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Monday, October 07, 2013

"Flyers Hockey" is a Tired, Old Cliche

Welcome to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Mike Sielski.  My guess is that the Flyers' brass will give you the Tim Panaccio treatment and try to have you sent to cover the Lingerie Football League as punishment for daring to assault such an icon as Ed "Mister" Snider.  Great column today.

And you are absolutely right.  It is time for the Flyers to change their approach.

But, instead, they trotted out another old Flyer to coach the time, one whose bona fides are that he's paid his dues, played for the franchise and is loyal to Ed Snider, who some locals reverently refer to as "Mister Snider" as if that were the utmost in respect they could show the man.  Snider should be loyal to Comcast's shareholders, to whom he does owe a legal duty, as opposed to his former players, to whom it is nice to be loyal, for sure, but at the end of the day when you haven't won a title in forty years you should try to change it up a bit.

Mike Sielski says it better than I could, and his column is a worthy read.  Flyers' fans -- a small and perhaps shrinking number -- should wonder whether it's wise to practice hockey's version of idolatry versus questioning whether "Flyers hockey" -- a bunch of dedicated, if too big and too slow players -- play physically but seemingly haven't adapted to more modern styles.  Instead, they'll continue to worship the man who brought two consecutive titles in the mid-1970's (before many fans were born).  Make no mistake, Snider's achievement was great, but it happened generations ago.

All institutions that thrive do so because they consistently emphasize what worked while concurrently trying to adapt and challenge old assumptions.  The Flyers -- the well-capitalized Flyers -- do not do any of that.  Snider to continues to run the franchise the way he wants to, and it looks like he will continue to do just that.

Expect to see former Flyers continue to populate important positions, a perpetual "Old Timers' Day" if there ever was one.

Just don't expect a title any year soon.


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