Solar Bears 2001 Championship Banner RaisedOn Saturday, February 2nd, 2013, Graham Snyder travelled to Florida at the invitation of the Orlando Solar Bears hockey club to attend a very special, and long overdue celebration. Way back in the 2000-2001 season, Dan Snyder played for the IHL's championship winning team, but just weeks after raising the cup and celebrating their winning season, the IHL folded and the Solar Bears disbanded. Dan went on to play in the AHL for the Chicago Wolves, but it must have been somewhat bittersweet to win the IHL championship that final year. A banner was never raised in the team's honour, and Graham knew that Dan would want him to see that banner raised.
The championship team from 2000-2001 included goalie Norm Maracle, leading scorer Mark Beaufait, captain Todd Richards, J.P. Vigier, Darcy Hordichuk and of course, Dan Snyder.
From an article in the Orlando Sentinel, author Andy Zunz included this quote: "I've had some great moments in scoring my first NHL goal and scoring an overtime winner and playing in some special buildings,'' said Jarrod Skalde, a center on that team and now coach of the ECHL's Cincinnati Cyclones. "Winning in Orlando is right at the top. As the season went along, you could see the belief in the guys that we had a team that could contend. You could tell this was a special group.''
Another quote from that same article was given by Pete Horachek, who coached the team during that winning season: "Danny Snyder was such a great soul,'' Horachek said. "I loved him as a person and as a player. He became the guy to go out there to take the faceoff in his own zone and protect the lead. "He came to me after that first game [of the Turner Cup finals] and said, 'Thank you for trusting me and relying on me.' You just love the character that oozes out of those players."
The Snyder family would like to sincerely thank the 2012-2013 Orlando Solar Bears hockey club for including the family in the celebration that would have meant so much to Dan.
For more information on the Solar Bears Hockey Club, see http://orlandosolarbearshockey.com