On April 11, 2016, the Philadelphia Flyers, the National Hockey League, the city of Philadelphia and society lost an iconic figure when Flyers co-founder and chairman for a half-century, Ed Snider, passed away at age 83 from complications due to cancer.
Mr. Snider was a key catalyst in establishing Philadelphia as a premier sports city. He founded the Flyers in 1966 and took the Spectrum arena out of bankruptcy in 1972. In 1974, the Flyers became the first National Hockey League expansion team to win the Stanley Cup, repeating the achievement again in 1975. The Spectrum quickly became known as "America's Showplace" and Mr. Snider saw the opportunity to create a new venue management industry based on that success.
Through his company, Spectacor, and in partnership with Aramark Corporation and the Pritzger Family, he created Spectacor Management Group, which experienced significant growth and earned national acclaim for its impact in the industry. Under Mr. Snider's guidance, Spectacor also developed and acquired nearly a dozen related lines of business including PRISM, the country's then fastest growing regional paid sports cable network, and WIP, one of the nation's first all-sports radio stations.
In 1996, when Comcast Corporation acquired the National Basketball Association's Philadelphia 76ers, Mr. Snider formed a joint venture between Spectacor and Comcast and combined the 76ers, the Flyers and the arena to form Comcast Spectacor. Comcast Spectacor-owned companies have repeatedly been recognized for their success in their respective industries with over 300 clients and more than 400 global properties.
April 11: Through the Years
1974: The Flyers get a two games to none jump in their Stanley Cup quarterfinal series with the Atlanta Flames as they cruise to a 5-1 win in Game Two at the Spectrum. A natural hat trick by Rick MacLeish in the second period leads the way.
1978: The Flyers make short work of overtime in Game One of their best-of-three miniseries with the Colorado Rockies. Mel Bridgman pots the 3-2 game-winner just 23 seconds into the extra frame.
1980: Closing out a sweep of the Edmonton Oilers in their best-of-five miniseries, the Flyers earn a 3-2 road overtime win in Game Three. It isn't easy. The game, which is the second of three games in the series to be tied after 60 minutes, goes into double overtime before Ken Linseman scores at the 3:56 mark to end the game and the series. In regulation, the Flyers trail 2-0 before a second-period goal by Behn Wilson and a third-period tally by rookie Brian Propp force. Phil Myre stops 41 of 43 shots.
1985: Despite the Flyers' 5-4 overtime win in Game One of their best-of-five series with the New York Rangers, Vezina Trophy winning goaltender Pelle Lindbergh was not happy with his own performance and head coach Mike Keenan said the team as a whole needed to be better. In Game 2, Lindbergh does something about it and, after a terrible first period, the Flyers collectively pick up their own games in a 3-1 win at the Spectrum. Lindbergh earns first star honors as he stops 38 of 39 shots, including 15 saves in the first period. Eventually, the Flyers get going and a mid-second period power play goal by Todd Bergen is supplemented by third-period tallies by Bergen (third goal of the series, second of the game) and Ilkka Sinisalo (with 2:20 left on the clock).
1987: Rookie goalie Ron Hextall posts a 34-save shutout at Madison Square Garden in a 3-0 win in Game 3 of the Flyers' first-round series with the New York Rangers. The game is scoreless until the Flyers break loose for second-period goals by Peter Zezel and Rick Tocchet. With the victory, the Flyers take a two games to one lead in the series.
1989: At 18:58 of the third period, Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall makes Stanley Cup playoff history when he becomes the first goaltender in NHL history to score a playoff goal. Collecting a Washington Capitals dump in behind the net, Hextall swings out in front and sends it down the ice into the vacant cage at the other end. The goal is the second of Hextall's career. At the time, he was the only goalie in NHL history to score a goal by shooting it into the other team's net. The visiting Flyers win the game, 8-5, and take a three games to one lead in the first-round series. Philly closes out the series two nights later at the Spectrum.
2010: In an all-or-nothing season finale with the winner going to the Stanley Cup playoffs and the loser going home, the Flyers prevail over the visiting New York Rangers, 2-1, via shootout. Philadelphia trails 1-0 entering the third period until Matt Carle ties the game with a power play goal at 6:54. After a scoreless overtime (the Flyers outshoot the Rangers 47-25 for the game), the contest moves to a shootout with Henrik Lundqvist in goal for the Rangers and Brian Boucher in net for Philadelphia. Goals by Danny Briere and Claude Giroux and saves by Boucher on Erik Christensen and Olli Jokinen seal a playoff spot for the Flyers. Philadelphia goes on to come within two wins of the Stanley Cup championship.
2012: In Game One of a memorable Eastern Conference Quarterfinal clash between arch-rival Pennsylvania teams, the visiting Flyers fall behind the favored Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-0, and then storm back to capture a 4-3 overtime win capped off by a Jakub Voracek tap-in goal at 2:23 of sudden-death OT. Danny Briere starts the comeback on a controversial goal; Briere is clearly offside when he receives a pass from Brayden Schenn off a Pittsburgh turnover. There is no disputing the legitimacy of Briere's second goal of the game (also assisted by Schenn) at 9:17 of the third period. Schenn then ties the game at 12:23 with a power play goal that forces OT.