easy to win, but I mean challenge.

The bottom line is we are optimistic and unfortunately, the only way you find out if the team is better than you are seeing on the ice is to make a change. I'm very fond of Peter Laviolette, he's a great guy and he did a great job for us and these kinds of things are very painful, but we weren't seeing anything between last year and training camp and the first three games of the season. It's not only that we lost the games but we looked lost and when you talk about the goaltending, we were very satisfied. Those guys did a hell of a job considering how they were hung out to dry No. 1, and considering that we got one goal in each game.

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