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Confirmed: Hextall promoted to Flyers GM, Holmgren to president

May 7, 2014, 11:40 AM EDT

Ron Hextall

Confirming an earlier report, the Philadelphia Flyers have officially named Paul Holmgren the team’s new president while promoting Ron Hextall into Holmgren’s former position as general manager.

Reporting to chairman Ed Snider, Holmgren will now oversee the business and hockey operations of the Flyers. Hextall, meanwhile, will report to Holmgren and be responsible for the day-to-day management of the club’s hockey ops.

“Over the past eight seasons, Paul has done an outstanding job,” said Snider in a release. “He picked up the pieces of our disastrous season in 2006 and immediately made changes that took us to the Conference Finals the very next year, and we have consistently been in contention ever since. He’s been a Flyer for 35 years and has earned the opportunity to run our entire organization.

“Ron is one of the league’s bright young stars on the management side, and we’re very fortunate to have him. He’s had success in Los Angeles and will now put that experience to work for us as General Manager. We all remember the enthusiasm, work ethic and personality he had as a player, and we’re excited to watch him bring those qualities to building a team that will contend for the Stanley Cup.”

Today’s announcement comes as a bit of a surprise, as last week the Flyers announced that Holmgren would be back as Philly’s GM next season.

It’s possible that Hextall’s candid ambition to become an NHL GM sped up the succession process, as he had reportedly been “in the mix” for the GM opening in Vancouver, and could certainly have been a candidate to replace George McPhee in Washington.

“I’m extremely excited about this new opportunity to manage the Philadelphia Flyers,” Hextall said in the release. “I look forward to working closely with Paul in our new hockey structure and working towards our ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup.”

  1. bru308 - May 7, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    1975

    • iwt5007 - May 7, 2014 at 11:45 AM

      dumb.

    • deathbat20 - May 7, 2014 at 12:04 PM

      Ah yes that year was the first time the penguins went bankrupt, but it would not be the last

  2. bigtganks - May 7, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    You shoulda moved quickly Linden… Dang it!

  3. Benjamin P. Glaser - May 7, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Hextall > Snow

  4. philly06 - May 7, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    Hopefully Hextall makes a big splash at this years draft in Philly

  5. phillyphanatic77 - May 7, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    I know a lot of Flyers fans will be excited about this move (I am as well) but it doesn’t exactly change the organizational philosophy that so many people dislike. After all Hextall is another lifelong Flyer. He’s obviously a bright mind and deserves the opportunity, however, is Holmgren as president really that different from Holmgren as GM? We’ll see.

    • lowenni - May 7, 2014 at 12:07 PM

      Holgrem may still have a say in the roster decisions, in fact he most likely will, but the difference now is that that is not the final say, and perhaps most importantly, he won’t be the one handing out or writing up contracts. There is a definite difference, thus the reason for the two different roles in the organization.

      • phillyphanatic77 - May 7, 2014 at 1:28 PM

        I think people are misunderstanding my point… it’s not about Holmgren, it’s about the fact that Hextall was raised as a player in this organization. And then as an executive he learned from Clarke, Lombardi, and Holmgren. He’s a Flyer through and through. He’s a part of the fraternity. It’s possible he deviates in his own direction but what I really meant was the organizational philosophy will not change much, after all he learned everything he knows from the guys still in the organization (and Lombardi, who spent time in the organization).

        Also, I believe folks are interpreting my comments as not being happy about the move… I am. It was the right decision. I just think folks who are expecting a 180 degree turn will be disappointed.

    • jbink2585 - May 7, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      I actually couldn’t disagree more, he all but called homer’s philosophies asinine. Hexy and I quote,”The days of giving away draft picks for aging players are over.””I like Young players.” The days of long extended contracts to aging players are over.” These three statements all but go against everything Homer did, perhaps Im sipping the cool aid but i feel today was a new step in Flyers era.

      • phillyphanatic77 - May 7, 2014 at 1:21 PM

        The only instance of Holmgren giving up youth and draft picks for an aging player is the Pronger trade. And that worked out really well, before his career-ending injury. That was Clarke’s philosophy, not Homer’s. As for the youth, if you’d remember Holmgren recently flipped Carter and Richards for Simmonds, Schenn, Couturier, and Voracek… all young forwards. He signed Raffl, the captain is 26, the goalie is 25, and they’ll have incoming guys like Gostisbehere and Laughton (most likely) next season. Other than that Timonen is the only decrepit player on the team. Sure Hartnell, Lecavalier, and Streit are all 30+ but they’re not on Timonen’s level when it comes to age reducing performance.

        The third comment is right on though. Giving big, long deals to Bryz, Hartnell, Vinny, and Streit wasn’t very smart. However, Streit was pretty productive this season. And Vinny and Hartnell did each score 20 goals before their disappearing act in the playoffs. Overall, those comments relate far more to the Clarke era than the Holmgren era.

      • jbink2585 - May 7, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        Holmgren notoriously gave up youth and picks. Upshall and 2nd rd for carcillo(brutal). Also pronger was awesome for the time he played but Lupol/Sbisa/ 2 1st round picks, and a 3rd extremely steep for aging player,and it wasn’t asked if it worked out rather his philosophy of giving up youth and picks and this is sheer example of giving up both. 2nd round pick for Mez.(youth) 1st and 3rd round pick for Versteeg(Terrible).Two third round pick for bryz(we know what that was.) So again Homer gave up youth and picks quite often and it never seem to pan out for flyers.

      • jbink2585 - May 7, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        The list also goes on with his trades, but Im not a homer hater, just stating his facts. I think he did some great things, no cup but definitely was solid GM in my mind, but def can’t say he didn’t give up picks youth and covet aging players.

      • phillyphanatic77 - May 7, 2014 at 4:50 PM

        While I despised the Upshall trade it was a trade of youth for a veteran… both Carcillo and Upshall were about the same age. Again I was a big Upshall fan and I hated that trade but it doesn’t fit your criteria. And yes giving up that much for Pronger was steep but it was 100% the right move. Pronger, despite his advanced age, was an irreplaceable piece. Also, look at the Ducks return… Lupul (who I loved) is a difference maker, but in Toronto; Sbisa, though talented, is a career -23 and his career high in points is 29. And the two firsts turned into Palmiero and Etem if I’m not mistaken… those guys have upside but they’re hardly blue chippers. The Versteeg trade was idiotic but he also recouped a 2nd and a 3rd (that became Gostisbehere) when he flipped him to Florida.

        Beyond the Pronger trade there aren’t a lot of instances of Homer giving up key young pieces for aging pieces. Yeah he gave up picks for Bryz, Streit, Grossmann, and MacD but nothing substantial.

      • phillyphanatic77 - May 7, 2014 at 4:51 PM

        Sorry meant to say wasn’t* in the first sentence.

      • jbink2585 - May 8, 2014 at 9:24 AM

        We just disagree, because picks are youth…………. Not sure how grossman, streit, and Mac D you could say didn’t cost you anything substantial because two 2s two 3s and 4th quite a bit. 2nd and 4th for Kubina. Upshall deal def falls in the critera because Id agree if it was Carcillo upshall one and one but homer also gave phoenix a 2ND rd also insane. Not to mention UMBERGER deal which got you sbisa and bourdon, so in essence though Pronger deal was lupul umberger 2 1st for PRonger wow. However to reiterate, not homer hater but I’m also not asking what he was able to recoup you said pronger deal was only time Homer gave up youth and picks and that is def false. All you need to do is look at homer nhltradetracker.

    • goodolejr - May 7, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      Aside from Homer saying flat out that all hockey decisions now go thru Hextall (we know how truthful Homer is) it seems like this was more a move to keep Holmgren in the organization while also removing his authority on hockey personnel decisions. And as I’ve been saying, if this means the end of Holmgren negotiating player contracts, then let’s party!!!

      • phillyphanatic77 - May 7, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        I agree, but I believe it’s more likely that it was about keeping Hextall in the fold, rather than Homer. There are a bunch of GM openings and I’m sure Hextall would’ve looked into them if he had not been promoted here. But you’re right, if Homer is done negotiating it’s a joyous day! Unfortunately he left a nice parting gift with the MacD contract… good player, not worth $5 million.

    • macgrubie - May 7, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      The changes in philosophy that he mentioned should be music to the ears of flyers fans:
      1. Not trading younger players for old
      2. Relying on drafting and the farm system
      3. Relying more on analytics

      • phillyphanatic77 - May 7, 2014 at 5:01 PM

        They are, but listening to several interviews of Hextall on the radio today he said some interesting things… first he believes the Flyers team speed is just fine. Second he doesn’t believe there’s an organizational philosophy of focusing on big, slow, tough Canadians, which is somewhat troubling. And he even said he likes the defense core and finding that #1 guy would nice but he’s not gonna give up a ton for one. Now all of that may just be lies so he doesn’t offend his players or hurt their trade value, but it fits into the status quo talking points that we’ve become used to with this organization. I’m obviously hoping Hextall is an excellent GM but those folks looking for something totally different will probably be disappointed.

  6. tragicallyripped - May 7, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    I remember when he was bald

    • President Charles Logan - May 7, 2014 at 12:26 PM

      he’s not only the hair club president… but’s he’s also a client !

      • laxman1944 - May 7, 2014 at 12:50 PM

        Shouldn’t you be on the look out for Jack Bauer????

      • President Charles Logan - May 7, 2014 at 1:10 PM

        lol i will never forget the look on logan’s face in season 8 in the back of his limo when bauer was shooting his machine gun through the tunnel trying to find him. it’s going to be a different type of 24 this season the new season without ME around!

  7. deathbat20 - May 7, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    Homer was great coming off that horrible year when we finished dead last and I liked him more then most Flyers fans, but i think this was the right move, Hextall is better suited for the GM role and Holmgren can focus more on scouting which he is really good at

  8. viperrko95 - May 7, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    Love this move! This team needed a culture shock, and should get one with Hexy as GM. He has a better grasp on modern hockey, and what it takes to win in today’s NHL. From listening to the press conference, it sounds like Ron has a much different philosophy from Homer. Building from within. He wants to build his team around young players, prospects, and draft picks. It seems like his mold for the Flyers are the LA Kings. A physical team, that can fly down the ice and blow the puck past the goalie. He said in the PC, that he’ll only trade young players/draft picks if it’s a “Strong Deal for the Organization.” I think he has one blockbuster in him, to get off on the right foot. I’m certain that it’ll be a defender. Which one still remains the question though.

  9. ndrick731 - May 7, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    It will take a while for him to truly make any real changes because he still will be stuck with the albatrosses that holmgren signed to long term contracts. Vinny Lecavalier and hartnell.

    • jrclark1978 - May 7, 2014 at 12:50 PM

      Great point. It’s not like Hextall has a clean slate in front of him. He has a laundry list of bad contracts. Could you imagine if we still had Bryz still on the payroll? Damn….

    • petersteelewannabe - May 7, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      and MacDonald’s

  10. jrclark1978 - May 7, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    I’m not sure this changes anything. It’s not like moving Homer to a higher position indicates a “culture shock.” In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s just status quo for the owner. Ed has never had the guts to step away from the BSB days and likely never will. This team earns money whether the Flyers win or not. If you’re Ed Snider, why change anything drastically when you’re comfortably making money by capitalizing off of events that happened 4 decades ago. This is just another ploy to divert the fans’ attention and get our collective hopes up for the next couple of years. In reality, we just have to wait for all of the surviving members of that long-gone era to die so he can no longer hire them to work in the organization.

  11. WillIEverSeeACupInMyLife? - May 7, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    And this is the biggest problem with this franchise…I’m tired of the same old thing!!!!! Think outside the box and get some new blood in the system!!!!

    • jrclark1978 - May 7, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      Love the screen name – even if it is depressing.

    • goodolejr - May 7, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      I understand that yes it is yet another former player brought back to the team but this is not the same old moves. Talk around the league is that Hextall is one of the best up & coming GMs and other teams were likely interested, which is why things went from Holmgren staying as GM to what happened today in a span of just a few days. They knew they had to move quickly. Not to mention, the things that he talked about during the press conference were basically the exact opposite of what Homer did.

      This is a good move if only for the fact that it takes Homer away from contract negotiations. Give it time. I think a lot of the skeptics in Philly will be pleasantly surprised.

  12. podevil - May 7, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    Stirring the same toilet water! Nothing is changing,

    • petersteelewannabe - May 7, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      There is one thing true about nothing changing-you’re still obsessed with the Flyers and therefore you’re their dog…

      heel! Good boy….

  13. tmcgee71 - May 7, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    “Today’s announcement comes as a bit of a surprise, as last week the Flyers announced that Holmgren would be back as Philly’s GM next season.”
    You mean you’re surprised that Holmgren says one thing and does another??

  14. whammy71 - May 7, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    still another “we’ll get ‘em next year” article on the Cryers!!! Since there are so few games being played at this time of year….you know playoff time….I guess this helps fill hte time between contests.

    • macgrubie - May 7, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      you’re such a humungous tool it’s amazing. you and toilet-tard make Pens fans look like idiots.

  15. jkaflagg - May 7, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    Good luck to Hexy, part of the management team that made the Kings a contender…..lot of talent on that team, and only two serious obstacles in the East (Boston & Pittsburgh) to getting to the Finals. Would be interested to know if he’s really committed to Mason in goal….

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