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Snider on the state of the team

Snider takes time after statue unveiling to talk about disappointment with the 2012-13 season
Saturday, 03.30.2013 / 12:45 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out
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PHILADELPHIA -- Flyers chairman Ed Snider was on hand for the unveiling of the new "Walk Together Forever" statue featuring Bobby Clarke and Bernie Parent carrying the Stanley Cup.

The ceremony took place outside of Broad Street Bullies Pub at Xfinity Live prior to the Flyers-Bruins contest at Wells Fargo Center Saturday.

After the ceremony, Snider addressed the state of the Flyers and was very candid with his message about the team.

The following is a transcript of the entire interview:

Q: How exciting is it for you that the Broad Street Bullies statue has come to fruition?

Snider: “I’m really happy that it’s come to fruition. I wish that it had been at a happier time, but we scheduled it and we’ve done it and we’ve got great fans. It’s great to see them all here. They’re still behind us. That means an awful lot to the organization."

Q: Scott Hartnell said that when he talked to you recently he could see on your face how much this season has bothered you. How tough has this been for you?

Snider: “It’s been really tough. We came into the season with high expectations and it just seems like everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. But the good teams overcome that and we’ve got to find a way to regroup and I guarantee you we’ll be a heck of a lot better.”

Q: You’ve resisted making any kind of changes with coaching and management. Is that your way of saying this is something that needs to be addressed on the ice and not off the ice

Snider: “There’s no sense in showing desperation or making moves that you’re not sure of and we want to evaluate everything when the season’s over. It’s premature to even thing about it. We still have a slight chance for the playoffs. We haven’t given up. We’re realistic. We’re in a very tough spot. But we want to look at the whole thing when the season’s over.”

Q: If you don't make the playoffs do you anticipate a lot of changes personnel-wise in the offseason?

Snider: “I’m not even thinking that far ahead. As I said, We’re going to evaluate it after the season. Those kinds of decisions will be made by Paul Holmgren and his staff.”

Q: What do you think went wrong this season? This is basically the same team as the one that finished fifth in the Eastern Conference a year ago and beat Pittsburgh in the playoffs and now you've been behind the eight ball since the first three games?

Snider: “You know, I really don’t want to make excuses, but we had a very tough schedule to start off with and we got off on the wrong foot and never regrouped and overcame it. So why and how … I don’t like to make excuses. We are where we are because we deserve to be where we are.”

Q: There have been quotes coming from the dressing room in which players are saying, "We weren’t ready, we weren’t prepared." Did you read them and does that concern you?

Snider: “I think you’re talking to young players who are disappointed in their performance, and those are the kinds of quotes that you usually get when you lose.”

Q: Do you look back on last summer and think everything probably would have been different had you signed one of those two defensemen (Ryan Suter or Shea Weber)?

Snider: “Well, we were trying to overcome the loss of (Chris) Pronger. We don’t talk about that often, but Pronger, we gave up a lot to get him and he was a force for us. Not having him has really been rough. It would be the same as Boston without (Zdeno) Chara. He was a force and we miss that. We know that our defense has struggled. We’ve had injuries. (Andrej) Meszaros was a solid defenseman for us and really hasn’t played much this year. Now we don’t have (Nicklas) Grossmann. We don’t have (Braydon) Coburn. That’s actually four of our defensemen that would maybe would have been our top 4. That’s tough to overcome."

Q: Do you think the Flyers current roster, if healthy, should be a playoff team or should be a Stanley Cup contender?

Snider: “Right now? If everyone’s healthy we certainly would play a lot better than we have been playing, but we want to get better and we really want to be a Stanley Cup contender. Last year we won the first round and then we were eliminated by Jersey. We’ve had trouble with New Jersey. They play a different style. We were going to address that in training camp and we didn’t have a training camp (due to the lockout). When you talk about New Jersey, they didn’t have to worry about addressing it because they’re playing the same style they always have. So there’s a lot of things that go into what we’ve tried to do and what we haven’t accomplished.”

Q: One thing we get (asked) every day is "What the Flyers will do this summer?" Would it be accurate to say you’ll be very active?

Snider: “The team? Of course. We always are. We always try to improve no matter what level we’re at. Obviously, we’ve got a lot of work to do to get back to where we want to be.”

Q: Ed, you were vocal about how concerned you were about goaltenders two years ago, then went out and got (Ilya) Bryzgalov. In your eyes, how do you (think) that has played out?

Snider: “I don’t think Bryzgalov has been the problem. I mean, he’s had to face so many breakaways and 2-on-1s where we turn over the puck suddenly. I think it’s the team. I think we’re fine in goal.”

Q: When you say everything will be evaluated after the season, does that include the head coach and general manager?

Snider: “I’m going to sit down with the general manager and we’re going to evaluate everything and discuss everything. It’s Paul Holmgren’s call. He’s the general manager. I don’t tell him what to do. If I had to tell him what to do, then I should be general manager."

His (Holmgren's) job is safe then?

Snider: “Of course.”

Is Peter (Laviolette) safe?

Snider: “I don’t want to talk about anything about when the season ends or who’s safe and who isn’t safe. These are decisions Paul Holmgren is going to have to make, not me.”

Q: When did you reach a point where you realized this team could be in trouble...?

Snider: “You always hope that you’re going to get it together, but look at our record. We haven’t won one game where we were behind 1-0 after the first period or something like that. We haven’t had more than a two-game winning streak all year. I mean, it’s been a disappointment the entire season. Let’s hope that we can change it suddenly and some miracle will happen and we win all the remaining games. I’m not giving up. But you have to be realistic and look at what we’ve accomplished so far. We have to do an awful lot to change that pattern.”

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37




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