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Is the Ron Hextall-for-Paul Holmgren change happening already?

Paul Holmgren might be thinking of skipping the final year of his contract as Flyers general manager. Is it Ron Hextall time already?

Len Redkoles/NHLI

UPDATE, 5/7, 9:20 a.m.: So, about this:

The Flyers have a press conference at 11:30 a.m. to announce more, but it sure sounds like this is happening.

Original post below.


Well, this is kind of a big deal. Via CSN Philly:

The assumption is that [Ron] Hextall will replace [Paul] Holmgren, sooner rather than later. Holmgren is entering the final year of his contract, but a number of NHL sources believe he will step aside and return to amateur scouting. As one source noted, scouting is what Holmgren has always liked best. He misses the relationship with that side of hockey.

We wrote about this back when Ron Hextall first joined the Flyers as an assistant general manager, but why the hell would he have come to Philly -- making a lateral move away from the Los Angeles Kings, a team better-positioned for multiple championships, sadly -- without a chance at the GM job here?

"If that were to work out at some point when Homer's had enough," Hextall said when hired by the Flyers last July, "that's great, but that could happen again in 29 other places as well. I do want to be a general manager and I talked to Homer about that when we were talking about this job. If something else becomes available, I at least want to look at it. He was absolutely fine with that."

But that's just the thing: Hextall's widely seen as a top candidate for open GM jobs, but .... it hasn't happened. The Calgary Flames didn't look at him when they made a GM change this past season, nor did the Buffalo Sabres. The Washington Capitals and Vancouver Canucks have GM vacancies that have opened up in the last month, and talk of Hextall going has been, for the most part, non-existant.

Hextall wants to be a general manager, and in eight seasons as an assistant, he's grown a reputation as a guy who can, should and probably will get one of these jobs sooner or later. More and more, it seems like he'll eventually get his first chance where he made his name as a player, in Philadelphia.

If it's this offseason, and the Flyers move Holmgren into a scouting role, it could be the best of both worlds. Hextall deserves his chance as a GM, and we already know Holmgren is a damn good amateur scout. And with some daunting decisions facing the Flyers in terms of how to fix their defense, it might be good to have a fresher pair of eyes in charge.