Howard Eskin set the tone right away, pressing Paul Holmgren and Ed Snider on why there have been so many coaching changes over the last 20 years.
Snider no like.
Slightly edited (trimmed) exchange:
Eskin: “Why have you hired more coaches in the last 20 years than any other team?”
Holmgren: “Is that an accurate stat?”
Eskin: “I just made it one.”
Ed Snider gives death stare.
Snider: “Why do you want to go back to all those coaches? There was a reason each time.”
Eskin: “You approved them (decisions)?”
Snider: “Of course I approved them. It’s as simple as that.”
This is the sort of magic that happens when you have the usual Flyers beat writers (who are generally more concerned with their own welfare and situation than asking actual questions of the team they cover) on a plane: the organization gets pressed.
Craig Berube spoke once and thanked the organization, as is tradition.
Holmgren said that he made the decision last night on the plane (presumably in an impassioned conversation with an imaginary friend that would prefer a Captain and Diet, thanks!) and told Peter Laviolette about it this morning.
Snider said that he liked Laviolette and that Lavs did some great things in Philly.
Holmgren said that he loves Berube and thinks he’s a real smart hockey mind. Berube once punched a linesman and had three times as many penalty minutes as games played in his career.
But that was about it for the pleasantries.
Enter new Inquirer columnist and La Salle and Columbia School of Journalism grad Mike Sielski, formerly of the Wall Street Journal, who escalated things.
His exchange with Snider:
Sielski: “The fact that you guys haven’t won a Cup in 38 years, why bring in somebody that is sort of steeped in that culture?”
Snider: “What’s the culture?”
Sielski: “The culture that hasn’t won a championship in four decades.”
Snider: “We haven’t won a championship, but we’ve been in the Stanley Cup Finals a lot of times and the playoffs a lot of times and the culture is to win. 30 teams are trying to win the Cup. And we’re doing our damndest to do it. That’s our culture. THAT’S OUR CULTURE!”
Sielski: “A fresh perspective…”
Snider: “No, we don’t need a fresh perspective. We have a pretty good culture and we know who we’re dealing with.”
And with that, Snider, whose team hasn’t won a Cup in 38 years despite being well-funded and having a passionate fan base and the resources of one of the largest companies in America available to them, just submitted his entry for the Infamous Philly Comment Hall of Fame: “We don’t need a fresh perspective.”
Video of Snider exchange and full press conference after the jump.
Courtesy CSN and CBS Philly