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Ailing Ed Snider Providing Extra Motivation For Flyers

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- On December 31st, 2015 the Philadelphia Flyers visited owner Ed Snider at his California home. The 83-year-old patriarch of the organization was receiving treatment in his recurrence of cancer.

Astoundingly, since the new year the Flyers are 23-11-6. Furthermore, they're 6-2-2 in their last 10 games, and suddenly sit firmly in the east's second wild-card spot with just six games remaining.

"They took off after they went to his house in California," said long-time Flyers analyst and 94WIP Morning Show co-host Al Morganti on Friday.

"It does coincide with that," Former Flyer and current analyst Keith Jones agreed. "You never know what is going to bring a team together, or just have them join together for one common goal, but I do think there is a lot of that behind it."

It was a transcendent moment for the Flyers, more meaningful than a hockey game.

"We talked a little bit about hockey but more, we talked about life," Claude Giroux told "He has a really nice place. There's a lot of cool stuff in there."

"To walk up to the house and see the big Flyers flag at his front door, that speaks to the passion he has," head coach Dave Hakstol said via"I know what it meant to me and the rest of the team. It was tremendous. It was great to see the fire in his eyes and what this meant to him."

Snider, a Philadelphia sports icon who brought hockey to the city in 1966, continues to battle serious health issues. For the first time ever, Snider did not appear in the team photo taken on Thursday.

As the team's beloved owner fights for his life, his players -- who have been relatively private about the situation -- continue to fight for him.

"Everybody knows that he's battling and he's watching our every game," defenseman Radko Gudas told the 94WIP Josh Innes Show on Thursday. "I had a talk today with coach [Dave Hakstol] and he said how happy Mr. Snider is that he saw the game. He was watching, he was really pumped that he gave him a call after the game. Really pumped to see us succeeding and making a nice playoff push.

Listen: Radko Gudas on the 94WIP Josh Innes Show


"Just getting him thinking positively and making him feel a little better, it's huge for us," Gudas continued. "And if we can do that, it's something that everybody in our locker room wants to do, one hundred percent."

Snider is one of the most genuine, authentic, and passionate owners that sports has ever seen.

"He always gonna be supporting his own players," Jones said on Friday's 94WIP Morning Show. "He separates himself from all other owners that I ever played for because he is so involved."

"We never really said anything about it, but I think it's kind of an unspoken thing," Flyers five-year forward Wayne Simmonds told "Mr. Snider obviously is this organization. He is the Philadelphia Flyers.

"I was sitting there talking to Hak [Dave Hakstol] and I was like, 'This is my fifth year in Philadelphia, and it's weird to not see Mr. Snider in the picture,'" Simmons continued. "This is definitely something we're trying to put together for Mr. Snider."

Gudas, who was acquired by the Flyers last March, has a different perspective but the same sentiment for Snider.

"From what I know and how I met him, he's a classy guy," Gudas said. "He's everything you want from the owner. He's doing a great job, as you can see. He's living with the team, he's feeling if the team is down or up. So if we can be up for him, it's huge."

Snider has been yearning for a Stanley Cup championship ever since the Flyers won back-to-back titles in 1973-74 and 1974-75. This year, with his ascending roster, the simple pleasure of playoff hockey would certainly put a smile on Mr. Snider's face.

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