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Ron Hextall on the state of the Flyers (Canucks related)


tas

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Flyers GM denies ‘rebuild’ label, expects a playoff berth in 2017-18

After a dominant half-decade run that saw the Philadelphia Flyers earn five straight playoff berths – including a conference final appearance and go-round in the Stanley Cup Final – the orange and black head into 2017-18 having missed the post-season in three of the past five years.

They Flyers flirted with a shot at returning last season, missing out on a playoff spot by seven points, but earned a pretty plum silver lining for the subpar finish in highly-touted prospect Nolan Patrick, added with the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Set to debut their new, young marquee talent with the hope of climbing back up the standings, the Flyers seem ready for the tides to turn.

Just don’t call it a ‘rebuild.’

“You’re not rebuilding when you’re competitive,” general manager Ron Hextall told The Philadelphia Inquirer on Friday. “A rebuild, to me, is when you go to the bottom and you pick high, high, high – and essentially, you’re not trying that hard to win. That’s not in our DNA. We want to win. We want to win as many games as possible.

“We’re not going to go to the bottom of the league and pick first overall for four or five years. That’s no way to build culture. Our vision was to stay competitive, and build, and get younger — and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

While the Flyers have been shifting more towards their youth and away from veteran talent, Hextall said they’ve never sacrificed winning in the present in order to improve their chances long-term.

“We also feel we did what was right — trying to win, trying to make the playoffs,” Hextall said. “A part of me says that was just. If you try to finish at the bottom and trade everyone at the deadline, that bothers me. How do you think the players feel? How would you like to be a player going into an 82-game season knowing the team is rebuilding so basically has no expectations to win. Think about that. That’s not in our DNA.”

It’s undoubtedly a fine line for the Broad Street Bullies. While Philadelphia has ranked among the bottom three clubs in their division in four of the past five seasons, they’ve also faced the unavoidable disadvantage of suiting up in a grouping that happens to feature a few of the game’s most dominant clubs, particularly in Pittsburgh, Washington, and Columbus.

Looking for a full reset to get back in the mix may have been enticing amid that climate, but Hextall said the price for making that choice was too much for Philadelphia to pay.

“We can build without being uncompetitive,” Hextall said. “If you lose your culture, I’ll tell you what, it takes you a long time to get it back. People don’t understand the importance of culture. It is absolutely critical. It’s critical that your players know you expect to win.”

And that is precisely what the club’s brass expects in 2017-18, despite the fact that their division seems to have become even more competitive since last season.

“Do we expect to make the playoffs? Of course we expect to make the playoffs,” Hextall said. “We were close enough last year that you can circle a few games where you say, ‘If we would have won these games, we’re in the playoffs.’ I’m comfortable saying we expect to make the playoffs because our team, on paper, is good enough to make the playoffs.

“That’s not an unfair expectation. But, again, it’s all about what happens on the ice.”

 

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/flyers-gm-denies-rebuild-label-expects-playoff-berth-2017-18/

 

so, while there's no directly canucks-related info on that article, the subject matter is obviously related, and hopefully the ensuing discussion is canucks-relared.

 

does that clear up the thinking of benning and linden for anyone? is hextall just as idiotic as they are alleged to be by the fans and media? will hextall be hounded and betrayed by media the same way canucks management has been for 3 years, constantly accused of trying to serve 2 masters?

 
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24 minutes ago, ice orca said:

No GM is going to come out and say we are tanking..career suicide.

 

8 minutes ago, riffraff said:

So wait.  An NHL gm said "this club is not tanking"?

this is more than just denying tanking; this is explaining with conviction how the idea of deliberately not trying to win is fundamentally against everything he believes in. 

 

be a conspiracy theorist if you want, claiming that it's just a lie in the name of appearances, but that's not the case. 

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7 minutes ago, tas said:

 

this is more than just denying tanking; this is explaining with conviction how the idea of deliberately not trying to win is fundamentally against everything he believes in. 

 

be a conspiracy theorist if you want, claiming that it's just a lie in the name of appearances, but that's not the case. 

I know that you know I was jesting somewhat.  But there is some truth in my prodding post: any gm would say those exact words.  Even the coilers and the leafs never actually came out and said they were not going give an effort and let the lottery balls determine the future.

 

personally I don't put much stock in what is said publically in any direction.  We've seen it (or heard it) here too.....even Linden from day one.

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Historically the Flyers have never really tanked. They had the odd year where they'd bottom out, but only once in the last 40 years have they been a bottom-3 club (2007, where they lost the Patrick Kane lottery and drafted JVR).

 

They haven't won a cup in 40 years either. Even in 2010, when they went to the finals, they barely squeaked into the playoffs on the last game of the season, and made a historical comeback against the Bruins after being down 3-0. Despite selling the farm to acquire Chris Pronger, their season really all hinged on uncharacteristic career-peak goaltending performances from Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton...not exactly the definition of sustainable.

 

 

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Yet they're not going to box out the youth for free agent signings

 

http://nhl.nbcsports.com/2017/07/03/rather-than-seeking-free-agents-flyers-expect-young-players-to-step-up/

 

Quote

When it came to the Philadelphia Flyers’ goaltending situation, GM Ron Hextall decided to pair veteran pickup Brian Elliott with Michal Neuvirth rather than gambling on promising younger netminder Anthony Stolarz.

Some of the Flyers’ worst recent moves came down to aiming for quick free-agent fixes rather than trusting rising players, but that one goalie move might be the exception rather than the rule this summer.

Hextall seems like he’s sticking to the plan, which in this case could translate to very little movement in the free agent market.

” … As I stated a few days ago, we don’t want to box our young players out,” Hextall said in a press conference, via Broad Street Hockey’s transcription. “Three years ago we set a course, and we’re staying with that course. And part of that course is draft and develop. Part of drafting and developing is yes, making your players earn it, but also not boxing them out with older veterans. We feel like there’s opportunity on our hockey club for young guys to step up, and quite frankly we expect them to and we have multiple players that can step up.”

2017’s number two pick Nolan Patrick is the most enticing player to watch in that regard, as he could very well make an immediate jump.

He’s far from the only intriguing prospect either trying to make a first splash or their next step, either.

The Flyers signed Jordan Weal almost certainly with expectations for bigger things, while 20-year-olds Travis Konecny and Ivan Provorov could blossom further in 2017-18. One would expect the likes of Samuel Morin and Travis Sanheim to start really knocking on the door, too.

Of course, sitting through such baby steps often requires the patience to accept incremental growth – and to live with some stumbles – something that, historically, the Flyers have occasionally struggled with.

Here’s hoping that Flyers ownership displays the same patience with Hextall’s process and the subtly impressive GM has with this team’s prospects, as this franchise seems poised for future success.

It may just be a question of “When?”

So just like the Canucks this management sounds like they're all over the place.

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Flyers don't really need to rebuild now though on paper the team has some really good fire power some good young prospect including a potential top paring d-man and Nolan Patrick. 

 

I think Flyers only need to beef up their d-core and maybe get some better goal tending and they can go deep in the playoffs. 

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As has been said this is easy stuff to say after winning the draft lottery. Although, I have to say that I agree on how critical culture is. If Edmonton doesn't win McJesus where are they?

 

 You can still have culture and be at the bottom of the league. If your team is bad - they are bad. Vintage is hosting that top 30 players list in the NHL and not a single Canuck is going to be even nominated! The league is cyclical with the salary cap and we had our time in the sun with this group.

 

The media savvy term for we are going for a high draft pick this year is to "focus on developing our youth while remaining competitive". Competitiveness itself if subjective. Compete for what? Be "in" games or compete for a playoff spot or compete for the cup? It means different things to different people in different contexts.

 

Anyway, i personally think the Canucks need another top tier draft pick to even talk about competing with the rest of our division in the future.

 

Go Nucks!

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Hextall has been GM of the Flyers since May 7, 2014 so he has been in charge for 4 drafts.

 

Unlike many of his predecessors, he has been patient with the draft and has been collecting prospects.  

 

Like the comments on culture.  Really hard to develop and is important to preserve and pass down to younger players.  

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9 minutes ago, Alflives said:

And how many Cups have the Flyers won using this philosophy of "retool"?

Hextall has only been GM for 3 years Alf,  Holmgren took a different approach and traded for marquee players like Pronger in 2009

 

To Philly:  Pronger, Daigle

 

To Anaheim:  2009 1st, 2010 1st, cond 3rd, Lupul, Sbisa

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Except Vancouver has a losing culture with no idenity and has returned to that formula for a  another season.

hextal is just a clueless as benning on building a team. 

Hextal and his 1st will toil around in the middle to bottom the pack until just like vancouver a gm that knows how to BUILD a team gets hired not a fist puppet.

its the same interview and answers benning once gave years ago then the "competative team" has gone on to finish in the bottom 3-4 seasons. 

Maybe benning hextal need to be asked what they think competative is. It seems losing most nights hanging on by a thread having a goaltender stand on his head fewest goals scored horrible pp horrible pk being butter soft finish second last  would be bennings answer on competative.

 

 

 

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41 minutes ago, combover said:

Except Vancouver has a losing culture with no idenity and has returned to that formula for a  another season.

hextal is just a clueless as benning on building a team. 

Hextal and his 1st will toil around in the middle to bottom the pack until just like vancouver a gm that knows how to BUILD a team gets hired not a fist puppet.

its the same interview and answers benning once gave years ago then the "competative team" has gone on to finish in the bottom 3-4 seasons. 

Maybe benning hextal need to be asked what they think competative is. It seems losing most nights hanging on by a thread having a goaltender stand on his head fewest goals scored horrible pp horrible pk being butter soft finish second last  would be bennings answer on competative.

 

 

 

another thing benning and hextall have in common: they were both assistant gms with huge levels of involvement with teams that won stanley cups immediately prior to moving on to their current roles. 

 

you think they might have learned something during those experiences?

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4 minutes ago, tas said:

another thing benning and hextall have in common: they were both assistant gms with huge levels of involvement with teams that won stanley cups immediately prior to moving on to their current roles. 

 

you think they might have learned something during those experiences?

You're asking combover that?

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