Friday, February 12, 2016

Flyers promote Ron Hextall to general manager, Paul Holmgren to president

The Flyers have promoted Ron Hextall to general manager, and elevated current GM Paul Holmgren to the position of team president.

Flyers promote Ron Hextall to general manager, Paul Holmgren to president


Five days ago, Paul Holmgren scoffed at the idea of giving up his seat as the Flyers' general manager.

"Do you think I look 70?" Holmgren barked. "I still feel pretty good. I'm certainly not in any position today where I want to change chairs."

It's amazing what five days and a little "coaxing" from chairman Ed Snider can do.

Holmgren will relinquish his title of general manager in a press conference on Wednesday morning, when the Flyers promote assistant Ron Hextall to the position. Holmgren will be promoted to the title of team president, a role which was vacated by Peter Luukko in December.

It is believed Holmgren will still have a role in hockey operations decisions moving forward, but Hextall will make most of the personnel calls. Under Holmgren's direction for 7 full seasons, the Flyers won one Eastern Conference title and compiled a 286-162-62 record for a .598 points percentage.

Hextall, 50, will become just the seventh GM in the Flyers' 47-year history. His rapid promotion after being hired as Holmgren's assistant last July gives some kind of indication how serious he was a candidate to be Washington's next general manager.

Hextall was simply to valuable of a commodity to let walk, even if that meant another awkward conversation between Holmgren and Snider. In good conscience, the Flyers could not prevent Hextall - under contract with the Flyers - from leaving without promoting him.

"He didn't come in to be assistant GM forever," Snider said of Hextall last week. "But that doesn't mean tomorrow. I've got to sit down with Paul. We're in the process of analyzing everybody's title."

This is Hextall's fourth stint with the Flyers organization - including two different ones as a goaltender (1986-92, 1994-99). He joined the team's front office immediately after retirement in 1999 and remained there, rising to Bob Clarke's director of player personnel, but moved to the Los Angeles Kings in 2006 when he appeared stuck in line behind Holmgren for the top job.

Holmgren took over for Clarke on October 22, 2006. Hextall returned to the Flyers last summer from the Kings for the same job he held under Dean Lombardi in Los Angeles, a move that shocked many since it was a lateral one. For Hextall, though, it was about returning to the East Coast, where his family was based.

Turns out, Hextall returned "home" with a pretty strong promise in his pocket.

"I'm the one who brought 'Hexy' back," Holmgren said last week. "He's an excellent resource in our organization. He's a tremendous hockey man and I have no question that he's ready to be a general manager at any point."

We'll have a full story after the Flyers' 11:30 am press conference at Wells Fargo Center.

For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers

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