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Hextall doesn’t think Flyers are elite, but ‘that doesn’t mean we can’t win’

Sep 4, 2014, 12:30 PM EST

Ron Hextall AP

Head on over to CSN Philly for the third of a four-part Q&A with Flyers general manager Ron Hextall, who had the following to say about Philadelphia’s chances of breaking its Stanley Cup drought in 2014-15:

“The thing I look at and my focus right now is to get us into that elite group. I will say I don’t think we’re with that elite group but that doesn’t mean we can’t win. You can fricking win. It comes down to will and everything else. The Rangers are a good example. Are they in that group right now where we say, ‘OK, these are the top few teams in the league that can win the Cup?’ … We want to get into that elite group and I believe we are headed in that direction. It’s tough to put a time [table] on it.”

All in all, a pretty fair response. The Flyers have a good deal of talent up front, but there are legitimate question marks on the blue line and in goal. Hextall knows that. But he also knows his team plays in the Eastern Conference, which doesn’t boast the number of “elite” teams the West does. A run to the Stanley Cup Final would be a bit of a surprise, sure, but not a complete shock.

Hextall also had this to say about a Flyers organization that’s lost six times in the finals since last winning the Cup in 1975:

“This has been a successful franchise. Don’t lose sight of that. I won’t name anybody, but there are other franchises that have not won for a long time,  never won and never been successful. That’s where if I were fan, I’d be frustrated. Not the Philadelphia Flyers … This organization is 100 percent committed to winning. If I am a fan, that is the important thing.”

Related: Hextall is looking for more offensively from Couturier

  1. ibieiniid - Sep 4, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    how did he not mention his 8th seed 2012 Cup champion Kings in that? they weren’t elite at the time.

    • ibieiniid - Sep 4, 2014 at 12:58 PM

      jk, thought he was still with the team. the point kinda remains. that should be in his recent memory banks… however, now that I think about it, he may not have played that hand since he’d essentially be calling his work less than elite. I guess I can see a reason why he didn’t mention it.

      • ibieiniid - Sep 4, 2014 at 1:01 PM

        jk again, he was still with the team. i’m in n00b mode.

    • patthehockeyfan - Sep 4, 2014 at 1:10 PM

      You’re having a lovely little conversation with yourself, ibie. :)

      • ibieiniid - Sep 4, 2014 at 1:14 PM

        what can I say, fact checking myself is something I strive for. too bad I have to do it so often =X

      • patthehockeyfan - Sep 4, 2014 at 1:16 PM

        I just saw your Hextall/Kings comment on the Carcillo story. Crackin’ up!

        I’m just having fun. You know you’re one of my favorite commenters.

  2. nach0mancandysandwich - Sep 4, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    I always thought homer was a media hog but maybe that’s not true. hextalls been in the headlines for like 2 weeks straight! maybe it’s pht that has an obsession with this tire fire and whoever’s in charge at the moment of making sure that it’s drenched with gas.

    by the way…did the flyers just say they want to be like the rangers!?

    • ibieiniid - Sep 4, 2014 at 1:00 PM

      it says right there that CSN did a 4-part series on him. he’s a new GM of a pretty high profile team. his introduction to the fans and his plan for the future is pretty pertinent.

      • nach0mancandysandwich - Sep 4, 2014 at 1:06 PM

        my point is that whether it’s homer or hex it seems like the flyers GM is always on the news feed.

        I take it you’re mostlikey an eagles fan which means you hate the fact that jerry jones gets as much coverage as he does. it’s the same thing here. I bet whoever the flyers GM is at any given time gets 3 to 1 the amount of headlines to the next most written about GM.

      • ibieiniid - Sep 4, 2014 at 1:12 PM

        well in Homer’s case, it was always an interesting story…. whether good or bad. nothing was routine. trading your captain, signing another team’s captain to an offer sheet, horribly-priced, long signings. the man made a splash with every move he made (hyperbole of course). I think we’re just seeing a bit of a hangover from that. it’ll calm down once Hextall proves himself to be a different GM than Holmgren.

      • nach0mancandysandwich - Sep 4, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        I can see that. sorry about reporting your comment. it was a finger slip. no intent there.

      • ibieiniid - Sep 4, 2014 at 1:19 PM

        oh and I am an Eagles fan. and even though I don’t mind J Jones getting all the attention, that’s a good comparison. I would rather my teams’ managers be the quiet ones so they don’t make themselves look like as big of fools as Jerreh does on a regular basis (aside from his millions-makin’). in his case, the attention he tries to draw to himself takes his attention off his own team.

  3. vancouversportsbro - Sep 4, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    At least he’s a realist. If you go to hfboards you would see fans of every team thinking their team has a shot for the cup this year or in five years with their prospect pool.

  4. bullwinkle88 - Sep 4, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    The Flyers are “meh”…they will make the playoffs each year but lose in the first or second rounds. It will be that way for a long, long time.

    • ibieiniid - Sep 4, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      like 2010?

    • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 4, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      aren’t you a Sabres fan?

    • 19to77 - Sep 4, 2014 at 6:47 PM

      Fans of glass franchises shouldn’t throw stones.

  5. stakex - Sep 4, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    The issue for the Flyers is that while you can win without being an “elite” team, you still need a certain amount of elite talent… which they don’t really have. They do have Giroux up front, and their core of forwards isn’t bad, but they are void of anything close to “elite” talent on defense, and Mason has yet to prove he can be a consistent top tier goaltender. Of course a sudden trade or the unexpected immergence of a young player could always change that in short order, but as their roster stands at this moment… its not a significant threat, even in the weaker East.

  6. kastout11 - Sep 4, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    I really think Hextall has the Flyers going in the right direction. He honestly admitted they are not where they need to be to win the Cup, but they are making progress. He is still cleaning up the mess that Holmgren made. I would imagine we see some improvement this upcoming season, but I anticipate the Flyers making some serious noise in the 2015-2016 season. Their defense is still not strong enough to win the Cup, but hopefully they continue to develop their young defensemen with the Phantoms this season, so they will be able to contribute for a Cup run next year. Mason needs to build on last season’s performance. Their offense needs to be more consistent then it was last year. Hextall’s realistic goal this year is probably making the playoffs and winning 1 or 2 series, but I don’t think he realistically thinks they will win the Cup, but anything can happen in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

    • ibieiniid - Sep 4, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      I sure hope they make a move for the cup next year. Just looked at the FA list for after the ’15/16 season. Voracek, BSchenn, Coots, Raffl, Coburn, LSchenn and Grossmann all going to various FAs. Only two restricted are Schenn and Coots. Hey, at least G is locked up until he dies.

      • mebailey700 - Sep 4, 2014 at 2:35 PM

        Well at least the right schenn brother will be the restricted free agent. Hopefully get a few signings after this year (it looks like they will have a little over 2 million in cap space) and then can lock up the rest of the guys after the following season. It will probably be impossible to sign them all but as long as they keep voracek, coots, and bschenn they will be fine with their forwards.

  7. mebailey700 - Sep 4, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    If the flyers can get a stud defensemen or two then I think they will be in the upper elite echelon. They have a great young forward core but for some reason really seem to struggle with selecting defensemen partially due to holmgren always drafting the tough bruiser type dmen. Mason will be huge this year if he can repeat his form from last year which by all accounts I think he should be able to. Either way I cannot wait for hockey season to start up again!!

    • nach0mancandysandwich - Sep 4, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      I hear Giroux been begging for a couple of studs on the team.

      …I couldn’t resist!!!

      • mebailey700 - Sep 4, 2014 at 2:42 PM

        Hahaha and so it begins…. Unfortunately I have a few friends who are pens fans so I am sure there will be a lot worse things said during the season.

      • nach0mancandysandwich - Sep 4, 2014 at 2:51 PM

        you gotta watch! you can’t tee people up like that!

        you gotta watch:
        five hole
        dumping it in deep
        hand pass…etc etc. Giroux’s gonna get a bum rap this year……..I just did it didn’t i?

      • ibieiniid - Sep 4, 2014 at 3:02 PM

        those are 3 excellent examples. is butt ending still a thing?

      • nach0mancandysandwich - Sep 4, 2014 at 3:04 PM

        I think it is! how’d I miss that!?

      • mebailey700 - Sep 4, 2014 at 4:29 PM

        Yea I think Giroux might be the butt of a lot of jokes this year. What he should do is just skate behind the ref dropping the puck on the first game of the season and grab his butt

  8. petersteelewannabe - Sep 4, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    As Flyer fan I would say that is a pretty fair assessment. The first two forward lines are young and well above average. The 3rd and 4th, depending on Vinny, decent but over-paid. Mason, he will need to continue to play like last year to make up for a D that is basically made up of (mostly) 2nd and 3rd pairing guys.

    Hexy can’t make it all come together in 1 year but his mantra of patience, allowing the young D in the pipeline to develop is going to HUGELY important to the future. Making the playoffs will be a struggle this year but in 2-3 years, well the optimist in me says get out your sunglasses..

    • blackandorangeforlife - Sep 4, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      Lets go Flyers!

  9. luvusa1 - Sep 4, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    and Hextall deserved more credit for the Kings success. Lombardi was on the hot seat before the Richards trade. Should send Homer a few cases of champagne each Christmas! Hexy as the Flyers on the right path haters.

  10. chanceoffleury - Sep 4, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    I’ve said it before but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Flyers do some damage with the right matchups. Nothing the Rangers did was so impressive that the Flyers couldn’t have done it. Waiting for the Pens to implode on themselves yet again, lucking into Price getting hurt and facing Montreal’s 3rd string rookie goalie, then losing to the Kings in 5 games isn’t really all that memorable for anyone who wasn’t a Rangers fan. Aside from the Habs sweeping Tampa, I thought every matchup in the first 2 rounds was more entertaining than the conference finals. It was nice to see Tokarski battle it out, but we all knew where that story was gonna end when all was said and done.

    I think both the Ranger sand Flyers have to really take the opportunity to pounce on the Pens early this year. They’re probably gonna go through some hefty growing pains with not only Johnson coming in and implementing a new system, but the fact they lost their best winger, Dupuis, Bennett, and Maatta coming back from surgery, lots and lots of youth getting their chance to fight over Niskanen and Orpiks vacant spots, plus Letang still looked like he was getting back into the swing of things when the season ended. The Pens had the metro locked up by the turn of the new year last year, but this year it could be a little more interesting with the shoe on the other foot. Perhaps it will inspire the Pens to do something crazy like actually put some emotion into earning their playoff spot.

  11. blomfeld - Sep 5, 2014 at 12:27 AM

    TICK … TICK … TICK …

    executive summary: Ron Hextall = ticking time bomb !

    I don’t know much about Hextall today, apart from the fact that ‘he’ was the Philly goalie which the Oilers ‘demolished’ back in the SC final of ’85. Nonetheless, one has to be ‘concerned’ about the Flyers in going forward here, based on this ‘disturbing’ PHT photo of Hextall above … it’s like, Ted Kaczynski ‘NHL’ style ?

    • thephillyfanclub - Sep 6, 2014 at 6:17 AM

      Hey you big idiot, pelle lindburgh was the flyers goalie in 85, Hextall was a rookie in 1987 when he lead the flyers to the finals against the oilers, the oilers won in seven games and hextall was named the MVP of a losing team, also Gretzky was quoted saying he was the best goalie he had ever played against so if you are going to insult the man get your facts straight or you will end up looking like a moron like you do everytime you post one of those stupid videos that absolutely no one watches.

      • ibieiniid - Sep 8, 2014 at 3:41 PM

        dang. best blom ripping i’ve seen in a while.

  12. flyerspsu - Sep 5, 2014 at 12:29 AM

    Between Hextall and Berube im loving the honesty, both have admitted the team has talent but has some serious flaws, no rational person can look at the Flyers team and think they are a contender, but w/ the young talent the team and organization has you would have to think with a legit brain trust in charge that knows how to build a contender like Hextall appears to be I think it seems reasonable to say in about 3-4 years the Flyers should be an elite team in the East that could legitimately make a run for the cup, obviously that relies a lot on the defensive prospects developing but im hopeful that the Flyers finally have a GM who understands how to build a contender

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