When it comes to winning, Ed Snider is not exactly a patient man. This is not news.
But the Philadelphia Flyers owner was especially candid Tuesday when speaking to Philly.com’s Sam Donnellon after the team posed for its annual team photograph.
Snider told the outlet that 22nd-place Philadelphia can compete for the Stanley Cup next season.
“You don’t say when you’ve got [Claude] Giroux, and you’ve got [Jakub] Voracek, and you’ve got [Steve] Mason and you’ve got the kind of pieces like [Wayne] Simmons that we have, that, ‘Hey, you’ve got to be patient, we might make the playoffs in two or three years,'” Snider said. “[Bleep] that.
“We’ve got to make sure our message gets through properly. Patience is great with the kids. But patience isn’t great with the team we have on the ice.”
Although the Flyers roll out two top-10 scorers in captain Giroux and Voracek and operate the league’s fourth-best power play, the team’s porous defence (ranked 24th) and atrocious penalty kill (29th) have been its undoing. Mason, meanwhile, ranks seventh in save percentage (.925) among NHL goaltenders with at least 20 appearances.
As the the club runs out its regular season, winning just one of its last nine games, many believe head coach Craig Berube’s job is in jeopardy.
Snider, 82, said general manager Ron Hextall “has a lot of work to do” this summer.
“So there’s a question of potential trades, free-agent signings, draft picks surprising you. I don’t like to give the impression that, ‘Hey, we aren’t going to win.’ It’s Ron’s job to analyze why. Why did this same team that made the playoffs fall?” Snider said.
The owner also told Donnellon he didn’t believe the Flyers overachieved last season, when they rallied from an abysmal start and made the post-season.
“I mean, for us to give up now and say we’re not a playoff team and we’ve got to be patient and all that kind of thing, sends the wrong message, I think. To the guys who are here, to our fans, to everybody,” Snider said.
“Who would have thought we would have gotten into the finals [in 2010] when we got into the playoffs in a shootout? Once you get in the playoffs, you never know what’s going to happen.”