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Snider: Flyers are ‘better, no question about it’

Jul 9, 2013, 5:29 PM EDT

Ed Snider AP

After introducing his club’s three big free agent acquisitions — Vincent Lecavalier, Mark Streit and Ray Emery — Flyers owner Ed Snider talked up his team’s chances for next season.

“I go into every season optimistic and excited,” Snider said, as per CSN Philadelphia. “But this is very unique, to have three outstanding players on the podium at the same time that we recently signed. You don’t add three terrific players like that without getting better.

“We’re better, no question about it.”

In Lecavalier and Streit, the Flyers got some veteran leadership — both were captains last year in Tampa Bay and on Long Island, respectively — and depth at both center and defense.

“Adding Vinny,” Flyers GM Paul Holmgren explained, “I said this, we have Claude [Giroux], we have a couple young centers, we have Max [Talbot] that can play center, and Matt Read.

“Depth at center is huge.”

On defense, Streit is one of the 10 (yes, 10) Philadelphia blueliners signed on for next year, though one of those — Chris Pronger — will be put on long-term injured reserve.

That leaves the other nine — Streit, Kimmo Timonen, Graydon Coburn, Andrej Meszaros, Luke Schenn, Nicklas Grossmann, Erik Gustafsson, Bruno Gervais and Marc-Andre Bourdon — to battle it out for playing time (or, possibly, getting shipped out of town altogether.)

In Emery, the Flyers got a goalie that posted a 17-1-0 record last season, combining with Corey Crawford to win the Jennings Trophy in Chicago.

“All he does is win,” Holmgren said of Emery, who expects to platoon with Steve Mason in goal next season.

All in all, the Flyers sounded very confident that last year’s disappointment — a 10th-place finish in the Eastern Conference — won’t carry over to 2013-14.

“I feel better than I have in years,” Snider said. “I feel very good about this team.”

  1. ron05342 - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    “We’re better, no question about it.”

    Just like you were last season.

  2. maalea - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    If by better he means a playoff team, I agree. I just don’t know if it will make a deep run.

    • isithockeyseasonyet - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:49 PM

      Couldn’t agree more but you never know what could happen, a lot of time between now and the start of the playoffs

      • laxman1944 - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:30 PM

        Blue line scares the heck out of me

        Age be it old and young then injured players coming back .

        That being said they held onto the core youth and added 3 pretty good players

        Stay tuned

      • bildomatic - Jul 10, 2013 at 9:01 AM

        Laxman you’re not excited for “Graydon Coburn” to be manning the blue line for you!?

    • tcclark - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:59 AM

      anything can happen in the NHL playoffs. The 8th seed Kings beat the 6th seed Devils just a year ago

  3. se7enbladez - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    This is a lawl

    • girouxed - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:59 PM

      Dont underestimate the Flyers bro. Look what happened to Pittsburgh in 2012.

      Theyre easy to overestimate, but don’t blow them off.

  4. tory707 - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    How does this guy get a pass. All that I keep hearing is that he try’s to put together a team. 1975…38 years and no cup. Open your eyes Comcast. Cut this clown loose!!!

    • Habib Marwan - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:49 PM

      in defense of the the flyers , they have been to the finals quite often since 1975 , like 6 times , only missed the playoffs once in 18 seasons …. snider gives them the financial backing they always need . once the playoffs roll around we all know weird sh*t happens . they should have had a couple more cups since then imo.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:49 AM

        Appreciate the defense. Part of the problem is they ran into Dynasty-quality teams in the Cup Finals… Habs in the 70s, Oilers in the 80s, Red Wings in 97, Devils in the 2000 ECFs, and the Blackhawks in 2010. Now they’re not all technically “dynasties”, but all those teams won multiple Cups within a few years. Still, like all Flyers fans, I wish we could’ve come out on top in just one of those appearances. But you can’t say the Flyers aren’t usually contenders.

      • Habib Marwan - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:36 AM

        ya know what two series for some reason i remember?, those 2 ya’ll had against Ottawa in the early 2000’s.. if I was a Flyers fan during those series I would have ripped all my hair out of my head… they suffocated you guys with clutch and grab crap , especially the series where you guys only scored like 2 or 3 goals on 6 games or something? …. yuo guys shouldnt have lost to Buffalo a couple times either but the playoffs are just that… unpredictable.

      • possiblythelongestusernameevercreated - Jul 10, 2013 at 8:18 AM

        Totally agree. There were some great runs and some great teams. Always a few what-ifs. What if Lindros stayed healthy. What if the Flyers never sold the farm for Lindros, what if Lindbergh never died. Some of it’s bad luck, some of it’s bad decisions. I like the aggressive philosophy, but conversely, there’s the whole “slow and steady wins the race.” Flyers lack of patience has proven something of a detriment.

        Still, the team addressed what was missing from last year: veteran leadership and depth at goalie. Other issue was depth on defense and they have that. Not saying they will win it all (Blackhawks again?), but they will be in the playoffs, and probably better than the Rangers this year.

  5. kingcobraman - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    all sounds good .. lets see what happens when the puck drops…

  6. thedavesiknowiknow - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    <——-Raises his hand like a 5th grader who realizes the teacher just gave "shinfo" to the class- impatiently waiting to correct them.

  7. jpelle82 - Jul 9, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    bring it on, i hope the devils are a better team this year too. i almost feel bad for the caps and canes coming into this division having not improved at all.

    • blackfoot11 - Jul 10, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      Yep, bring it on. Not like the Caps and Canes have dont know their new division mates. Caps not improving? What have the Pens done this offseason that that is different from the Caps. Both are resigning their own, making strategic depth FA signings, and promoting from within the system to fill needs. Looking forward to next season.

  8. jpelle82 - Jul 9, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    “All he does is win,” Holmgren said of Emery….then he added “no matter what, got money on my mind, i can never get enough, everytime i step up in the building everybody’s hands go up….and they stay there”

    • laxman1944 - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:34 PM

      …………uh……….ok……….

    • coopjr - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:23 PM

      “Cocaine’s a hell of a drug.”

  9. icelovinbrotha215 - Jul 9, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    We shall see. You are banking on younger players to pull through. The good thing with the NHL system, any of the top 16 teams do have a chance at the Cup.

    • killerpgh - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:42 PM

      But this year its not just being a top 8 team in your conference. With the new division and playoff format the Flyers need to be top 4 team in the division (possible the 5th team can take the 4th spot in the other division) that includes Penguins, Rangers, Islanders, Devils, Capitals, Blue Jackets and Hurricanes. I think the Flyers will be in the running for that 3rd-4rd playoff spot, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they missed finshing in the top 4 either. Pens should make it. Rangers should make it. And then it looks like it will be a dog fight for the last 2 spots from those 6 teams.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Jul 11, 2013 at 12:12 AM

        I agree. With the new alignment, it should make for better tv in regards to playoff races. Tough to predict what will happen. That’s why the NHL is exciting to watch.

  10. chazxcore - Jul 9, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    It’s no doubt they are better. They address just about every issue they had over the past two seaons. They got rid of Bryz which will help out in the locker room. They added two captains who can bring more leadership to the team and help the younger guys like Coots. Vinny is a pretty significant upgrade on Briere. He is bigger (which they needed), more physical, better on the faceoff and defensively and cheaper.
    Streit adds a puck moving dman to the group. He isn’t going to knock anyone around but they needed to cut down on the turn overs and he will help out a ton there. They have a good competition in goal where both players are playing for a future contract. They also drafted two big dmen who will hopefully be the base of defense in a few years.

    Are they a Stanley Cup team. No one knows. No one though the Kings or Blackhawks in 2010 were going to win the cup.

    • killerpgh - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:49 PM

      I dont know if Strait is going to cut down on turn overs. He had more giveaways last year than any member of the Flyers defense last year. A lot of Flyers were happy to see Carle not resigned because of is giveaways. Last year Strait had 37 giveaways and Carle had 34.

  11. hookersdontsnuggle - Jul 9, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    This is funny because they’re not better. Steve Mason and Ray Emery. Good luck with that. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    • chazxcore - Jul 9, 2013 at 6:49 PM

      So Bryz is better and at almost double the price for both Emery and Mason?

  12. phillyinknoxville - Jul 9, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Coburn’s first name is Braydon, not Graydon. Did that take too long to Google?

  13. hockeyfan28 - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Well they really are better that top 9 forward group is as good as there is in the league like any team injuries will
    be the biggest thing but if they are healthy they compete with Pittsburgh for the division title

  14. philk0731 - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    They’ll stink just like every other Philadelphia sports team (except the 1 year the Phillies got lucky)

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:55 AM

      You don’t “luck” into a World Series (especially since they were right back in 09), but we’re not on PHT to discuss baseball.

    • tcclark - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:03 AM

      Yeah it was pretty crazy how they accidentally scored all of those runs right?

  15. hockey412 - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    DUCK FACE!! He’s doing the duck face!

  16. mclovinhockey - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    Obviously

  17. chrisk61 - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    since the 70s the flyers made the finals 4 times: twice in mid 80s under mike keenan (lindbergh and hextall), in 97 with the big E and 2010. opponents were edm, edm, det and chic. they went 0-4 in those finals, including losing in 7 to edm second time and getting swept vs det.

    • mercyflush - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:15 PM

      you missed one… 1980.

      Flyers won back to back cups in 74 and 75, then went again to the finals in 76. Then they had finals trips in 80, 85 and 87. Then 97 and 10.

      Plus, a hell of a lot of trips to the conference finals mixed in there.

      THAT’s why Snider gets a pass from most Flyers fans… 8 times in the Stanley Cup Finals in 40 years, they’ve only missed the playoffs like 10 times in their history. I think he should get ripped more and i think Holmgren has to go, but the Flyers have been fairly successful compared to most teams…, but just haven’t put it together good enough to win the cup in a long time.

      • tcclark - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:15 AM

        You had me until “fairly successful.” The Flyers have the 8th highest winning percentage in history behind only the Lakers, Celtics, Canadiens, Spurs, Cowboys, Dolphins, and Bears. They have a better winning percentage than any baseball team in history including the Yankees. This team has won consistently since its inception.

  18. 28giroux28 - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    I think he’s forgetting the new 4 conference system. Only 4 teams coming out of a division with Pittsburgh (a lock), NYR (probable), NYI (good chance), Detroit (always dangerous), NJ, and Carolina (getting better). Tough to name 3 teams we’re better than in that bunch…

    • jakeda2012 - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:22 PM

      Detroit is in the new Northeast (plus the Florida teams). Philly’s division is the Atlantic division plus Washington, Carolina, and Columbus. If everyone stays healthy and if the goaltending tandem can play better than Bryz, then we could probably squeeze in. There may be alot of if’s but you can’t really predict anything in July.

      • 28giroux28 - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:45 PM

        Ah, my mistake. The absence of Detroit actually changes things. But I’m just saying Snider shouldn’t start selling his playoff tickets just yet.

  19. andyreidisfat - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    I think the flyers now have the right mix of youth of vet leadership they have been missing since the Richards and carter trades. Clearly they more than replaced the production and talent, but they never replaced the on ice leadership Richards and pronged brought to the table. I think that’s why jagr was so big a few years ago. He really brought the “knowing how to win” that young teams sometimes need to develop over time.

    With the two new captains, and Giroux I think even twords the end of last season really starting to show people why he is the face of the franchise and a top 5 player, the guys now entering their prime in Jake and Simmonds and read and the younger players who really need to start putting up or shutting up like the schenns, who also both starting playing very well especially Luke who I think will be a big time star defenseman maybe as soon as next year, more likely a year or two from now, and coots and laughten. Mix that in with the two way play of guys like Talbot and that idiot with the bad hair cut, I think you have the makings of a very strong team.

    No doubt I am worried about the defense. But its not the like the flyers defense was bad at stopping teams. They were very good at stopping a rush and winning battles in the corners, the problem the flyers had was moving the puck out of the zone. I never seen a team scored on so much on turnovers in their own zone. It bordered on high school hockey at points. But I think streit will be a huge help in this department.

    And then we come to the goalie. Myself I think mason is going to become a star in Philly. Something about the way he plays and handles himself off the ice makes me really believe in him. I understand I am in the minority of fans on this one, but obviously with one of the biggest groups of pretty good goalies out there to be there to be had the flyer choose the one least likely to become a starter. Emery to me is an insurance policy, mason is and always has been the guy going in to next year.

    To say that the flyers are not a better team is down right silly. In fact I would say its between the flyers and pens as to who wins the Atlantic next year with the devils close behind if Marty stays healthy. Stanley cup team ??? Its way to early to tell, but with the mix of guys coming into their primes and hungry vets looking to win for the first time in awhile and a goalie eager to prove himself and score that next big contract, I would say the flyers are much improved. I would also say that if wveryteam in the nhl was healthy all year that my flyers would easily be a top 5 team overall and a real cup contender.

  20. pavelfitzgerald - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    Whose Graydon Coburn?

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