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‘Gut feeling’ led Ron Hextall back to Philadelphia

Jul 16, 2013, 9:57 AM EDT

Ron Hextall of the Los Angeles Kings attends the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center on June 30, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey.
(June 29, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Ron Hextall’s job as the assistant GM of the Los Angeles Kings expired in late June and he didn’t waste any time accepting the same gig with his old team, the Philadelphia Flyers.

“In this decision, I’m sure you guys were going to ask what it was all about,” Hextall told CSN Philly. “I don’t have anything earth shattering except to say it was a gut feeling.”

That feeling might be one that pays off big for Hextall in the long run. While current Flyers GM Paul Holmgren has faced criticism for some of his bold moves that don’t always pay off, Hextall is very highly regarded.

A CSN Philly league source called Hextall “the GM in waiting,” and Holmgren did nothing to dispel that perception.

“To me, he’s the most highly thought of guy in the league that’s not a GM,” Holmgren said. “And to add him to our staff is huge.”

One area that the Flyers hope Hextall will be able to help them with is the draft. Although the Flyers have gotten some good first and second round picks, they haven’t been particularly successful finding diamonds in the rough in the later rounds.

Holmgren added that Hextall will be involved “in everything that’s going on, from the minors to scouting to the Flyers.”

  1. nhstateline - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    Flyers fans should be happy. He’s really good as a gm. Look at his track record in Manchester and how that team almost always is competitive and gets in the playoffs. Especially last season where they had the equivalent of three different teams play there, the GM made a lot of correct decisions to keep them competitive through it all.

  2. yougotgirouxed - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Is he responsible for drafting Quick and Bernier?

    Who else is he responsible for in regards to putting their Cup team together?

    • yougotgirouxed - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:46 AM

      I want to know about him in a GM role before I get all hype that our goalies are going to once again beat the hell out of the opposing players.

      • President Charles Logan - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:34 AM

        How long have you been following Hockey?? 2 years 3 years? ………. it shows

    • nhstateline - Jul 16, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      I think that’s more of a team decision but he found a couple decent AHL goalies for the Manchester team when they need them. He seems to know what to look for.

  3. yougotgirouxed - Jul 16, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Not sure. Longer than since 2005 though

  4. chazxcore - Jul 16, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    He had a good amount of responsibility with the success for the Flyers in the early 2000’s and helping set up the Kings and their minor league affiliates as winners. I was a HUGE Hextall fan when I was a kid so this excites me. Maybe he can finally fix the Flyers goaltending issues in the next 5 years or so. I love Lavy but I don’t think he is the right fit for the team. If they aren’t in the top 6 in the East by by December, they might get a new coach. He’s is on just as much of a short leash as Holmgren.

    • President Charles Logan - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:09 PM

      Yep I agree and they should have jumped at the chance of getting Bob Hartley or Lindy Ruff

  5. modcoop - Jul 16, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    @yougotgirouxed: No, he wasn’t involved with drafting Quick or Bernier. Quick was drafted in 2005, Bernier drafted in 2006 but this was before Hextall was hired as Asst GM and VP of Hockey Operations.

    Holmgren is going to do what Holmgren wants to do regardless of who advises him. For this reason alone he should not be a GM. I don’t know how the Flyers can allow Holmgren to continue to ruin their franchise.

    Sure he got them to a cup final a few years ago, but he also had signed Bryzgalov to a stupid contract, overpaid for Daniel Briere, traded Richards and Carter and most recently JVR.

    His return on the trades might be decent right now B. Schenn/Simmonds/Voraceck but Luke Schenn? The chronic goaltender issue Boucher/Bobrovsky/Biron/Mason/Leighton/Ray Emery/Jason Bacashihua is a huge problem.

    Hextall will defintley help to stablize the Flyers franchise, it is only when Holmgren is removed or steps away from the GM position that their drafting and player personel decisions should improve.

    I guess this means the LA/Philly partnership will still continue to flourish and LA will still be Philly East.

    • jpelle82 - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      well maybe this ushers in the new. if holmgren keeps being holmgren and hextall impresses, maybe holmgren finally gets the axe. a year or two of asst gm is a good feeler gauge for ownership and if the holmgren plan fails, they may have their next guy already in hextall.

    • President Charles Logan - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:12 PM

      modcoop i agree with all your statements here. … except JVR was a was a pu$Sy for a guy his size and

    • yougotgirouxed - Jul 16, 2013 at 5:08 PM

      The Flyers love to keep the GM position in house. I think 100% that Hextall will eventually the be the next GM of the Flyers.

      I thought trading Richards was a mistake at the time. If BSchenn turns out, it will be a good trade for us, but he deck is already stacked against the Carter and Richards since they won a Cup their first year out of town.

      The JVR for Schenn trade appeared to benefit both teams at the time. JVR capitalized on his top line minutes last season and Schenn did not. We’ll just have to wait this one out…

  6. redridershoottheireyeout - Jul 16, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Goalies and catchers make great management types, Homer has the target on his back and now Philly has it’s Brutus to deliver the long overdue thrust of the knife.

  7. sizzle299 - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    CSN Philly league source is an oxymoron.

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