SBD/May 8, 2014/Franchises

Brotherly Love: Flyers Promote From Within, Name Holmgren President, Hextall GM

Hextall would not have taken the GM job had Holmgren not become President
The Flyers promoted GM Paul Holmgren to President, and Assistant GM & Dir of Hockey Operations Ron Hextall to GM yesterday, according to Sam Carchidi of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. Holmgren said "not at this point" when asked whether someone would be named to fill Hextall's old roles. But he added that Hextall “may look into hiring someone.” Hextall said he "wouldn't have taken this job if Paul Holmgren didn't want to move to the position he's moving to. I absolutely wouldn't. I would have refused” (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 5/8). In Philadelphia, Rich Hofmann writes this move is "about the Flyers more than it is about Holmgren.” Holmgren has a “genuine interest in the business side of hockey and has sat in on some business-side meetings over the years.” He “wants to learn more, and maybe find a way to better marry the hockey side to the business side.” Holmgren is the one “leaving a job that he still liked for a new, uncertain challenge -- and doing it because he made the calculation and decided it was the best thing for the Flyers” (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 5/8). Holmgren said that the Flyers' new management structure was "his vision." Holmgren said that he “expressed interest” in becoming President in a January meeting with Flyers Chair Ed Snider “because the position was vacant due to Peter Luukko resigning in December” (, 5/7). Sources said that the decision to “make the switch now, as opposed to the future, was hastened by inquiries from other franchises to make Hextall their next GM” (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 5/8).

OLD TEAM, NEW MAN: In Philadelphia, Mike Sielski notes between Snider, Holmgren and Hextall there are “101 aggregate years of affiliation” with the Flyers. That is “more than a century's worth of sameness, of immersion in an organization that, for all its strengths and stability, hasn't won a championship” since ‘75. The number that “should matter most” is seven. Seven is “the number of years” that Hextall was Kings VP & Assistant GM and it was “time well-spent.” During Hextall’s tenure, the Kings “transformed themselves from an NHL embarrassment into one of the league's elite clubs.” His “embracing of analytics, of a deliberate plan to establish and maintain competitive excellence, stands in stark contrast to his tempestuousness as a player.” Hextall is a “different man now and, from the available evidence, is poised to be a different executive by Flyers standards” (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 5/8).
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