Comcast to Buy Out Ed Snider’s Stake in Flyers

The Wells Fargo Center, home of the Flyers and Sixers, at night

Photo by PHL Approach (license)

Comcast will buy out Ed Snider‘s 24 percent stake in Comcast Spectacor next month, gaining full ownership of the Philadelphia Flyers, the Wells Fargo Center and the hospitality and entertainment division, Spectra.

Ed Snider created Spectacor in 1974 to combine the two related things he owned, the Flyers and the Spectrum, into one umbrella company. Comcast bought 63 percent of Spectacor in 1996; Snider remained as chairman with a minority ownership stake.

“Ed was a visionary in the sports and entertainment industry and is deeply missed,” Comcast Chairman/CEO Brian Roberts said in a release. “He planned for this transition and, thanks to his thoughtful approach on succession, Comcast Spectacor is in a strong position. I’m very excited we are able to carry his spirit with us by bringing the company, its leadership, and its thousands of employees fully into the Comcast family.” Read more »

The Flyers Unveiled New Jerseys Today and Everyone Hates Them Already

Claude Giroux in his new Flyers jersey

Flyers captain Claude Giroux stands in front of a series of game-worn Flyers jerseys over the years | Photo: Dan McQuade

The media gathered at the Philly From the Top observation deck, on the 57th floor of One Liberty. The team at MeiGray Group had set up a dozen game-worn jerseys from the 1960s to the present for display. The giant Benjamin Franklin statue at the observation deck was draped in a giant Flyers jersey.

Flyers President Paul Holmgren took to the microphone in front of a replica penalty box complete with a replica Dave Schultz. He talked about how team founder Ed Snider, before his death last spring, signed off on the new jersey design. “We went through about 10 or 12 different protypes,” Holmgren said. “Mr. Snider was heavily involved from the get-go. It was finalized in December of 2015. When Mr. Snider saw the final edition, he couldn’t have been happier and gave us his blessing to move forward.”

He brought up a Yeezy-clad Claude Giroux to try on the new jersey and show it off. This season will be the Flyers’ 50th. The new look, which the team will wear for 12 home games this season, has the Flyers’ logo trimmed in gold and other gold accenting for that 50th anniversary. Helmets worn with the jerseys will have Snider’s signature and “A Flyer Forever.” Afterward, Giroux waited to take photos and sign autographs for a long line of Flyers fans in attendance.

All good, right? No. Read more »

The Flyers Could Have Been Named the Croaking Crickets

flyers-logo

Fifty years ago this week, the Flyers were named.

The official unveiling of the name took place on August 3rd, 2016, and Bill Meltzer wrote a nice piece about it for the Flyers’ website yesterday.

Here’s how the story goes: The youngest of the four major professional sports franchises in Philadelphia, the Flyers were named by Ed Snider‘s sister, Phyllis. According to Jay Greenberg’s Full Spectrum, Phyllis suggested the name while at a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. Ed Snider and the rest of the ownership group liked the name, and that was that.

Well, sort of. Though they’d already decided on a name, the Flyers ownership group decided to have a contest at ACME supermarket locations — and would pull the winner out of whomever selected “Flyers.” Read more »

Eric Lindros Will Be Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame

AP9-ERIC-LINDROS-flyers-1996-ed-nessen-940x540

Eric Lindros had to wait six years, but he finally got the call.

Today, Lindros got that call confirming his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Lindros came to the Flyers for six players and $15 million in a massive trade with the Quebec Nordiques in 1992. He played eight seasons for the Flyers, with 659 points (290 goals, 369 assists) in 486 games. Read more »

It’s Been 15,000 Days Since the Flyers Won the Stanley Cup

15,000 days since the last Flyers Stanley Cup logo

Image made by @BackhandedDevil

Last night, the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Championship. It was Cleveland’s first major pro sports championship since 1964 — a 52-year gap since its last championship.

Philadelphia is no longer “cursed” since its victory in the 2008 World Series. But the city’s other teams are really starting to get into long droughts. The Eagles have never won a Super Bowl, and their last NFL Championship was in 1960. The Sixers haven’t won a title since 1983.

The Flyers’ drought now stands at 41 years; their last Stanley Cup was in 1975. And, as Twitter account @SinceFlyersCup notes, today marks 15,000 days since the Flyers last won the Stanley Cup. Read more »

He Was a Flyers Fan. He Won the Stanley Cup With Pittsburgh

Jim Britt holds the Stanley Cup on the ice after the Penguins win

Photo courtesy of Jim Britt

I was watching the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrate their Stanley Cup victory when I spotted a familiar face on the ice. There was Jim Britt, with his wife, posing for a photo with the Stanley Cup.

Britt and I were classmates at Holy Ghost Prep. He played on our school’s hockey team, which his dad coached. The Flyers had been to the Stanley Cup Finals just before our freshman year of high school together, and it seemed like the Legion of Doom line would one day bring the Stanley Cup to Philadelphia for the first time in either of our lives.

Sixteen years after we graduated, the Flyers still don’t have a Stanley Cup win since 1975. Jim Britt does.  Read more »

Rick MacLeish, Flyers Legend, Dead at 66

Rick MacLeish

Rick MacLeish, a star center on the Broad Street Bullies championship Flyers teams of the 1970s, has died. The team confirmed the news this morning; MacLeish had been hospitalized for about two months. He had been battling meningitis, along with kidney and liver problems.

“A good father, grandfather, teammate and friend, Rick will be missed by all who were fortunate to come and know him over the years,” Flyers president Paul Holmgren said in a press release. “His happy and friendly demeanor was front and center everywhere Rick went. Today, our thoughts and prayers are with Rick’s wife, Charlene, his daughters, Danielle and Brianna, along with his grandchildren. May he rest in peace.”

MacLeish scored 328 goals in a 12-year career with the Flyers — including a 50-goal season in 1972-73 — but it was his exploits in the playoffs that made him a legend. He had 13 goals and 22 points in the Flyers’ first Stanley Cup-winning year in 1974, then had 11 goals and 20 points in their second Cup the following year. Read more »

Flyers, Philly Fans Embarrass Selves in Playoff Loss

Members of the Philadelphia Flyers Ice Crew pick up wristbands that were thrown onto the ice during the third period against the Washington Capitals in game three of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center.

Members of the Philadelphia Flyers Ice Crew pick up wristbands that were thrown onto the ice during the third period against the Washington Capitals in game three of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center.

The Philadelphia Flyers and St. Louis Blues once played a game on January 6th of 1972. The Flyers, an expansion squad in its fifth season, were two years away from the first of the franchise’s only two Stanley Cups. It was Fred Shero‘s first year as coach. The Flyers were ahead, 2-0, after two periods, when a riot broke out.

Blues coach Al Arbour — the third employed by St. Louis that season — chased after the ref toward the dressing room. He was complaining about the way the puck was dropped on a face-off earlier in the game. As he berated the ref in the exit runway, a fan reached over and poured a beer over Albour’s head. (Stadium beer was cheaper in those days.)

The incident is recalled in fantastic detail in Glen Macnow and Anthony L. Gargano’s The Great Philadelphia Fan Book. The authors even got Ed Snider to comment on the incident.

“Fans started cursing the Blues and throwing things,” he said. “Then Arbour reached over into the seats and some cop hit him over the head with a billy club. Well, that was it. It became instant mayhem.”

The Blues players rushed to the tunnel entrance, defending their coach. Led by Bob Plager, Blues players rushed into the stands and began fighting fans. One-hundred fifty police officers had to be called in to quell the mayhem. Blues defenseman John Arbour, no relation to the coach, needed 40 stitches. Three Blues players, and coach Arbour, were arrested.

“That was the worst case of police brutality I’ve ever seen or heard about,” Blues owner Sidney Salomon told the Daily News. “It was worse than the riot in Chicago at the convention.” Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo was his usual self: “This community will not tolerate hooliganism. We probably didn’t need our police officers in that situation. I believe our residents could have taken care of the matter on their own.”

Snider bailed the Blues players out of jail. As he told the authors of the book, he was angrier at the way his team reacted than with the fans. The Flyers gave up three goals in the third period and lost to the Blues, 3-2. “I was angry,” Snider said. “Not about the fight, so much as the game. Blowing a two-goal lead made me sick.” The embarrassing fight and loss were on Snider’s 39th birthday. Read more »

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