Philadelphia Flyers chairman Snider in crazy Sochi Olympics rant

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The Philadelphia Flyers Chairman Ed Snider this week voiced his concerns over the NHL's mandated break in order to accommodate the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Snider claimed: "It's ridiculous, the whole thing is ridiculous. I don't care if it was in Philadelphia, I wouldn't want to break up the league. I think it's ridiculous to take three weeks off, or however long it is, in the middle of the season."

Snider has a valid point, breaking up the league is undoubtedly inconvenient, particularly for the Flyers who are currently playing some fantastic hockey.

There are several factors that simply make Snider's comments look nothing more than foolish and somewhat diminish his credibility as a hockey fan.

Firstly, it's unclear what he would like, there is no way the winter Olympics are not going to take place, therefore would he rather that the NHL players did not compete? I mean can you imagine the quality of the tournament then?

Does he expect his players to not aim to win an Olympic gold medal in their careers? It's one of the highest honours in sport so why wouldn't players want to compete and represent their countries?

But perhaps the most obvious flaw in Snider's 'logic' is the idea of the NHL removing the mandated break and basically telling teams to play their games without their best players.

So how would the Flyers get along without their five stars who are going to Sochi? Everyone will lose players and I think it could be worse for a team in good form to play games without their best players than to take a break from fixtures.

Snider's interview should have left him red faced. After bashing the break and saying that it may impede the Flyers chances of making it to the playoffs, Snider was reminded that Philadelphia made it to the Stanley Cup in 2010 - the last time the NHL took a break for the Olympics.

After that reminder, his reaction switched to simply: "''Maybe I like them,'' and he continued and admitted: "I forget about that.''

I was forced to laugh when I saw the passion with which he slated the Olympic break only to quickly change his mind after a brief history lesson.

But perhaps the strangest opinion Snider conveyed was concerning Claude Giroux.

Giroux was the source of a lot of speculation yesterday after Team Canada confirmed Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos would be unavailable for the Olympics.

Canada executive director and Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman chose to take Martin St Louis - also of the Lightning rather than Snider's man Giroux.

Snider said: "He's one of the best players in the game. It's ridiculous. He's better than half the guys on that team."

So after bashing the Olympics and saying they'd be hurtful to his team, Snider was unhappy that one of his players wasn't going? Am I the only one confused by this?

Surely it should be a good thing that a player he clearly rates very highly is instead of travelling half way around the world to play hockey, is going to have a few days off?

In my opinion, Snider's comments are comical yes but they just seem to make no sense and are often contradictory.

Either way, there is no way Snider is going to get his way and should any Flyers players return from Russia injured or the team's form dip after the games, I'm sure he will provide us with some more knowledgeable quotes.

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Claude Giroux
Philadelphia Flyers

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