Snider Has Three In Mind For Prez Won't Say If Clarke Is Among Them

Posted: April 26, 1994

Flyers majority owner Ed Snider has three candidates in mind to become the next Flyers president, and he said he plans to have one of them in place by the June 28 NHL entry draft.

Snider yesterday declined to name the candidates, or to specify whether one of them is Florida Panthers general manager Bob Clarke. Clarke, the Flyers' Hall of Fame center and former Flyers general manager, has been widely assumed to be on the verge of returning to the Flyers, presumably as team president.

Snider said he has not asked Florida owner H. Wayne Huizenga for permission to talk with Clarke. Snider said he has not yet asked permission to speak with any of his candidates, all of whom are employed in hockey, he said.

Jay Snider, Ed Snider's son, was the Flyers' president from 1983 until his resignation in February. Ed Snider said he has performed most of the day-to- day duties of a team president, but wants to lessen those responsibilities so he can devote more time to the long-delayed Spectrum 2 project, on which

Snider hopes to break ground soon.

Asked whether his new team president would be business-oriented or hockey- oriented, Snider said: "He could be either, or a combination of both."

Snider repeated his assertion that GM Russ Farwell will keep his job. Asked if the team president would be a kind of "super-GM" installed above Farwell,

Snider said, "No, it won't be like that."

The team president's role varies around the league. Some presidents also are GMs. Some - like Panthers president Bill Torrey - aren't GMs but devote more time to hockey concerns than to business concerns. Others confine themselves to the business side and leave hockey decisions to their GMs.

Jay Snider fired Clarke and hired Farwell in 1990, but from that point until his resignation, he was seen as primarily business-oriented. Ed Snider said he would not want the Flyers president's role to change drastically from what it has been in the past.

Clarke, meanwhile, denies any contact with the Flyers, but he is known to prefer a job in which he has control over hockey matters and GM-type powers. He left a job as a Flyers vice president last year to become GM of the expansion Panthers, but was surprised when Huizenga hired longtime Islanders GM Torrey as team president.

Snider said Farwell is not a candidate for the team presidency. Farwell said he hasn't spoken to Snider about the search or how the hiring of a new president will affect Farwell's powers.

"I imagine that would depend on who he hires," Farwell said.

Some observers think another return of Clarke, the central figure in franchise history, would help the Flyers win back their disgruntled fans after a fifth successive spring out of the playoffs. There also has been speculation that Farwell will be forced to fire head coach Terry Simpson to appease the fans. Farwell said yesterday he has not completed his review of the coaching situation.

Snider said the best way for management to respond to fans' concerns is to build a winner.

"You never want to make a move to appease fans," Snider said. "You do that and you break down the fiber of your organization. You have to believe in what you're doing, and sell that to the fans."

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