By Ed Benkin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Ron Hextall’s opportunity to be an NHL general manager was coming. The Flyers decided to speed up the process.
One week after being eliminated from the playoffs, the Flyers made two significant changes to their front office. General Manager Paul Holmgren was promoted to team president, and Hextall took over Holmgren’s former position as Flyers G.M. Discussions about the changes first occurred during the winter as Holmgren met with Chairman Ed Snider. Both men relayed the plan to Hextall, and now the former Flyers goalie is excited to get started with his new position.
“I feel very confident that I can do the job,” said Hextall. “When Mr. Snider and Homer brought me in the other day and talked about offering me this job, not only did I reach my goal of being a general manager, but I got my dream job.”
Holmgren took over as general manager in 2006. Hextall previously worked in the front office with Holmgren before becoming the assistant general manager of the Los Angeles Kings. Hextall came back to take a similar position with the Flyers this past season, and Holmgren felt the time was right to make the change.
“Today is the right day,” Holmgren said. “The timing of this is right. I’m really honored and excited and I think privileged to be able to name Ron Hextall the new general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers.”
Hextall was part of a Kings organization which captured the Stanley Cup in 2012. Snider believes Hextall is ready to take over the general manager’s role and believes both Hextall and Holmgren will thrive in their new positions.
“I was really very happy to promote Paul to the position he is taking now,” said Snider. “I’m thrilled that Ron is going to take over because I’m very fond of Ron. He’s done his job and paid his dues. He knows what he’s talking about. I’m very confident he’s the right man for the job.”
If the Flyers hadn’t promoted Hextall, there is a strong possibility he would have been considered for several other general manager vacancies. Hextall has been ready to become a general manager for any team in the NHL, but admits the Flyers were always the team he has the strongest bond with after making his mark as a goaltender in Philadelphia.
“I’ve got a special feeling about this organization,” Hextall said. “I am absolutely honored and thrilled to be sitting here. I’ll do the best job I can do to reach the ultimate goal of bringing the Stanley Cup back to Philadelphia.”