In case you missed it yesterday, Philadelphia Flyers president Paul Holmgren announced that the team has relieved general manager Ron Hextall of his duties.
Today, Holmgren met with the media for an official press conference on the news but offered up little for fans in regards to his plans moving forward. There was some talk of “philosophical differences” between Hextall and himself, but again Holmgren offered up very little with regard to tangible, actual changes coming for this team.
One big question still left up in the air… what’s the future hold for head coach Dave Hakstol? Many Flyers fans expected Hakstol would be the one to walk to plank for the team’s poor start, not Hextall. Yet, he were are a quarter into the season and four NHL coaches have been fired while Hakstol remains behind the Flyers bench. Crazy.
When asked point blank what the plan is for Hakstol and the coaching position, Holmgren deferred that decision to Hextall’s predecessor… whomever it may be.
Holmgren: “I’d hate to say Dave Hakstol’s fate is in the hands of the new GM, but it is.”
Not sure if Flyers fans should feel relieved to hear this or apprehensive… we all know that Holmgren is the real puppet master in all this, so you have to imagine that he’ll have final say on what happens with Hakstol.
The team’s other big question mark is in goal. The goaltending carousel of Brian Elliott, Michal Neuvirth, Calvin Pickard and Alex Lyon is NOT getting it done and the Flyers are desperate for some stability in goal. Holmgren admitted as much and said that he’ll personally look for a solution even before hiring a new GM.
Holmgren says he will personally look around for a short-term fix in goal, maybe even before new Flyers GM is hired. “If I can make our team better, I’d be foolish not to look at it.”
That seems kind of backwards, no? Why not hire a GM and have him do the job? Oh right… because Holmgren will make the final call himself anyways. Sorry, Flyers fans. Hextall preached patience and it worked for a couple years, but it looks like the old boys are back to their old tricks again in Philly. Get ready for some old school wheeling and dealing.
This quote from Flyers CEO Dave Scott was particularly revealing:
“We’re very focused on the trade deadline on February 25th. We think there will be some good opportunities out there and, frankly, we don’t want to miss out.”