I’m Developing a Man Crush on New Inquirer Columnist Mike Sielski

Voila_Capture107Mike Sielski, the former Wall Street Journalererer turned Inquirer columnist who pressed Ed Snider yesterday, is quickly becoming my favorite local scriptual. He takes Snider and the Flyers to task today in this column, which feels like the grammatical equivalent of whipping a stubborn mule with a leather belt:

The Flyers’ lack of patience, their unwillingness to consider a longer view or embrace an innovation before it’s already become old hat, their reliance on the tired cliché of “Flyers hockey” – together, those factors have created a vicious cycle that has kept them from achieving their ultimate goal.

The foundations of their franchise, as Berube said, are “character, hard work, competitiveness” – intangibles that are meaningless without the necessary talent or tactics. They pat themselves on the back, as Snider did Monday, for doing whatever it takes, for acting immediately in the name of chasing championships. Still, they apparently never stop to wonder whether that very approach contributes to their failure to win another Cup.

That’s just a taste. Your assignment for the day is to read this. Report back and discuss in the comments.

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32 Responses

  1. Sielski is 100% right. I watched the presser and when Snider said “we don’t need a fresh perspective” I wanted to choke that old bastard out. They only way we’ll win a cup is when the old man kicks the bucket. “Flyers Hockey” doesn’t win anymore.

  2. You can argue that Ed Snider is the fan favorite of owners with the Philly fan base but his horseshoes approach to hockey is getting old. Almost doesn’t count in this city anymore. When I was a young kid back in the mid 80’s and discovered this great sport and team I was easily sold on the notion that we are a dynasty because we won two cups in the 70’s and we come oh so close a few times. Then came 1997 when we were swept in four games by the Red Wings. I was 18 years old then and finally realized that this team cannot live on the 70’s cups forever. And yes you can argue that Snider will do whatever it takes or open his wallet to win a championship but he always opens his wallet to the wrong issue. We’re always one small step away from being a championship team. We’ll have great forwards great defense but we need a top goalie. Then we go out and get a top goalie and it’s either a big mistake or he’s two years past his great playing days. Then we fix that problem and our defense sucks. There’s always one small thing that keeps the Flyers from winning. And then he lets his GM’a hang around two-three years to long and do more damage. Paul Holmgren should have been fired after trading the core away. I understand trading one of them away it needed to be done but you should have kept one and never ever should have been Bryz up. That was a horrible move from day one and most hockey minds knew that. Michael Leighton would have been a better choice. Face it Ed the 70’s are over you need a new perspective.

  3. Agree. I also actually agreed with Cataldi today as well. He was ranting about all of Snider’s lap dogs. And then one of the lap dogs came on the show and started defending him and I turned the radio off.

  4. Mike Sielski and his masturbatory article about what a great journalist he is and how big his balls are for standing up to the big bad, 80 year old, Ed Snider was self aggrandizing and off base.

    The Flyers have gone outside the organization in the past (See: Peter Laviolette) and Laviolette was a bad coach here plain and simple.

    They went outside the organization and got Russ Farwell, Bill Dineen, Terry Simpson and all three were disasters.

    Roger Nilsson, Craig Ramsey, Wayne Cashman ALL from outside the organization.

    Mike Keenan ALSO had no Flyers history at the time of his hiring.

    Am I happy with Berube? No. I think Laviolette should’ve been fired in April and an actual coaching search held during the offseason.

    Also, Holmgren also should’ve been fired in April along with Laviolette.

    That being said Sielski challenging the Flyers “culture” is also offbase. If you’re being absolutely honest the Flyers culture IS a culture of winning, if not “winning it all”.

    Congrats, Mike Sielski. You made yourself the story. Enjoy the 15 minutes of fame and your inevitable evening time slot on WIP.

    1. You’re basing your argument on coaches they’ve brought in. Of course they’re going to bring in coaches from outside the organization, because typically a fired coach means his assistants are fired or not retained; therefore the need to find coaches outside the organization.

      The issue is at the top. Russ Farwell was here for a nanosecond, after which “Mr. Snider” went running back to what he feels comfortable with.

      Bottom line: the Flyers have historically been in a strategic and/or personnel twilight area where they are, at best, close but not close enough.

    2. I love the Flyers. And I love hockey. I dislike the orange kool-aid drinking fans that cannot and will not objectively look at this team. Snyder is the ultimate problem. Homer is the next biggest. And the unwillingness to adapt and change to the modern NHL and its game, pace and style is why they Flyers are always also-rans. More recently however, this FLYERS WAY of thinking and acting has resulted in a dearth of talent and, per usual, a WAY WAY WAY overvaluing of our own players. This isn’t a good team. The back 6 are still suspect at best. And you don’t have a threat to be a 40+ goal scorer on the roster. Cap strapped and lacking pieces to move, its going to be ugly for a bit in OB land.

      1. A list of Flyers mistakes under Holmgren off the top of my head:

        The Pronger trade. In hindsight terrible move.
        Mike Richards as captain.
        Not developing any defensive talent through farm system.
        The ridiculous goalie merry-go-round
        Not resigning Jagr.
        Swinging and missing on every major free agent.
        Not working out a deal with Nashville for Shea Webber once the offer sheet was signed. Scheen and Courtorier for Webber is a steal in our favor. Holmgren blew it.
        Not finding an NHL quality backup for Bryzgalov last season.
        Signing Brian Boucher every other year.
        Trading Bobrovsky and JVR separately instead of packaging them for Rick Nash.

        Mistake by Snider:
        Not firing Paul Holmgren after 2012-13 season.

        There. Happy?

  5. Wow DS, you literarily are everything that is wrong with Flyers fans. You defend EVERYTHING they do no matter how stupid. The Flyers culture is not a culture of winning anymore; it’s a culture of “mediocrity is OK”. No one cares how many times we make it to the playoffs or to the Stanley Cup; they only care how many times you won the Cup. In the last 38 years we haven’t won shit. And the Flyers bitch boys (I.e. beat writers) put the propaganda out there in full force that the culture is a winning culture and they get knuckleheads like you to buy right in. It’s ridiculous that you can’t see the problems that are staring you right in the face.

    1. Wow, dude. You have a reading comprehension problem is you think I defend everything the Flyers do.

      I listed their mistakes in my post. Said I think Berube is a mistake. Said Laviolette should’ve been fired in April and said Holmgren needs to go too.

      How did I “defend EVERYTHING they do no matter how stupid”?

  6. 1975 was the last time the Flyers won The Cup. There were 18 teams in the NHL and two of the those teams were new – The Washington Caps and KC Scouts.Twelve of the 18 teams were less than 10 years old.
    The Flyers made the finals 6 more times (76, 80, 85, 87, 97 & 2010). Of those 6 times, they only won 3 games once (87 when Hextall stood on his head and won the Conn Smythe) . They were swept twice (76 and 97).

    The ONLY reason the Flyers won the 2 Cups was Bernie, Bernie, Bernie. But instead of accepting that Bernie carried them to glory – Snider, et al, convinced themselves that they are some kind of hockey savants who have developed the gold standard and are a shining example of excellence in a sports franchise.

    It’s called denial folks. Snider and pals are still basking in the light of a championship from 38 years when the “modern” NHL was basically in its infancy.

    They have no future when they can’t get their heads out of their past.

  7. Seleski is trying to make a name for himself so he challenged Snider AFTER Eskin did, and then was embarrassed when he couldn’t get any info from him. It was comical to watch Seleski try and interrupt Snider. Instead of moving on from that, he couldn’t move on from his ego, andchose to start off his editorial by trying to make Snider look like the bad guy (see Eli Manning sad face). The team needed a change. Lavy couldn’t develop his young players, couldn’t adjust in-game, and his strategy wasn’t effective. The only questionable part of this is that they should have done it before the preseason started. While it’s been way too long since they’ve won the Cup, there is something to be said for making the playoffs 16 of 18 years. And no, I don’t want to be the Blackhawks. To say they restrategized is a joke. They were terrible for a long time and got great draft picks. Any team that had that many good draft picks would be able to compete. But the Blackhawks put a spin on it saying that it took them a decade to start fresh. lol

    1. There’s something to be said about making the playoffs 16 out of the last 18 years, huh? Well how about making the playoffs for 22 out of the last 22 seasons, while making the finals 6 times in that time, winning 4 cups, all while having late round draft picks every year. Meet the Detroit Red Wings – a team with a real winning culture. A team that is consistently good, a team that doesn’t blame it’s failures on conspiracy theories that the refs are “out to get them”, an organization that knows how to put together a team that is comprised of the right players and talent to win in both the “old” and “new” NHL.

      I know I’ll get a lot of flack about this. I’ll be told to fuck off and go watch Detroit games. But, I’m not saying this because I like the Red Wings or hate the Flyers. I say it because I’m Flyers fan and I believe this is what the Flyers should aspire to be. This is the “Gold Standard” of hockey. This organization knows how to win, and knows how to draft well even with horrible draft picks.

      As for tanking it for a few seasons to get top draft picks. 1. It’s no guarantee that even with those top picks that your team will be successful. How’s it working out for Edmonton and the Islanders (who, granted, made the playoffs last year but I think the Flyers bad season had something to do with that)? And 2. Even if it were a guarantee that you’d win a cup eventually, who wouldn’t trade a few bad years or even a decade of bad hockey for a Stanley Cup win? Just look at the Phillies and how bad they were for most of the 90s and 00s. They consistently missed the playoffs and were virtual ly unwatchable. However, by being bad they were able to build a team that eventually brought a Championship to this title-starved city. And, at that moment, it didn’t matter that they missed the playoffs a dozen times before that year or that they had some of the worst seasons in baseball. When you win a championship none of that shit matters. Just like it doesn’t matter to Blackhawks fans now.

      1. Just to be clear, the Red Wings won one Cup since the salary cap was instituted. So they were able to keep whatever players they wanted to, so I don’t know how you can use them as the “gold standard.”

        1. And the Flyers have won how many Cups in the salary cap era? And I don’t know what you’re trying to get at by saying they (Detroit) were able to keep whatever players they wanted to. What does that mean? Weren’t the Flyers able to keep whatever players they wanted to as well? If not, which players did they want to keep but were unable to? If I recall correctly the Flyers bought out John Leclair and Tony Amonte after the 2005 lock out. So, again, which players were they not able to keep other than those two? And, if the Flyers lost any players after the salary cap was instituted and the Red Wings didn’t, what does that say about the Flyer’s front office’s ability to manage or prepare for the salary cap?

          I can use them as the “Gold Standard” because they are simply one of the best teams in the NHL at managing their salary cap, drafting well, developing and nurturing home grown talent, adding key pieces that fit within their system through free agency (not just the biggest names on the market that year), all while consistently being one of the top seeded teams in the much stronger Western Conference (at the time), winning multiple President’s trophies, consistently making the playoffs year after year and here’s the most important point, ACTUALLY WINNING MULTIPLE STANLEY CUPS! That’s how I call them the “Gold Standard.”

    2. Really, and it wasn’t ridiculous at all to see Snider say “WE DON’T NEED A FRESH PERSPECTIVE”?? Yeah, ok, didn’t make him sound like an arrogant fool at all. You are so right.

  8. Snider invited Sarah Palin as his guest a few years back. That’s being disconnected.
    Goaltending wins the Cup.
    Make Hextall GM and get on with it.

    Al Davis has passed the Depends onto Ed Snider.
    The Eskimo’s do it right….they leave their elderly out on the ice and wait for the polars bears.

  9. and another thing….I watched that ’73 team beat the Rangers, Bruins and took on the Canadiens-the best team next to the Soviets. it ain’t rockett science.

  10. Kyle… Can we get a Mike Sielski with his balls in a wheelbarrow yet? Or is it too early?

    About time someone is speaking up for the fans instead of being a total fucking zombie.

  11. And here’s the great part. Ian Laparierre is going to be an assistant coach. Honestly I love Ed Snider’s loyalty, but it’s stopping you from winning a cup Ed. Not many teams and owners have the loyalty and family feeling that the Flyers show but it’s to a fault. One thing you must say about the Flyers is no matter what once your aboard and you carry the water for the “old man”(Snider) you have a job for life. Even if you do a shitty job at the one your in. Look at the personnel of the team. It’s a who’s who of mediocre past players. As long as you keep your mouth shut and go along with the program your set for life. Look at Clarkie. What the hell does he do for the team these days. But he’s still a Vice President. Homer will be fired one day and as long as he goes quietly he’ll be put somewhere else in the team. See Ed being a good guy doesn’t pay. It’s stopping you from winning the most prize possession in sports.

  12. One of the hall marks of the Cup winning Flyers teams WAS innovation – the first hockey team with assistant coaches, the first to study the Russian way of playing hockey ( Shero would go there in the off season), the first to have a number of fighters who also had skills (Schultz, Kelly, Saleski all had at least one twenty goal season, and Dupont developed into a solid, if not great, offensive defensemen, earning an All-Star berth). They need to get back to being ahead of the curve, to be innovative again. The 70’s were great, but they were great because they blazed a new trail, and they 70’s are also gone. Time to blaze a new trail. While Ed Snider has been a great contributor to the community at large, it is time that he open his mind to a new look, or open the bidding to perspective buyers.

  13. “Here is someone else’s work. Now that you have read someone else’s work, give me the hits and react to it.”

    This is what, essentially, this blog (and most independent blogs) is all about. Re-purposing other people’s work, generally that of a newspaper, which still gets made fun of for being worthless and old. Even though without it and without the work originited in it, this blog would have little to write about.

    The original “reporting” consists of Twitter accounts of athletes doing stupid things when they’re drunk. News.

    But yet in 2013 this is a job and source of revenue. Perhaps I am guilty because I come over here. Maybe that’s the problem. I guess we can all take solace in the fact that the guy running this site is a complete and total douchebag?

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