Now that Ron Hextall’s tenure as Flyers general manager has come to an end, It’s now time to judge how well he did during his time in charge. With over four years of moves to sift through, there is no lack of trades, signings, and draft picks to analyze.
Number 5-Rinaldo for a third round pick
In one of the biggest highway robberies in the modern era, Hextall fleeced then-newly appointed Bruins GM Don Sweeney into trading fourth line goon Zac Rinaldo for a third round pick. The Flyers selected Russian goalie Kirill Ustimenko, who many consider a future NHLer, 80th overall in 2017. Rinaldo would spend three suspension-filled seasons with the Bruins before signing in Arizona, then reuniting with Peter Laviolette in Nashville.
Number 4- Schenn for Lehtera and two 1st round picks
Schenn for Lehtera straight up, right? WRONG! They also acquired two first round picks that turned into top prospects Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee. Even though Schenn played a fairly significant role with the Flyers, he never really found his stride and struggled to stay at a single position, usually flipping from center to wing. While most look at Schenn’s dominate run in St. Louis as a lost trade, the Flyers hope to have the last laugh as Frost and Farabee continue to develop.
Number 3- Shayne Gostisbehere extension
When Gostisbehere hit the scene and took the NHL by storm in 2015, he quickly became one of the top offensive defenseman in the league. After posting a 46-point season during his rookie campaign, most thought he would come at a huge price tag. Hextall surprised us all when he inked Ghost to a six-year, $27 million dollar deal in the summer of 2017. Ghost then scored 65 points during the first year of his new contract, making the deal look even better.
Number 2- Timonen for a 2nd and 4th round picks
Kimmo Timonen’s career was being forced to an end by blood clots and his last wish was to win the Stanley Cup. So Hextall worked his magic and shipped him to Chicago in exchange for a second and fourth round pick. Those picks would later become Travis Konency and Wade Allison. Konecny is already a staple in the Flyers foundation and Allison is a promising prospect for the future. The best part of the story is Timonen did win the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks, the perfect cherry on a great career.
Number 1- Couturier contract extension
At the time, handing Couturier a six-year, $26 million dollar contract seemed status quo for a solid third line center. Little did they know two years later Couturier would have a breakout season after being moved to the top line with Claude Giroux during the 2017-18 season, making his contract one of the best value deals in the league.
Tye McGinn for a third round pick– The second fringe NHLer for a third round pick trade on this list, Hextall sure knew how to flip players for draft picks. The trade occurred early in his tenure, almost a full year before the Rinaldo trade. That third round pick would later turn into goaltender Felix Sandstrom, who could be a future starter for the Flyers.
Phil Myers ELC– Myers went undrafted during the 2015 draft, his first year of eligibility, but the Flyers brought him in during training camp on a professional tryout and impressed to the point where he earned a contract. He proceeded to have a stellar 2015-16 season and made the Flyers look like geniuses for signing him.
Morin Extension– Okay, I might be biased here, but extending Morin for three years at $700,000 per season was a great move by Hextall. Even after tearing his ACL during the Phantoms playoff run, he was expected to miss much of the following season. Hextall signed him to a team friendly “show me” deal that would give Morin a chance to prove he belongs at the NHL level when he was cleared to return.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: PhillyInfluencer.com