Former Philadelphia general manager Ron Hextall revealed that he was stunned the Flyers fired him this week, despite their losing record. The former Flyers goalie was fired Monday after more than four seasons at the reigns of the club.
"I didn’t see this coming in any way,” Hextall said Friday. ”I was shocked. I was stunned, yeah.”
On Monday, team president Paul Holmgren said he fired Hextall because it had ”become clear that we no longer share the same philosophical approach concerning the direction of the team.” The Flyers are currently 10-12-2 and in last place in the Eastern Conference.
Hextall revealed that he was fired during a 20-second long conversation...
While Holmgren did not give a full vote of confidence in head coach Dave Hakstol, he did state that the next general manager will decide Hakstol’s fate.
Hextall was known to be a patient GM and had always preached patience and tried to rebuild the Flyers through the draft instead of making short-term fixes with high-priced veterans. However, it was enough for Holmgren to give him the boot.
"There were a lot of things that just went the wrong way on us,” Hextall said.
Philadelphia had two first-round playoff exits in Hextall’s tenure and so far, the Flyers show no sign this season of winning the franchise’s first Stanley Cup since the back-to-back titles in 1974-75.
”I certainly expected to take a step this year,” Hextall said. ”There’s a few more growing pains with our young players than I expected.”
One of the things Hextall was mostly criticized for was refusing to listen to scouts and advisers and had been accused of cutting off alumni access to the team. He also failed to acquire a star quality netminder. This season, the team's woes in between the pipes have become quite obvious...
While Hextall admitted on Friday that he was wrong to deny former players access to the locker room during an alumni game, he remains adamant that he was close a few times on making a major deal or signing a key free agent that could have helped the Flyers.
”I can assure you, I was being aggressive,” he said. ”If we would have had something that made sense for us, short term and long term, we would have done it.”
Maybe that's why he is so stunned about getting the boot...