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Inducted into U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Flyers owner Ed Snider remembers the two Cups

CHICAGO - As he was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday night, Flyers owner Ed Snider took time to reflect on some of his favorite moments in running the franchise since 1966.

CHICAGO - As he was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday night, Flyers owner Ed Snider took time to reflect on some of his favorite moments in running the franchise since 1966.

Of course, the two Stanley Cup championships in the 1970s stood out.

"When the Flyers won the Stanley Cup in [1974] my seventh year of existence, that was my greatest thrill," Snider, 78, said. "Then we had two million people at the parade the next day. That was probably my No. 1 experience."

The fact that Snider was in Chicago also brought back memories of one of his other favorite teams. The 2010 Flyers came up short against the Blackhawks in the Finals after an incredible playoff run. And the playoffs were only a reality because the Flyers won their last regular-season game in a shootout.

"That was a great run and tremendous fun for our fans, for me and our players," Snider said. "It was unexpected to say the least. I'm just sorry the way it ended. We thought we were going all the way."

Along with presiding over the Flyers and their 16 division titles, eight conference championships, and two Stanley Cup titles, Snider serves as chairman of Comcast-Spectator. He also owned the 76ers for 15 years before selling the franchise this summer.

He also has been adamant in spreading the sport to inner-city youth. Established in 2005, the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation supplies more than 3,000 children with coaching, equipment and ice time.

In November 2008, Snider salvaged three public ice rinks that were targeted for closure by the city. A year later, Snider gained control of each of the city's five rinks. This summer, renovations on three of the rinks transformed them from open-air, seasonal rinks to fully operational, year-round rinks.

Snider on Monday said it would take him a long time to mention all of his favorite players from over the years. But two figures from the mid-1970s teams did come immediately to his mind.

"Bernie Parent was a phenomenal goalie who was responsible for us winning two Cups, along with Bobby Clarke," Snider said. "They stand out because of the two Cups primarily."

Aside from the championships, Snider takes great satisfaction in the Flyers brand that he has built.

"I'm proud that we have been around all these years, and we have established a reputation internationally," Snider said. "Our logo is known everywhere, and we have never changed our colors or logo."

In a nice twist, the five inductees into the Hall based in Minnesota - Snider; players Chris Chelios, Keith Tkachuk, and Gary Suter; and broadcaster Mike Emrick - were all part of the 1996 World Cup of Hockey that the U.S. team won with a 2-1 victory over Canada. The initial game of the finals was the first game played in what is now the Wells Fargo Center.

Calling that series was one of the greatest thrills for Emrick, who was associated with the Flyers for 11 seasons, including those he called for the American Hockey League's Maine Mariners, then the Flyers affiliate.

"They were similar to the Flyers," Emrick said of the Mariners. "They were a collection of skill guys and a delightful band of thugs."

Emrick pointed to the 2008 Winter Classic in Buffalo and the gold-medal game in the 2010 Winter Olympics between the U.S. team and Canada as two of his favorite games among the more than 3,200 he has called in nearly 40 years of being in the booth.

During his 26-year career Chelios played for Montreal, Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta before retiring in 2010. He set the league's all-time record for games played by a defenseman with 1,651 and is a three-time recipient of the Norris Trophy, given yearly to the league's top defenseman.

Suter retired in 2002 after a 17-year career that included stops in Calgary, Chicago and St. Jose. He is ranked fourth in points among American-born defenseman.

A five-time all-star, Tkacuk scored a league-leading 52 goals in 1996-1997 while with Phoenix. He also played for Winnipeg and St. Louis during his 19-year career.