According to Hockeysverige.se, former Philadelphia Flyers’ head coach Dave Hakstol will spend a week Rikard Gronborg and Team Sweden as the team prepares for the Beijer Hockey Games. Hakstol’s week in Stockholm is part of an exchange that has been staged by the NHL Coaches Association, the report states.
Hakstol, according to the website, asked for an opportunity like this and Sweden’s national team was willing to oblige. “When I was fired in Philadelphia, I wanted to continue to be active,” he told Hockeysverige.se. “We are coaches and we coach. It is our lives. I wanted to find different opportunities to socialize and be with different people and different coaches, see different things and different ideas.” The former Flyers’ head coach also opted not to talk about his stint with the Orange and Black, as he mentions that it would be unfair to do so since he hasn’t talked to the media over here about his departure.
Hakstol was with the Flyers from the start of the 2015-16 campaign through 31 games this season (where Philly went 12-15-4) and finished with a record of 134-101-42 in 277 regular season games. He reached the postseason two of the three full seasons he spent behind the bench in Philadelphia going 4-8 and failing to win a series while his teams were outscored 42-21.
Arguments can be made in his defense, but it’s hard to say Hakstol’s time in Philadelphia was successful. Former Flyers’ general manager Ron Hextall took a chance on the former University of North Dakota head coach and it didn’t pan out. Hakstol never really got passable goaltending, something interim coach Scott Gordon is benefiting from with Carter Hart, but at the same time he had a tendency to run goalies into the ground. Hakstol seemed to struggle with a few other key components to being a head coach (handling certain younger players, overvaluing replacement-level players, failure with in-game adjustments), which ultimately cost him his job. Perhaps something like this would have helped Hakstol in his time with Philly, but hopefully it helps him move his career forward and land another head coaching opportunity back in the NCAA or NHL.