Comcast-Spectacor and Flyers Chairman Ed Snider participated in a conference call with local media members on Wednesday afternoon. Below are excerpts from the call.
Q: What do you have to do over the off-season to prepare for next year?
Ed Snider: "I'm not going to address it right now. We're going to have series of meetings. I've asked for written reports from our team people and I'll be prepared to answer that at a later date. Right now, I'm just recovering from the shock of last night and I don't want to jump to any hasty conclusions."
Q: Some fans said the team quit last night. Is that hard for you to hear?
ES: "I don't believe the team quit. I don't believe the team would ever quit. I think there's too much pride out there on the ice. I believe that we were outplayed by a team that was better positioned to play in the new game and we've got to look at that. We know that we got beat by a better team."
Was there a miscalculation on the Flyers' part on how to approach the new game?
ES: "As I said, I don't really know. I'm going to have to analyze that. You always talk about things, like for example Buffalo was crying about the fact that they didn't have Teppo Numminen in the lineup for a couple of games that they lost. Well, we didn't have Kim Johnsson who is built for this game. We didn't have Keith Primeau in the locker room who was a tremendous captain and leader. There's a lot of factors that go into it. I don't want to talk about our injuries as an excuse, because I don't want that to be misconstrued.
"I don't care how many injuries you have, you shouldn't get beat 7-1 in your own building in a critical game that could end your season. When I look at that game, you saw players doing things that were uncharacteristic of them for the whole season. They didn't suddenly forget how to play the game. I don't know, again, until we analyze it, why they played that way. I have my own theories but I'm not going to profess them at this time."
Can you talk about the coach, the job he did and address some of the rumors about his return?
ES: "Well first of all I don't know where those rumors are coming from. They certainly aren't coming from me and they aren't coming from Bob [Clarke], so that's a bunch of BS that writers just feel like putting in the paper. Hitchcock has a pedigree of being a fine coach, including with us. He didn't suddenly go brain dead."
How would you characterize this season from start to finish?
ES: "If you want to characterize everything from start to finish, all of those people who are now criticizing us were predicting us for possibly winning or at least contending for the Stanley Cup with the team that Bob Clarke put together. Then, we were rattled with more injuries that I've ever seen in my 40 years in the game. I thought that Hitchcock did an incredible job of holding the team together through all of those injuries and getting us to the point where we were a hair from having home ice advantage and winning the division.
"Having said that, when you don't have a team working together and growing together throughout a whole season, it's a problem. I think when you look at Buffalo, they are a well oiled machine. They didn't start out strong at the beginning of the year, but as the year went along they got better and better and better. Why did they get better and better? Because they played together all year, developed a system and developed a chemistry and everything else. I don't think we ever had the opportunity to develop a chemistry on our team."