(Philadelphia, PA, October 22, 2006) - The following are the opening statements from Ed Snider, Bob Clarke and John Stevens regarding the reorganization of the club. Clarke stepped down as General Manager, while Paul Holmgren was named the interim general manager. Stevens was named head coach of the club.
Opening statement from Chairman Ed Snider
"This is a hard day in the history of the Philadelphia Flyers and it's a very difficult day for all of us. I want to announce that Bob Clarke has decided to step down as General Manager after a very, very successful career and he will be replaced by interim General Manager Paul Holmgren and we have decided to appoint John Stevens as head coach of the Flyers replacement of Ken Hitchcock."
On Clarke: "It's a very tough day. Clarkie and I had some fabulous times together and great years together. Bob Clarke I think more then any other person in this room is responsible for the success the Flyers have had over the years. To me when a man can sit up here and say that he hasn't done the job, it just shows what kind of person he is. He had come to that realization himself and he is man enough to come in and say he's not ready to do it any longer. I am sure Bob is going to take a break, get his thoughts together and decide what it is he wants to do with his future. He is a great hockey man and right now he feels he is not doing the job the way he wanted and he decided to step down."
"I went to Peter Luukko (President/COO of Comcast-Spectacor) about 10 days ago and said that I had enough of being General Manager and I no longer wanted to make the decisions that General Managers have to make. I felt it was time to step back. I talked with Mr. Snider and explained it to him. He said 'sleep on it'' to make sure this is what I want to do for sure. I told him I know exactly what I am doing and why I am doing it. I felt strongly that by the end of last season that, I don't know if the right word is burnt out or tired or something, but the decisions that had to be made...I know I didn't do the right job for this organization. Mr. Snider who's my friend and the best owner in professional sports didn't deserve this, the fans didn't deserve this and certainly our team did not deserve this.
"Certainly it's been such a privilege to be part of the Flyers and to work for the Flyers for this many years. I regret not being able to bring the Stanley Cup here. We've been to the finals a number of times and we've been close but my responsibility is to try and win the Stanley Cup and I did not deliver. Hopefully with a new face on the organization and all the good young players that are on our team now and the others coming that there will be a Stanley Cup here. I believe there will."
"First of all this is a bit of a bitter day for me because Bob Clarke is stepping down. I was drafted in 1984 when Clarkie was a young General Manager and he's had a great influence in my life and in my career. He has taught me about integrity, honesty and probably the biggest thing is that the team is most important thing. Moving forward here, I would like to thank Mr. Snider, Peter Luukko and Paul Holmgren for showing confidence in me.
"I worked with [Holmgren] for the last six years as a head coach in the American League and we've had a lot of success dealing with these young players. We are very confident that things are going to turn around. My philosophy as a coach I think stems from my upbringing. I was the youngest of four boys; you always have this feeling that we are looking our for each other here. In my opinion, you look out for each other, the team is the most important thing, and to have that attitude you are capable of accomplishing great things here. Ten years here in Philadelphia I understand the fans expect a hard work ethic and effort every night and that is something we are going to continue to make our priority."