Ron Hextall has had a lot of success since he last left Philadelphia in 2006. Working with the Flyers as a scout, the Los Angeles Kings offered him a position as assistant general manager, the first in many moves that would turn the Kings into the tired "Flyers West" cliche. He won a Stanley Cup, as we all know, but his days on the West Coast are over.
Hextall's coming home. The Flyers named him an assistant general manager and the director of hockey operations on Monday, a move that's awesome, first of all, but also has a lot of implications and raises a lot of questions.
1. Did Paul Holmgren just hire his successor?
Hextall is well on the way to becoming a general manager in the NHL. His track record in Los Angeles is fantastic by all accounts, and he probably wouldn't have left that organization unless he felt he had a chance to advance his career beyond AGM here in Philly. General managers don't keep their jobs forever, and by hiring Hextall, Holmgren may have just turned up the temperature on his own seat.
2. What are his responsibilities?
Each AGM has different areas they oversee. Barry Hanrahan is a lawyer by training and handles the salary cap. John Paddock looked over the minor league system (and there's some confusion over Paddock's current role, too). What will Hextall do? Will his role be more broad? Will he have his hand in everything as Holmgren's right hand man? We just don't know.
In Los Angeles, he served as the GM of the Kings AHL affiliate in Manchester, so it's likely safe to assume that Hexy will have a pretty big say in what happens with the Phantoms. Remember, the Phantoms are moving back to the area in time for 2014, so it's possible that the Flyers will attempt to actually give a shit about them. It's pretty clear they haven't cared much about putting a competitive AHL product on the ice since they moved to upstate New York.
3. What happens to Chris Pryor?
Pryor has been in the organization for since 1999, when he was hired as an amateur scout in the U.S. He was promoted to his current role in 2006. He oversees all scouting operations both amateur and pro in his role as director of hockey ops, a job that now apparently belongs to Ron Hextall. So what happens to Pryor?
These questions all will be answered in the coming weeks and months, but in the meantime, it's good to have Hexy back in the fold. Welcome home, Ron.