The Philadelphia Flyers are one of a few teams that decided to shake up their front office a bit this spring. While the Flyers felt promoting Ron Hextall to the position of general manager would be in their best interest, the results that the organization is wishing to receive from Hextall’s services will remain unseen until the former Philadelphia goalie makes his first move. With a passionate, yet disgruntled fanbase calling for more defense and a front office “doing everything they can” to satisfy everyone, the pressure is on Hextall. In fact, it’s so much pressure that it might surpass the amount he was receiving when he was in between the pipes.
Hextall has made is very clear that he intends on keeping the draft aspect of building a team as a primary strategy. Per sportingnews.com, “I like young players, and I like draft picks. I think my vision is to build this team and make this team better through the draft. That doesn’t mean we won’t make trades.”
The last part of that quote is key. Trades will be a must in some cases, but Hextall has seen the success of building through the draft firsthand. It’s hard to argue what he did with the Los Angeles Kings in 2012. He helped raised them from the bottom and brought another championship to the city of Los Angeles.
With all of that being said, those who were dreaming about Shea Weber wearing an orange sweater next season should probably wake up. A blockbuster trade for any top-notch defenseman is all but dead. Besides building through the draft, Hex’s primary focus will remain on the prospects the Flyers already posses. With youngsters like Scott Laughton and Shayne Gostisbehere, it’s hard not to be excited about the future of this team — long term at least. Short term, the excitement will require plenty of patience.
So, prospects are the focus, but it’s still Philly — anything can happen. If Hextall plays out his role like he said he would, Flyers fans will get a little bit of justice for all the disappointing years under Paul Holmgren. For now, it’s time to play the waiting game.