Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 11.47.20 PMI’m still trying to wrap my head around the size of Michael Barkann’s balls to go all David Frost on Ed Snider in an interview that left the chairman furious.

Now some of that brainpower needs to go to figuring out what melon factory new Inquirer columnist visited before returning to Philly after a stint covering sports for the Wall Street Journal.

On Monday, Sielski pressed Ed Snider. And on Tuesday, he wrote a screed against the organization and challenged Craig Berube to punish Jay Rosehill for committing a dumb penalty.


Today, he continued his crusade via ink-laden words formulated as such to convey mocking criticism of the OB:

That the Flyers muffled the Panthers over that stretch, holding them to one shot on goal and killing off the penalties, is beside the point. Rosehill’s irresponsible actions could have changed the course of a one-goal game, a game his team needed to win, yet there was Berube afterward, mitigating Rosehill’s first penalty and offering a halfhearted condemnation of the indefensible.

“Well, I thought it was a weak call originally,” Berube said. “And then what he did afterward was unacceptable. He can’t do it. He knows that.”

Did the coach have some sort of punishment in mind?

“You want me to spank him?” Berube said. “Get lost.”

It was a funny line, and with it, Berube deftly let himself off the hook. No, Chief, we don’t want you to smack the bottom of a 6-foot-3, 215-pound left winger. But it would be good if you benched him. In fact, it would be better if you and Holmgren did the right thing and cut him.

Berube and Holmgren will never do such a thing, because these are the Flyers, and they still cling to that tired belief that an NHL team has to suit up at least one fighter every night to protect its other, more talented players. The Detroit Red Wings, with their commitment to skill and speed and synchronicity, have been proving that theory wrong for two decades, but no matter. The Flyers stick to it, so Rosehill will stay.


What’s the over-under on how long until Sielski loses his press credential? I say six days. And today is Day 3.

I’m not sure why one would expect Berube to suspend – that’s the league’s job – or “cut” Rosehill*, but that’s not the point. Sielski very obviously has an agenda here to hold the OB accountable. This column is completely out of bounds and reaching for something that’s not there… but, his tactic is a breath of fresh air. None of the beat writers would dare question the organization’s culture, and few media members in Philly would go after Mr. Snider like that, especially considering that in many cases, Snider and the Comcast umbrella are, in one way or another, responsible for their continued employment.

Sielski is flying really close to the sun right now, yes, but he’s also trying to hold the organization accountable for years for goofy management. It’s almost as if he spent his time at the Wall Street Journal plotting his return to Philly, waiting for the perfect moment to strike an exposed Snider. Using the firing of Peter Laviolette to do so is probably the second most necessary-evil plan since Walter lured Gustavo into Hector’s nursing home room in Season 4 of Breaking Bad.

Of course, it will take a lot more than one pesky incendiary device like Sielski to dispose of Snider.

*He has a two-year contract. So they still have to pay him. And would still take the cap hit. This is why you don’t give goons two-year deals.