On the 55th day of the NHL lockout, Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider finally had a good reason to hit the rink.
Snider attended the grand opening of the fourth refurbished city rink as part of his youth hockey foundation, which provides free skating programs, ice hockey instruction, equipment and academic services to inner-city children.
The neglected, open-air rinks have been transformed as part of a $13 million restoration project into reconstructed, closed rinks worthy of an NHL practice facility.
Snider, the Flyers' founder and chairman, has often said he wants the project to become his true legacy. The foundation's services are targeted for inner-city boys and girls who otherwise would not have the opportunity to learn to skate or to play ice hockey. The program has rapidly grown to include over 3,000 students.
''When I see what we've accomplished with these four magnificent, beautiful rinks, I have a great deal of pride seeing this happen,'' Snider said Friday night. ''...