Philadelphia Flyers Interested in Bringing Ron Hextall Back?

On Friday morning the Pittsburgh Penguins announced that Ron Hextall has been relieved of his duties as General Manager.

Now why does this matter for the Philadelphia Flyers? Well because now Hextall is looking for a job and it would be no surprise if the Flyers brought him back.

According to Tony Androckitis following the news of Hextall being fired, he noted a Flyers reunion with Ron Hextall is not out of the question. Saying, “not to rule out the possibility of Hextall returning to the Flyers restructured front office”

Ron Hextall and Danny Briere were in the the Flyers front office together in 2017. This was near the end of Hextall’s tenure as he would be fired a year later and things were just starting to look up around the same time. Realistically Hextall was fired before he could fully see the progress he had made during the time he was GM, as he was focusing on rebuilding and becoming a contender later on. Things like keeping Carter Hart down in the minors for one more year, unlike Chuck Fletcher who immediately called him up.

Ron Hextall had a plan and I don’t think it was ever properly executed, meaning Danny Briere could bring Hextall back in and see what his plan was. Although Hextall had some poor choices in draft picks he did an amazing job at getting those picks. When Hextall arrived he was greeted with a depleted prospect system, and by the time of his departure, that pool was blossoming with talent. Every June Hextall would be involved in at least one trade involving draft picks changing hands.

Through 2014-18 Ron Hextall draft picks where pretty solid, the key prospects from the drafts, 4 out of 6 are on the Flyers current roster.

2014: D Travis Sanheim (Rd 1, 17th Overall), F Oskar Lindblom (Rd 5, 138th Overall) 
2015: D Ivan Provorov (Rd 1, 7th Overall) F Travis Konecny (Rd 1, 24th Overall)
2016: G Carter Hart (Rd 2, 48th Overall)
2017: F Nolan Patrick (Rd 1, 2nd Overall)
2018: F Joel Farabee (Rd 1, 14th Overall)

Everything has a price though. As Hextall had to deal Brayden Schenn to St. Louis for Jori Lehtera and two first-rounders in 2017. Which a lot of fans weren’t happy about as the Flyers notably got Nolan Patrick, who was unfortunately prone to injuries. Hextall did also get Morgan Frost in the 2017 draft, as he has broken into the league and looks solid in his play. Looking back 2016 is probably the best draft behind 2015, getting a franchise goalie in the 2nd round is really a steal. As Carter Hart has become the face of the franchise. In the 2015 draft being able to have those 2 first round picks was big, and I think both Provorov and Konecny have been very successful.

Hextall also did something that Chuck Fletcher failed to do, that was clear cap space and move big contracts. In 2015 Hextall traded Chris Pronger’s rights (and his almost-$5M cap hit) along with Nicklas Grossman to Arizona in exchange for Sam Gagner and a fourth-round pick. Although in 2018 Ron was the one to bring James van Riemsdyk back, it made since at the time. As he had the cap space to try something and it worked for the first few years. So Hextall can come back and help move players at the draft as well during the off season to help move the Flyers forward.

Ron Hextall knows the roster of the Flyers very well and could help Danny Briere our wherever necessary. Not necessarily a GM role again but something that gives Hextall more freedom, a role where he can help both the players and Danny Briere in the best ways possible.

By: Dylan Robillard | 17 years old


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