Congratulations to the Flyers for winning another Stanley Cup. No, not all the Flyers. Just Jeff Carter, Mike Richards and Justin Williams, three players who started their careers in Philadelphia before the impatience of chairman Ed Snider sent them out of Philadelphia and into two championship parades in Los Angeles.
If you’re wondering what Snider was thinking when Williams won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the best player in the playoffs, don’t waste your time. Snider has spent the past year snapping at anyone who thinks his team requires a radical culture change. The chairman will never absorb the lesson here.
For the record, Williams was traded a decade ago to Carolina for a washed-up veteran, Danny Markov, who played 34 forgettable games here before getting traded to Nashville for a third-round draft pick. Williams has become one of the top clutch players in the NHL, with two rings to show for his efforts.
Meanwhile, Carter and Richards have found the Cups that eluded them here, and Carter have also discovered the one missing ingredient — maturity — that he lacked in his years as a Flyer. At least Carter and Richards brought back some talent — Jakub Voracek, Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds – but clearly not enough to end a 39-year Cup drought.
The current Flyers will never experience what Carter, Richards and Williams just did because Ed Snider has long forgotten how to build a champion, and because he cannot recognize the fatal flaw in his forsake-the-future philosophy. The Flyers need more than a culture change now. They need Ed Snider to retire.