Ron Hextall is in his third season as general manager for the Flyers, and his 22nd overall season in the organization. He was named to the post on May 7, 2014 after serving as assistant GM and director of hockey operations for a season.
Hextall returns to the Flyers after spending the previous seven seasons with the Los Angeles Kings, where he held the title of vice president and assistant general manager. He assisted in all facets of the Kings’ hockey operations department while helping the team win the 2012 Stanley Cup championship. He also served as the general manager of the Manchester Monarchs, Los Angeles’s primary affiliate in the American Hockey League. The Monarchs made the playoffs in six of their seven seasons under Hextall’s watch, including a division title in 2007 and two trips to the AHL’s Eastern Conference Finals.
Prior to joining the Kings, Hextall spent the previous seven seasons in the Flyers front office. He became a pro scout in 1999 upon his retirement as a player, and served in that role for three seasons before being promoted to director of pro player personnel in 2002. In his front office positions with the Flyers, Hextall was instrumental in the club’s three Atlantic Division titles and two trips to the Eastern Conference Finals while the club averaged nearly 102 points per season.
Hextall played 11 years of his 13-year career with the Flyers, while also playing a year each with Quebec and the New York Islanders. He led the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final in his rookie season of 1986-87, winning the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender and the Conn Smythe Trophy as Most Valuable Player in the 1987 Stanley Cup Final, despite losing to the Edmonton Oilers in seven games. At the conclusion of Game 7, Hextall became just the fourth player in the then 23-year history of the trophy to win the award while being a member of the losing team in the Final. He was also named to both the NHL All-Rookie and NHL First All-Star Teams that season.
Hextall played for the Flyers until 1992 and then returned to Philadelphia from 1994 until his retirement in 1999. His second stint with the Flyers also included a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 1997. He is the franchise’s all-time leader among goaltenders in games played (489) and wins (240), while ranking third in shutouts (18). Hextall also owns several other Flyers franchise goaltending records, including an NHL-record 113 penalty minutes in 1988-89 and the all-time records for career points (28), career penalty minutes (476) and most career playoff wins (45) by a Flyers goalie.
A native of Brandon, Manitoba, Hextall was originally selected by the Flyers in the sixth-round (119th overall) of the 1982 NHL Entry Draft. He is the fourth Hextall to play in the NHL following his father, Bryan Jr., his grandfather, Hall of Famer Bryan, Sr., and his uncle Dennis, who played for the Kings during the 1969-70 season. His NHL career included a total of 608 regular season games, a 296-214-69 record including 23 shutouts, a 2.97 goals-against-average and a .895 save-percentage.
During his playing career, Hextall was known for being one of the first goalies to regularly leave the goalmouth and play the puck with his stick and for creative and unique designs on his goalie mask. On December 8, 1987, he became the first goaltender in the history of the NHL to score a goal by shooting the puck into the net as the Flyers defeated the Boston Bruins by a score of 5-2 at the Spectrum. On April 11, 1989, during a Flyers 8-5 playoff victory against the Washington Capitals at the Capital Centre, he collected his second career goal and became the first goalie to score a goal in an NHL playoff game.
Hextall and his wife Diane have four children – daughters Kristin and Rebecca and sons Jeffrey and Brett, who was drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes in the sixth-round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
(Courtesy Philadelphia Flyers)