Ron Hextall believes that Philadelphia Flyers has a clear future, though not part of it.
Hextall was released as general manager of Flyers Monday, 24 matches in his fifth season. Philadelphia has not announced a timetable for a new GM.
"I think this team is ready to do something great and I'm sure another guy will come and make good moves to win the Stanley Cup," he said at a press conference Friday at the hotel across the street from Flyers & ; Practice in Voorhees, New Jersey.
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Flyers (10-12-2) visit Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG Paints Arena on Saturday (7:00 ET, NHLN, ATTSN-PT, NBCSP, NHL.TV). This is 1-5-1 in the last seven games and is the last in the Eastern Conference.
President Flyers Paul Holmgren cited philosophical differences as the reason why Hextall was released. Hextall felt that he and Holmgren were about to win the Stanley Cup in their mind, but they believed they needed another way to get them there.
"I think we were both for the same thing," Hextall said. "Maybe we both felt like we could get there in another way. I do not know all the philosophical differences. I mentioned the next day that it's very aggressive and I'm somewhere in the middle when you look at the other managers. [NHL Salary] Cover and collect property, and secondly develop and realize young players and continue on. The third phase, we are close, so if we have to sell the farm, we sell the farm. But I did not feel we were at this stage. "
Flyers got into the Stanley Cup play-off twice in four Hextall seasons, but came in the first round at the Eastern Conference in six matches always against the Pittsburgh Penguins last season and the Washington Capitals in 2016.
Expectations increased during offseason ahead James van Riemsdyk signed a five-year contract to join the core that included ahead Claude Giroux, Jakub Voráček, Sean Couturier and Wayne Simmonds, and engraving Ivan Provorov and Shayne Gostisbehere.
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But van Riemsdyk suffered a lower body injury in the second match of the season and missed six weeks. Power play (26, 15.7 percent) and death penalty (30, 70.9 percent) are among the worst in the NHL. They allow 3.58 goals per game, one third most in the league and five NHL highs.
And younger players expect to take a further step in their development, ahead of them Travis Konecny, 21 a Nolan Patrick, 20 and defender Provorov, 21 and Travis Sanheim, 22, are inconsistent.
"The match did not go as well as I hoped the special teams did not go as well as I hoped the young players did not make the move as I was hoping," Hextall said.
Although Holmgren and Dave Scott, chairman of Comcast Spectacor, a company that owns Flyers, praised Hextall for the work he had done to build a large base of prospects, Hextall's unwillingness to trade these future assets for assistance in the present was one of the philosophical differences.
"That was a big question," Scott said on Tuesday. "What can we do now to improve, not in two years or three years?"
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Hextall insisted that if he had the right opportunity to improve the team, he would have no problems trading with a younger player.
"I wanted to speed it up, absolutely," he said. "If something makes sense to us in the short and long term, we would do it.
"I did not want to trade with a young player and / or with the prospect of a guy in the mid-1930s who could help us this year and could clutter us on the way when his game fell … I was unstoppable."
Despite that, Hextall said he was proud of what he and his staff were building in Philadelphia.
"I'm proud of my 4-1 / 4 years here," he said. "We worked hard, investigated the staff, the management team, the leagues of the leagues, all the players, we worked hard and we felt like we could." We created the analysis department, we created the department of sports sciences, we built a development area (everyone in practice).
"I'm proud of what we've done, many of these things are not over water, it's like a duck, your feet are falling like a fool, but you do not see the results, but I feel that the results start showing with young players. what we have achieved in building a team and building a foundation and I think they are in a great place. "