Today, the Flyers announced the incredibly sad news that team founder, owner and chairman Ed Snider has passed away at 83 after a two-year battle with cancer.
Snider's health struggles had been in the news for much of this season, and concerns about his health had been picking up in recent weeks, with him not making it to the team picture for the first time in Flyers history. With the Flyers clinching a playoff spot last Saturday, there was much talk from the players of dedicating this playoff run to Snider, and in her performance of God Bless America on Saturday, Lauren Hart FaceTimed Snider in to the arena so he could see it.
Ed Snider is the only owner this team has known for its 50 years of existence, and without him who knows where hockey in Philadelphia would even be. His passion for this franchise was unmatched, and it is thanks to him above all else that we've had a largely successful and fun team to watch in Philadelphia for almost the entire existence of the franchise. His absence will be in the hearts and minds of Flyers fans everywhere throughout this playoff run and for years to come.
Rest in peace, Mr. Snider. And thank you.
The full statement from Mr. Snider's family, via the Flyers, can be seen below.
"We are deeply saddened to announce that our father, Ed Snider has died after a two year battle with cancer. He was 83.
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. He never missed a birthday, important family event or the opportunity to offer encouragement. We turned first to him for advice in our personal and professional lives. We grew up tagging behind him in arenas, stadiums and locker rooms; and his players, management and team personnel were our extended family. He treated his employees with respect regardless of rank or position, and the man they called "Mr. Snider" always would have preferred simply to be called "Ed."
From him we learned the importance of helping others and the value of supporting our community and beyond. He was a man with deep convictions and never hesitated to promote causes in which he believed. His children and grandchildren will continue his philanthropic mission for years to come through the work of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation (Snider Hockey) and the Snider Foundation. Revered in his adopted city of Philadelphia, we too were captive in the orbit of his brilliant light and magnetic personality.
During his lifetime, he cultivated a cherished circle of friends whom he loved dearly--and who loved him back--whether in Washington, DC, Monmouth, Maine, Philadelphia or Montecito, California. 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 every game during the push to make the playoffs this spring we hoped he would survive to see the Flyers win just one more game. He gave the last ounce of his indomitable energy and strength to live through this hockey season, but now the Flyers must win without him.
He fought his last years, months and days with courage and grace and recounted his love for many including his Flyers family and fans. We are grateful for the outpouring of love and support from the community, his friends and all those who were fortunate to have been touched by him in some way, large or small."