Executive vice president and general manager Ron Hextall was relieved of his duties Monday morning in a move that signaled a completely different direction within the Philadelphia Flyers organization.
We thank Ron for his many significant contributions, but it has become clear that we no longer share the same philosophical approach concerning the direction of the team,” said Flyers President Paul Holmgren in a statement. “In light of these differences, we feel it’s in the organization’s best interests to make a change, effective immediately. I have already begun a process to identify and select our next General Manager, which we hope to complete as soon as possible.
Hextall replaced Holmgren as GM in June 2014 and immediately took over all decisions in the hockey operations department. His philosophical ideology to building a championship contender was in direct contrast to the way Holmgren constructed Flyers teams in the past by putting a premium on a win-now approach.
Hextall was not the worst NHL GM by any means. He did a top-notch job stocking-up star prospects for the team and farm. However, this is a team that now, should be taking the next steps, and has failed to do so. Hextall refused to make changes to his system and it cost him his job.
One of Hextall’s worst moves, the decision to hire Dave Hakstol as head coach in May 2015. Hakstol came to the Flyers with no NHL experience out of the University of North Dakota.
With the removal of Hextall, who steadfastly stood by Dave Hakstol through three-plus seasons, there’s now a belief that the head coach is firmly on the hot seat and could be the next to be replaced within the organization. Hextall’s decision to hire Hakstol to replace Craig Berube following the 2014-15 season raised eyebrows as he was the first collegiate coach since 1982 to make the jump to the NHL. John Boruk NBC Philadelphia
Ron Hextall is a guy who stuck to is guns too much. Currently, sitting 25th overall in the NHL standings with a record of 10-11-2.
It was clearly time for a change!