Snider upbeat about new-look Flyers

Flyers owner Ed Snider: I think last year was a fluke; it was the kind of season where anything that could go wrong went wrong. Paul Beaty /AP file
Flyers owner Ed Snider: I think last year was a fluke; it was the kind of season where anything that could go wrong went wrong. Paul Beaty /AP file
Posted: September 15, 2013

The Flyers are coming off a rare playoff-less season, but chairman Ed Snider on Friday called the lockout-shortened year an aberration, and said coach Peter Laviolette and general manager Paul Holmgren were not on the hot seat if the team got off to a slow start in 2013-14.

"I think last year was a fluke; it was the kind of season where anything that could go wrong went wrong," he said. "We didn't have a great rapport among all our players, and I think you see the camaraderie now. You see it, you feel it. We had a golf tournament the other day and the guys were spectacular. I just think we're in for wonderful things this year."

Snider's mention of the team's rapport seemed like a thinly veiled reference to Ilya Bryzgalov, the controversial goalie whose contract the Flyers bought out in the offseason.

Speaking to reporters in his preseason address, Snider said that he liked Holmgren's offseason moves and that he expects the Flyers to bounce back from a campaign in which they missed the playoffs for just the second time in the last 18 seasons.

"I think picking up three outstanding players and giving up nothing was a tremendous coup for us," he said, referring to center Vinny Lecavalier, defenseman Mark Streit, and goalie Ray Emery. "We already felt we had a pretty good team, and now I feel we have a much better team."

Snider, who spoke to reporters at Xfinity Live - where a crowd estimated at 1,500 attended a "Meet the Flyers" function - strongly supported Holmgren and Laviolette.

"First of all, I don't think anybody can look at the job Paul Holmgren did over the offseason this year and not say that it was outstanding," Snider said. "Every move the GM makes isn't going to be perfect. They all make mistakes, but you have to gauge the good things as opposed to anything negative, and Paul has done good things for this organization ever since he became general manger, so there's no issue there whatsoever.

"As far as Peter is concerned, last year was an anomaly. He's been a very good coach for us. He's been a good coach in this league, and we're just thrilled to have him."

Snider thinks the fact that defensemen Braydon Coburn, Nick Grossmann, and Andrej Meszaros are back in good health will benefit the club. Ditto the competition between Emery and Steve Mason for the No. 1 goalie spot.

"I think these kids both know each other, they like each other. I mean it's not any negative competition," Snider said. "It works out well for us."

Snider shook his head when talking about Emery's record last season with the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks.

"I don't care who you're playing with, to win 17 games and only lose one is pretty amazing," he said. "Every goalie has a bad game, where the team can't make up for it. I think Emery's record looks fabulous. I think Mason really changed [after the Flyers acquired him]. I don't think what we saw at the end of last year was a fluke, so I am very optimistic about the goaltending."


Contact Sam Carchidi at scarchidi@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @BroadStBull.

|
|
|
|
|