Philadelphia, Philadelphia Flyers, Hockey discussed on Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network

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Inducted into the US Hockey Hall of fame. And he's going in with some pretty good guys as well like Chris Chilies. Mike Hamrick and also also Keith could chuck he is the chairman of comcast spectacle and that's an entertainment company that owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL The wells Fargo Center the spectrum and the regional sports network comcast sports net they formerly owned The Philadelphia Seventy sixers and upon learning that the NHL was planning to expand. Back in the sixties Ed made plans for a new arena in Philadelphia the spectrum that in house both flyers and the seventy sixers and of course the flyers went on to become the first NHL H. L. Expansion team to win the Stanley Cup. They repeated then after winning it in seventy four again in seventy five and some of his other businesses one of them was acquiring hiring or either founding the first all sports radio station in Philadelphia. WIP A am. Ed when you hear all the things I just said you kind of get blown away about all you've been able to accomplish in sports. Well you know. I've had a lot of people that have helped along the way we got a great organization. And you know I am proud of what we accomplished and looking forward to more stuff than the future. We're doing some great things. Take me back to the sixties about the lay of the land. What was the landscape like in sports that you got into you and tell me a little bit about how you've seen it change over the decades? Well you know when I got into it in the in the sixties as an expansion in team obviously uh incidentally the hockey news voted US least likely to succeed the flyers and and I'm very proud of the fact that we want a couple of cups. Yes in one in our seventh year of existence. Our first one. So you know the landscape was a lot different The salaries were more. Manageable You could actually actually make a few dollars and And we didn't have all the Labor strikes that we have today so I mean you can see what happened in football and basketball this year. What happened to us five years ago with the lockout lose you're losing a whole season We have we face maybe issues at the end of this year. So you know it's a tough business today. It's much much more difficult than it was back. Then tell me a little bit about the interconnectivity of sports to other businesses like an arena. Likes stadium all of those things. What was the thought? That really probably wasn't part of the thought process back in the sixties was. It did well it had to be. I mean we. We could not have had Philadelphia suppliers in Philadelphia unless we built an arena. Because there was none and I mean it's hard to believe but in the in the sixties early sixties there there was not an arena in Philadelphia. There was a thing called the arena. But it you know held about four thousand people and you're talking about the fourth or fifth largest city in the country so it was a great opportunity to build an arena. The sixers desperately needed a place to play and So the spectrum really worked out dutifully from day one has has it become more. Important to even broaden the landscape in other words have a team having arena also have a regional. Sports television network also have a sports talk radio in the city to carry the franchises broadcast. Has that been important as far as the development of sports in your mind. Well it's all in a related You know we we. We had a I have you know. On television that work we had a network called prism right and we had the phillies. The sixers the flyers and movies on on a channel called prism which was extremely successful and comcast sports net replaced. that as the world changed. So we've been in the business for a long long time that was very important As far as radio is concerned the WIP turned into a station talk radio. The station vary somewhat negative And on many instances and I ended up selling it. And I called it my Frankenstein Monster and all the the guys station are still mad at me for that you know having worked around the country and radio and television. The one thing I've known at is that each market has its own individual personality. Donald worked in Boston. I worked in Seattle. I've worked here in San Francisco. Tell me a little bit about the sports market in Philadelphia. I think Philadelphia's the greatest sports town in the world. I mean the people in Philadelphia. Take their sports very very seriously. And I know that they get a rap every now and then for being do birds and all that type of thing. But that's because they care and when they're when they're unhappy Management coaches general managers. Better listen because they're not stupid. They know they know what they expect. And when they get unhappy they have a pretty good reason. Also when you take a look around the national hockey league it seems to have apiece. Now as far as Labor peace goes in the sports seems to be expanding. Now tell me a little bit about Hockey is you've you at today. I think it's it's always been the greatest spectator sport in my mind and now it's even better than ever. I mean with the rule changes and only rule changes but the enforcement of the lose it already existed like cooking grabbing and everything else. It's faster the players are bigger. They're more talented It's just it's a phenomenal uh-huh game to watch in fact. I think it's better than ever. When you go back to the sixties when you started the Philadelphia Flyers think about those championship teams? I remember talking talking to some of the players Bernie parent being one of them in some of the players that were on those teams was the catalyst for their success back then because as you said seven years into their expansion bench they win a Stanley Cup Championship. Where we had a great general manager? Keith Allen who tremendous talent and we had a great coach and Freddie Shero. We're great captain and Bobby Clarke We had guys would back down from anybody. You know like Dave Schultz Bob Kelly and Moose Dupont and we had tremendous talent. I mean you know Rick Mic Lee Billy Barber in a barber's in the hall of fame. Clark's in the hall of fame and Bernie Prot was. I mean if he he hadn't gotten injured I think we would have won four or five straight cups but unfortunately we lost him But he was a great. We didn't lose them as a human being. Obviously but we lost him as a goaltender tender. Still working for the organization but you know we we just had a mix of guys were great opening up hockey to the European players Particularly the eastern a European players. What did they bring to the game that that wasn't there before it? I don't know that they brought anything to the game. That wasn't there before they. You know they had some had a little bit of the different style but they had adjusted the North American style because their style was more of a kind of a stick handling the rinks were a little bit bigger where they not. Yeah they are bigger they still are and so they have to adjust the North American hockey. And those that can excel. I mean we've had some great players come from Czechoslovakian Russia and Finland and Sweden and I think it's expanded the the the group players that we have available for our teams and even though we've expanded from originally six teams and then when my weekend it was twelve teams and now it's thirty teams. We have a pool of talent internationally so naturally and and I think that's the reason the game is better than ever. I remember when the national team from Russia the Sylvia national team came through a Seattle to play an an exhibition game. They were not very comfortable with the physicality of the game. They didn't like the back checking they didn't like being boarded in everything Has that changed as far. Is that type of player coming out of Europe now. Yeah they the the players coming out of Europe now and those that are in the national hockey. They play the National Hockey League style. Just as well as North North Americans. It's it's all the same. There's no difference. I know you're involved with the project back in the city of Philadelphia that you're pretty proud of and that the city has opened up three. A city owned public skating rings. Tell me a little bit about what you you didn't. In being involved in that the city there were five rinks in the city owned by the city and they were going to shut them down because of economic reasons and we five years ago. We volunteered to operate them at no cost to the city manage them and and you know we went in and the five rinks quite frankly. We're we're very dilapidated. They had been neglected elected. They were built in the fifties and sixties and and no one had kept up with them so to speak and they were open air they had a roof but they had no sides You could only play from March to November. I mean from November to March And you know sometimes. You couldn't play at all because of leaking roofs. And what have you so We made a deal with the state to stay put in six and a half million we put in six and a half million and we've been closed already three of the rinks there now beautiful you too full there year round. We can use them three hundred sixty five days a year. We had a twenty year lease with the city and we run them and we provide ice time equipment. Ah Coaching Educational Services to the kids free of charge and it's been a phenomenal program for the intercity kids. Yeah now. The Snyder hockey started in two thousand and five and and you also work with them in life skills. Do you not trying to develop for life skills. We help them with their homework. They have to get passing grades to continue the program. And we've had some wonderful wonderful success stories and the parents of these kids are just thrilled. And and so it's been a big thing and it's something I really wanted. I want to be my legacy because I really feel that these intercity kids need needed all the help they can get. I agree and it's a great program. We only have about twenty five seconds left when you think back on your long career associated with sports particularly hockey anything. Stand out in your mind Ed that you'll never forget well. I'll never forget the first couple. Repeat Boston with Bobby Orr Phil Esposito at all one to nothing burnt. Shut him out in game six of the Stanley Cup. That's that year seven as we talked about. Nothing will ever top that for me and I wanNA thank you for your time and again. Congratulations on the Snyder. Hockey program in the city of Philadelphia. And the way you're giving back it's very meaningful. Thanks a lot for joining joining us on sports byline. Okay Ron Thank you ED. Snider with US ED US Hockey Hall of fame member. Now going in with Chris Chelios Mike Emmerick also so keith. Tkachuk he's the chairman of comcast spectacle and they own the Philadelphia Flyers and doing a great job in the city of Philadelphia. We continue with more of you and sports parts byline. It has been said that everyone has a book in them. But you have the time or the ability to write your book. Maybe you picked up some skills or head a life experience that you want to pass on in the form of a book to help others..

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