alright, I was ready to write a blog today. When Sam Carchidi tweeted that Dave Hakstol wasn’t at practice today, i was ready to celebrate with ya’ll. Instead Ron Hextall has been fired and I have mixed emotions about it. So lets dive in.
First off, I’m upset. Ron Hextall got us out of cap hell, he drafted spectacularly (Travis Konecny, The entire defense, CARTER FUCKING HART) and he got JVR back in Philly.
But maybe that is Hextall’s next job with the Flyers (cause no one is ever truly fired from the organization). Hextall could be head of scouting, chief of the draft, vice president in charge of player development, i don’t know. Because as good as Ron is at those things, he is BAD at some others.
Ron Hextall is bad at Free Agency (JVR is an outlier). Ron Hextall is bad at goalie management. Ron Hextall is bad at making big decisions (cough firing coaches cough). Ron Hextall is spiteful, and holds grudges and is loyal to HIS GUYS to a fault and it has turned into a mediocre team, in a city that does not accept mediocrity.
So while I am upset, because even though it may not seem like it, I am. I also see what this step does. This is Paul Holgrem acting as Ed Snider.
Ok, back up, for people who don’t know. Ed Snider ran his hockey team like Jerry Jones runs the Dallas Cowboys. He was a force breathing down the necks of the front office, he expected greatness and if you couldn’t give it to him, he would find someone who could. When Ed died, the team was bought by Comcast, who saw a loyal unwavering fan base, and a seemingly endless stream of money and the corporation didn’t care about the on ice product as long as the team made money, which it did for a while.
But now parking passes are being sold for more than the tickets, Casual fans aren’t watching games. Business is down, and so something needs to change. If Ron Hextall won’t make those changes, Paul Holgrem sure as fuck will.
So could this be a return to the Flyers culture of excellence? Well, it’s gonna take a couple more steps. First off, the coaching staff NEEDS to be fired. I think its coming over the next extended break in the schedule (after Tuesday’s game against Ottawa, or after Saturday’s game in Pittsburgh). The team needs to stop blaming the fans for their faults, and the older core needs to be broken up.
The Flyers have an identity problem, the Broad Street Bullies, a) no longer fit in the NHL and b) are NOT this team. This team is skill and speed and hockey smarts and it is time to fill out the roster with pieces that match. No longer can Dale Weise be signed for four years and then play on the second line. Jori Lehtera cannot be an NHL player, period, end of story. And a historically bad penalty kill needs to result in people getting fired.
Personally, I would burn it all down. Clean out the front office, trade everyone not named Claude Giroux, or is under the age of 26. Start over with the kids, and build something great, something new, something to build a future off of.
Its time for the flyers organization to crack down on the mediocrity and return to the greatness that used to be this franchise. That used to get the Spectrum jumping, that made a cup run in 2010, that fought and pushed to be the best each and every day. Ron Hextall may be the first man out, but he won’t be the last, so buckle up Flyers fans, its about to get interesting.