Ron Hextall called leaving the Philadelphia Flyers organization seven years ago the hardest decision he’s made in his life. Ultimately, the former Flyers goaltender-turned-rising front-office star thought joining the Los Angeles Kings would give him the best opportunity to someday become a general manager.
The dream is still the same for Hextall, who says he still wants to become a general manager. Now the location is right too.
On Monday, the Flyers announced that they have hired Hextall, 49, as their assistant general manager and director of hockey operations. Hextall will begin with the Flyers on Aug. 1.
The current director of hockey operations, Chris Pryor, will move to director of scouting to make room for Hextall.
In Hextall, the Flyers add a promising hockey mind to the front office. General manager Paul Holmgren said he sees Hextall as a future GM in the league.
“He’s probably the most highly thought-of guy who is not a general manager,” Holmgren said. “To add him to our staff is huge.”
Hextall played 11 seasons with the Flyers and immediately moved to the front office after retirement, where he stayed for seven years. He began as a scout and later became the director of pro hockey personnel before leaving for Los Angeles.
With the Kings, Hextall served as the vice president and assistant GM.
Hextall talked with Holmgren at the NHL draft on June 30 about making what Hextall regarded a lateral move. “Since then,” Hextall said, “it’s just kind of steamrolled towards resolution.”
Hextall owns the Flyers’ records for wins, saves and games played by a goaltender.
In his rookie season of 1986-87, Hextall led the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Finals and earned both the Vezina and Conn Smythe trophies. Since he retired in 1999, the Flyers have gone through 18 goaltenders but have been unable to find a long-term replacement.
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