Philadelphia Flyers fire GM Ron Hextall; might Edmonton Oilers be considering likewise with Peter Chiarelli?

Philadelphia Flyers fire GM Ron Hextall; might Edmonton Oilers be considering likewise with Peter Chiarelli?
Flyers fire general manager Hextall
PHILADELPHIA — Caught at a crossroads between a full-blown rebuild and a legitimate playoff push, the Philadelphia Flyers fired general manager Ron Hextall on Monday, the latest front-office leader to fail to win the franchises first Stanley Cup in 44 years.

Coach Dave Hakstol has now lost his biggest backer and his job clearly is in danger. The Flyers have a 10-11-2 record and have lost five of six. They are fresh off a 6-0 loss to Toronto in which an organization once stamped as “Broad Street Bullies” played without a penalty.

On the defensive side of the puck, the focus has been on netminder Cam Talbot, a key Chiarelli add in 2015. “Dad-bot” has really been fighting it. He’s lost his last six starts in a row, all in regulation, allowing 3+ goals and posting below the league average .909 save percentage in all six of those games. Some bad goals, and some shoddy defensive play in front of him; e.g. the three goals that Talbot allowed last night came on a poorly-defended 2-on-1, a cross-ice pass to a wide-open man in the slot on a failed penalty kill, and a clearcut breakaway by the opposition’s best player as blueliners from Oilers’ debutant Chris Wideman to defensive cornerstone Larsson got lit up like Christmas trees by Anze Kopitar and friends. But the fact remains that raw rookie Calvin Petersen had one more big save than did Talbot; or if you prefer, that a last-place club had better defence and better finishing than did your Edmonton Oilers.

“I feel a responsibility for what happened today,” Hakstol said. “Nobody feels good about that in our room.”

Critics will point out that Chiarelli inherited the core of his current roster, including the McDavid lottery ticket, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse. He’s hit the jackpot a couple of times with player acquisitions, with PTO signing Alex Chiasson being the current poster boy. But the sad fact is that Chiasson’s 10 goals are more than the combined totals of Ty Rattie (2), Kyle Brodziak (2), Milan Lucic (1), Strome (1 and done), Kailer Yamamoto (1), Zack Kassian (1), Jesse Puljujarvi (1), Tobias Rieder (0), Jujhar Khaira (0), and Spooner (0). That’s 10 different forwards who have a combined 9 goals in a collective 163 games: basically two full seasons of GP producing 9 whole goals. Leaving the onus for goal production on just five players — McDavid, Draisaitl, RNH, plus Chiarelli hires Chiasson and Drake Caggiula.

Hextall, a popular Flyers goalie in the 1980s and 90s, was dismissed after 4 1/2 seasons on the job in which he tried to revive a depleted farm system and patiently build a championship contender.

Ron Hextall could not find a younger version of himself and thats why he was fired

Flyers President Paul Holmgren thanked Hextall 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.”

One wonders how much longer this will go on. The status quo has just undergone one major shake-up, so some would argue it’s way too soon to judge the new landscape. The conventional wisdom is that Chiarelli was granted one coaching change, and will keep his spot in the corner office until season’s end when things will surely be re-evaluated. Just one week has passed since Chiarelli played that card and took the opportunity to bring in his own man, which Todd McLellan likely wasn’t. Early returns on Ken Hitchcock are solid; the veteran bench boss says all the right things but the sad fact is that he has the same cast of characters that wasn’t getting the job done for McLellan.

He added that an immediate change was in the teams best interests and he hopes to have a new GM “as soon as possible.”

The elephant in the room is that the Oilers start each game with the best player in the Western Conference patrolling centre ice. Connor McDavid was a won lottery ticket waiting to be cashed the day Chiarelli arrived and has delivered the goods with two scoring titles. Yet here we are, already on McDavid’s second contract and still lurking in the bottom half of the standings. The sad fact is that the supporting cast, with few exceptions, hasn’t been getting the job done. And that’s on the GM who traded away scoring wingers Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle and replaced them with popguns while ratcheting the salary cap all the way to the ceiling.

Philadelphia Flyers fire Ron Hextall amid four-game losing streak

The Flyers play Tuesday against Ottawa at home where a once-rabid fanbase has stayed away from Wells Fargo Center in droves, and the ones that come serenade another listless loss chanting “Fire Hakstol!”

The latest guy brought in to contribute to the offence is also drawing blanks. Spooner’s boxcars through 5 games as an Oiler are a dreadful 0-0-0, -6. The way he’s being fed he might consider changing his name to Spoonee. OK, that’s a bit harsh, but fair to say that to this early point there’s been little evidence of any scoring prowess. Last night he got a look with the McDavid-Draisaitl tandem and couldn’t so much as muster a shot, let alone a goal.

Fletcher, Francis among candidates for Flyers

Holmgren and Comcast Spectacor Chairman and CEO Dave Scott said they will not comment until a Tuesday news conference.

Failing to find a goaltender that could drive the Flyers forward has cost Ron Hextall his job despite the fact he managed to do a whole lot of good during his tenure in Philadelphia.

Eklund – Flyers Fire Ron Hextall; Buzzcast at Noon

The new GM will make the call on the fate of the coaching staff. Former Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup champion coach Joel Quenneville is available after he was fired this season. Former Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi, who won two Cups, also is on the market.

“Im not looking over my shoulder,” he said. “I never have. I never do. I focus on the job at hand and going forward. Those are decisions that arent up to me.”

Hextall played 13 seasons in the NHL and had two stints covering 11 years with the Flyers. He also spent seven seasons as assistant GM with the Los Angeles Kings.

That was Hextalls style. He is a methodical thinker, a process-driven manager moulded in the shape of his mentor Dean Lombardi in Los Angeles. He didnt operate on snap decisions, which defined the Flyers for so long under the late Ed Snider and became what this city expected. Some within the organization took that for Hextall being crippled by indecision.

His ouster could be tied in to his steadfast support of Hakstol, the coach he hired with no NHL experience out of North Dakota in 2015. The move stunned the NHL and Hextall seemingly staked his career on Hakstol handling the grind of coaching in pressure-packed Philadelphia.

Meaningful change was unlikely to come via trade. Hextall made just one trade in his tenure to bolster the Flyers in the here and now, acquiring rental goalie Petr Mrazek from Detroit last February with little choice once Elliott and Neuvirth went down. Signing James van Riemsdyk to a $35 million deal last summer was Hextalls only impact free-agent deal.

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The Flyers havent won a championship since the Stanley Cups of 1974 and 1975. They have reached the Finals and lost six times over that span.

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Hextall had wanted to ease off the franchises win-now mode that had been a hallmark since the 1970s under late owner Ed Snider. Hextall inherited a salary cap mess from Holmgren, his predecessor, and inherited a talented nucleus of stars that included Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds and Jake Voracek.

But taking a page from their Wells Fargo Center neighbours, the 76ers, Hextall wanted his own process. That meant patience and building through the draft and restocking a farm system in disarray.

The club took the shocking step of firing its general manager without naming an immediate replacement, but Holmgren has reportedly begun the process of identifying Hextalls successor. The Flyers will address the state of the organization at a press conference on Tuesday morning.

No, firing Ron Hextall wasnt about Dave Hakstol

Sean Couturier, Shayne Gostisbehere, Travis Konecny, Ivan Provorov and Nolan Patrick, the No. 2 pick of the 2017 draft, are among the youngsters the Flyers counted on Hakstol developing. The Flyers now have roughly $7 million in salary cap space.

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Philadelphia did make the playoffs twice under Hextall but that seemed more of a quirk than a true step toward contention. The Flyers won 10 straight games in 2016-17 and missed the playoffs; they lost 10 straight last season and made them. The Flyers went 42-26-14 last season.

We thank Ron for his many significant contributions, Flyers President Paul Holmgren shared in a statement, but it has become clear that we no longer share the same philosophical approach concerning the direction of this team.

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“I think the players feel responsible here,” said Giroux, the last holdover from the 2010 Eastern Conference champions. “I do believe we have a good team in here. Were just not getting it done.”

With a 10-11-2 record, the Flyers have gotten off to a rocky start as they dwell near the bottom of the Metropolitan Division standings. Their embarrassing loss to Toronto on Saturday night leaves the team five points out of a playoff spot.

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The poor play of late comes in large part to a goalie carousel that has yet to stop on a true No. 1. The Flyers have Carter Hart pegged as a future star in the minors but tried a stopgap approach this season to give Hart more seasoning. That decision — like the one to remain loyal to the Giroux-Simmons-Voracek core — has flopped and Hextall paid the price.

Holmgren brought back Hextall from Los Angeles in 2013 for a year as an assistant general manager. Hextalls failure as GM complicates his legacy as one of the franchises more popular players. In 1986, he won the Vezina Trophy and helped the Flyers get within one win of the Stanley Cup before losing to Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers on the road in Game 7 in 1987. Hextall was the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as MVP of the playoffs that year.

Hextall became the first NHL goalie to score a goal by shooting the puck into the opponents empty net. He also became the first goalie to score a goal in the playoffs. Hextall was known for his fiery temper as a player. His attacked Montreals Chris Chelios during the 1989 playoffs, sparking a brawl.

Caught at a crossroads between a full-blown rebuild and a legitimate playoff push, the Philadelphia Flyers fired general manager Ron Hextall on Monday, the latest front-office leader to fail to win the franchise's first Stanley Cup in 44 years.

The 51-year-old Fletcher is currently serving as senior advisor with the New Jersey Devils after spending nearly a decade as the general manager of the Minnesota Wild. 

Head coach Dave Hakstol has now lost his biggest backer and his job clearly is in danger. The Flyers have a 10-11-2 record and have lost five of six. They are fresh off a 6-0 loss to Toronto in which an organization once stamped as "Broad Street Bullies" played without a penalty.

Chuck Fletcher and Ron Francis among the early names as potential GMs in Philly. Both experienced men. Francis is in the process of divesting equity in Carolina.

Hextall, a popular Flyers goalie in the 1980s and '90s, was dismissed after 4 1/2 seasons on the job in which he tried to revive a depleted farm system and patiently build a championship contender.

Holmgren brought back Hextall from Los Angeles in 2013 for a year as an assistant general manager. Hextalls failure as GM complicates his legacy as one of the franchises more popular players. In 1986, he won the Vezina Trophy and helped the Flyers get within one win of the Stanley Cup before losing to Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers on the road in Game 7 in 1987. Hextall was the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as MVP of the playoffs that year.

Flyers president Paul Holmgren thanked Hextall 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."

The poor play of late comes in large part to a goalie carousel that has yet to stop on a true No. 1. The Flyers have Carter Hart pegged as a future star in the minors but tried a stopgap approach this season to give Hart more seasoning. That decision — like the one to remain loyal to the Giroux-Simmons-Voracek core — has flopped and Hextall paid the price.

He added that an immediate change was in the team's best interests and he hopes to have a new GM "as soon as possible."

Hextall became the first NHL goalie to score a goal by shooting the puck into the opponents empty net. He also became the first goalie to score a goal in the playoffs. Hextall was known for his fiery temper as a player. His attacked Montreals Chris Chelios during the 1989 playoffs, sparking a brawl.

Broad Street Hockey reacts to the Philadelphia Flyers firing Ron Hextall

Holmgren and Comcast Spectacor Chairman and CEO Dave Scott said they will not comment until a Tuesday news conference.

Hextall had wanted to ease off the franchises win-now mode that had been a hallmark since the 1970s under late owner Ed Snider. Hextall inherited a salary cap mess from Holmgren, his predecessor, and inherited a talented nucleus of stars that included Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds and Jake Voracek.

"I'm not looking over my shoulder," he said. "I never have. I never do. I focus on the job at hand and going forward. Those are decisions that aren't up to me."

Coach Dave Hakstol has now lost his biggest backer and his job clearly is in danger. The Flyers have a 10-11-2 record and have lost five of six. They are fresh off a 6-0 loss to Toronto in which an organization once stamped as Broad Street Bullies played without a penalty.

The Philadelphia Flyers have fired general manager Ron Hextall

Hextall played 13 seasons in the NHL and had two stints covering 11 years with the Flyers. He also spent seven seasons as assistant GM with the Los Angeles Kings.

Philadelphia did make the playoffs twice under Hextall but that seemed more of a quirk than a true step toward contention. The Flyers won 10 straight games in 2016-17 and missed the playoffs; they lost 10 straight last season and made them. The Flyers went 42-26-14 last season.

His ouster could be tied in to his steadfast support of Hakstol, the coach he hired with no NHL experience out of North Dakota in 2015. The move stunned the NHL and Hextall seemingly staked his career on Hakstol handling the grind of coaching in pressure-packed Philadelphia.

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The Flyers haven't won a championship since capturing Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975. They have reached the Finals and lost six times over that span.

Did Ron Hextall take the fall for Dave Hakstol?

Hextall had wanted to ease off the franchise's win-now mode that had been a hallmark since the 1970s under late owner Ed Snider. Hextall inherited a salary cap mess from Holmgren, his predecessor, and inherited a talented nucleus of stars that included Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds and Jake Voracek.

I think Ron has established a philosophy that is probably long overdue.— Late Flyers owner Ed Snider upon  Ron Hextall's hiring as GM in October 2014But taking a page from their Wells Fargo Center neighbours, the 76ers, Hextall wanted his own process. That meant patience and building through the draft and restocking a farm system in disarray.

Flyers fire general manager Ron Hextall after four-plus seasons, more changes could be coming

"I think Ron has established a philosophy that is probably long overdue," Snider said when he hired Hextall. I have probably been a little too anxious to win another Cup."

The Flyers did make the playoffs twice under Hextall but that seemed more of a quirk than a true step toward Eastern Conference contention. The Flyers won 10 straight games in 2016-17 and missed the playoffs; they lost 10 straight last season and made them. The Flyers went 42-26-14 (98 points) last season.

"I think the players feel responsible here," said Giroux, the last holdover from the 2010 Eastern Conference champions. "I do believe we have a good team in here. We're just not getting it done."

The poor play of late comes in large part to a goalie carousel that has yet to stop on a true No. 1. The Flyers have Carter Hart pegged as a future star in the minors but tried a stopgap approach this season to give Hart more seasoning. That decision — like the one to remain loyal to the Giroux-Simmons-Voracek core — has flopped and Hextall paid the price.

Ron Hextall Fired as Flyers GM After Three-Plus Seasons

The Flyers have lost five of six in large part to a goalie carousel that has yet to stop on a true No. 1. They have Carter Hart pegged as a future star in the minors but tried a stopgap approach this season to give Hart more seasoning. That decision — like the one to remain loyal to the Giroux-Simmons-Voracek core — has flopped.

Holmgren brought Hextall back from Los Angeles in 2013 for a year as an assistant GM. Hextall's failure as GM complicates his legacy as one of the more popular players in franchise history. He burst on the scene in 1986, won the Vezina Trophy and helped the Flyers get within one win of the Stanley Cup before losing to Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers on the road in Game 7 in 1987. Hextall was the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as MVP of the playoffs that year.

Hextall became the first NHL goalie to score a goal by shooting the puck into the opponent's empty net. He also became the first goalie to score a goal in the playoffs. Hextall was known for his fiery temper as a player. His attacked Montreal's Chris Chelios during the 1989 playoffs, sparking a brawl.

Flyers fire general manager Ron Hextall; coaching staff remains for now

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