Hes already a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, as well as the Flyers Hall of Fame.
And now, Ed Sniders trifecta is complete with Mondays announcement that he will be part of the 2011 class inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame this fall in Chicago.
They really keep it a secret, Snider said from his off-season home in California. I was really caught by surprise when they told me. I had thought it might never happen. Its a great day for me.
I remember when the six new teams were coming into the league that The Hockey News voted Philadelphia the least likely to succeed. I had a lot of satisfaction over the fact that we have been successful, and Ive been there the whole time.
I think the turning point for us was Bob Clarke. We drafted him in our third season, and we started to put our team together, and we kept growing a little bit at a time, and that sort of put us over the top.
Snider, 78, will be joined in the induction by former players Chris Chelios, Gary Suter and Keith Tkachuk, and Mike Doc Emrick, who will become the first broadcaster to be inducted into the U.S. Hall.
Its an extraordinary class, said Ron DeGregorio, president of USA Hockey. The varied contributions to the landscape of hockey in our country is truly amazing and, collectively, this class has positively impacted every level of hockey.
Snider was the founding father of the Flyers back in 1967 when he secured 2 million for an expansion franchise fee for Philadelphia. Within seven years, the Flyers had themselves their first two Stanley Cups.
When I started in 1967, I think, there was one American player in the NHL, Snider said. I havent really studied the books to know that I am absolutely correct, but thats my recollection.
To see all the great U.S.-born players today throughout the league is thrilling and very satisfying, and a credit to your organization USA Hockey and what has happened throughout the United States and hockey.
In fact, a local kid from Philly, Mike Richter, won the Stanley Cup as the goalie for the Rangers, and it shows how far hockey has come in the Philadelphia region. The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame is a great inspiration to young American hockey players, and I really want to thank you guys for doing such a great job, and again thank you for this great honor.
A member of the NHLs executive committee, Snider has been involved for decades with the NHL in its CBA negotiations with the NHLPA, as well as on many of the leagues sub-committees that have brought about changes within the rules of the game.
He was the force behind numerous commercial and financial enterprises including building the Spectrum, the founding of Spectacor, the building of CoreStates Center now Wells Fargo Center and the eventual merger of Spectacor with Comcast in 1996.
He also founded the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation and personally rescued three City of Philadelphia ice rinks from closure in 2008.
Right now we have several thousand kids playing in the inner city, Snider said. We provide the uniforms, the ice time, we give them education, off ice education. We have five city rinks, plus we use rinks throughout the community.
This summer we are closing the three city rinks and remodeling them because they have become somewhat dilapidated and they were open air rinks so we decided what we are creating there and these kids are showing tremendous progress, and it gives me a great deal of satisfaction just to help these inner city kids out.
Snider was elected to Torontos Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988 and to the Flyers hall in 1989. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame (1985).
E-mail Tim Panaccio at firstname.lastname@example.org