Ever since Ron Hextall was named general manager, back in 2014, this team has really just been a disappointment. Hextall has went out, and traded players away, getting steals for them, and stock piling draft picks. It’s not time for those kids picked, to make the jump to the NHL.
It started in 2014, when Hextall really made his mark by trading away Kimmo Timonen to the Blackhawks for two second round picks. Kimmo went on to win his first and only Stanley Cup. He the followed up by trading Brayden Coburn, to the Tampa Bay Lighting, for Radio Gudas, a first round pick, and a third round pick! That in all honesty had to be the biggest steal ever. Hextall kept wheeling and dealing by trading Tye McGinn for a third round pick, who the Flyers ended up drafting Felix Sandstrom, who is a Swedish goalie for the future. The Flyers, and Hextall finished that offseason by signing Michael Del Zotto, Ryan White, Nick Schultz, and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. Four stellar signings, who all had major impacts while they were here in Philadelphia. Hextall also made some head scratching moves. The one bad move Hextall did in his tenure as GM, was trading Scott Hartnell, for R.J. Umberger, and a fourth round draft pick. Umberger was bought out, and retired, while Hartnell is still playing for the Blue Jackets. First year as GM, was a success. Grade: A+
Second year around Hextall once again proved, that you really can make a steal from trades. 2015 was a very good year for trades. Hextall literally stole a third round pick for Zac Rinaldo from the Bruins. I’m just curious as to what the Bruins were thinking when they made that trade, to this day. Hextall followed that trade up with a super mega steal in sending Vincent Lecavalier, and Luke Schenn for Jordan Weal, and a third round pick. Who would have thought Hextall could pull this trade off? No one, but he did it anyway. BUILD THIS MAN A STATUE ALREADY!!!!! After that trade, Hextall followed up by trading, Chris Pronger’s contract, and Nicklas Grossmann to the Arizona Coyotes, for Sam Gagner, and a conditional pick. Making more moves, the Flyers re-signed Michael Raffl, Ryan White, and also Michael Del Zotto. Signing Michal Neuvirth, Phillipe Myers, and Colin McDonald, who has spent most of his time with the Phantoms, the AHL team of the Flyers, while Michal could possibly be the starter for this upcoming season. The only subpar thing you could say Hextall did that year was hire Dave Hakstol. Most people believe he still isn’t the right guy for the job, but the man has a ton of work on his hands. Needs a pure number 1 goalie, a solid defense, and scoring. It takes a little bit of time for all of this to come about, especially when you don’t have much CAP space to work with. Overall this was a great offseason, and Hextall made great moves. Grade: A-
2016-2017 was probably the least exciting year for Hextall. He made some very curious moves. Starting off by letting Ryan White go, and signing Dale Weise. Weise really never did much this year, definitly wasn’t a good move by Hextall. He did make up for it, by trading Mark Streit, to the Tampa Bay Lighting for Valtteri Filppula, a fourth-round pick, and a seventh-round pick. Unreal trade by Hextall. He did re-sign Neuvirth, which wasn’t good, but wasn’t bad either. It was a 50-50 move. He Bought out R.J. Umberger, which was an awesome move, signed Mike Vecchione, and improved the Phantoms, which they reached the playoffs for the first time in seven years! Grade for Hextall: B-
Overall Hextall has done a wonderful job in the GM role in Philadelphia, and has tried to turn this team into a contender, but they are long ways to go. Drafting the past few years has been spot on, with getting Provorov, Konecny, and Sam Morin, just to name a few. They’re young, but need the experience if they are going to help this team to win its first Stanley Cup since 1975. Very very long time, but this team is on the rise. Give it at least 2-3 more years, and we could see a parade here real soon.