The Philadelphia Flyers have fired Executive Vice President and General Manager, Ron Hextall after he was with the team for over four seasons.
The Flyers have had a disappointing few months to start the season so far. Which makes this decision less of a surprise. The team currently owns a record of 10-11-2 and sits in second-last in the Metropolitan division.
The last straw for the Flyers organization, was their six to nothing loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs this past Saturday. Flyers Team President, Paul Holmgren, released a statement of the following:
The big takeaway from this statement is that the two weren't thinking in the same direction about the team. Although Holmgren isn't specific on what they disagreed upon, it's likely that Holmgren got tired of waiting for this team to become a contender again.
Hextall made it known that his plan when he was hired was to reestablish the Flyers' farm system. Sean Couturier, Shayne Gostisbehere, Travis Konecny, Ivan Provorov and Nolan Patrick are the key players that Hextall had hoped would turn this team into a contender.
This has been a disappointment for the most part. Couturier has been the lone player who has actually lived up to expectations. He ranks second in points (18) on the team and also leads the team in goals (10).
The biggest problem for the Flyers this season has easily been their goaltending. They haven't had a true number one goalie for many seasons. Which in-turn, has caused the team to allow more goals then they are able to produce.
Brian Elliot was expected to bridge the gap until Carter Hart was ready to make the jump into the NHL, but he hasn't be able to stay healthy. He only appeared in 43 games last season and is now out for two weeks with a calf injury.
When Homgren finds the next General Manager for this team, he will have to make a lot of important decisions about this franchise. Whether to try and fast track this team and transform them into a contender for this season or next.
Or whether or not to trade off their valuable assets for more players to be added to their young core. Regardless, change is definitely coming to this team and the departure of Hextall is only the first part of it.
WHAT THIS MEANS
The Flyers are showing now that they're desperate for change. Letting Hextall go means that their plan for the last four and a half seasons is out the window. Whoever Homgren brings in to replace Hextall will be given a leash for his own plan.
That means no one will be safe from change. That could be the coaching staff or the current roster. Regardless, change is coming for the Flyers and it has begun with the termination of Hextall.