Hextall Named New GM, Holmgren Promoted to President
In a move many saw coming for months, even after a public dismissal last week, Flyers assistant General Manager Ron Hextall has been promoted to General Manager, and Paul Holmgren has been promoted to President. This was announced in a news conference on Wednesday morning.
Holmgren had issued a denial of any organizational movement after the series loss to the New York Rangers, but in those five days since, that organizational movement indeed occurred.
Hextall, 50, takes over this position after serving this past season as Assistant GM. He had previously served as Assistant GM for the Los Angeles Kings, playing second fiddle to former Flyers scout Dean Lombardi.
Prior to that, Hextall served as an amateur scout and director of player personnel for the Flyers in the early 2000s after the conclusion of his 13-season playing career.
"Not only did I reach my goal of being a General Manager," Hextall said. "I got my dream job."
Teams usually find themselves crippled after attempting to acquire rentals. Cross that possibility off the list with Hextall at the helm.
"I like young players and draft picks and we'll try and build through the draft," Hextall said. "It's not a vision of mine to trade younger players for older players."
Hextall also promised to use perhaps the hockey world's largest buzzwords, "analytics," in his tenure as the Flyers' General Manager, adding it would be a "huge part of what we do going forward."
Aside from that, Hextall is the man, according to Holmgren and team owner, Ed Snider.
"All decisions fall on Ron's lap," Holmgren said. "No question."
This process all started with a conversation between Holmgren and Snider back in January. Speculation had swirled around Holmgren's role moving forward, but a move to President ended up being the final decision.
Holmgren's tenure as GM ends with ups and downs. He acquired Chris Pronger in 2009, dealt franchise cornerstones Mike Richards and Jeff Carter after the 2010-11 campaign, and locked his team into a salary cap dilemma on many different occasions.
All of that aside, in his seven seasons at the helm, Holmgren built a team that missed the playoffs just once (2013). His teams also made the Stanley Cup Final once (2012), and the Eastern Conference Final once (2008). That team, just a year prior, finished last in the NHL.
"It's all about the strength of the organization. [Hextall] is the right man," Holmgren said. "And I'm excited about what's ahead."
"I'll work hard to bring the Stanley Cup to Philadelphia," Hextall concluded.