As it turned out, Ron Hextall decided to leave his position as assistant GM of the Kings for a similar job with the Flyers after GM Paul Holmgren approached him following the NHL draft last month in Newark, N.J. On the surface, it seems like a lateral move, but Hextall was only to happy to return to his roots as a goaltender and later as a scout and executive in Philadelphia. Plus, his contract with the Kings ended at the end of June.
“Obviously, I’m excited about it,” Hextall said during a conference call. “Quite frankly, it came together in a very short period of time here. I had a brief conversation with ‘Homer’ at the draft and then it just kind of steamrolled toward the resolution that happened (Monday). It’s obviously a little bittersweet for me. I had a great time in L.A. … In this decisions, I’m sure you guys (reporters) were going to ask what it was all about. I don’t have anything earth shattering except to say it was a gut feeling. There were a lot of little things … but in the end, I’m following my guy here to what I think is the right move.”
Hextall helped to build a Stanley Cup winner in 2012 with the Kings. He has a difficult task ahead of him in Philadelphia, with the Flyers. If things don’t turn around quickly, it’s possible Hextall could replace Holmgren if Holmgren is fired as GM.
“They say the more people you work for, the smarter you become and I think it’s absolutely true,” Hextall said.