There are no type-A personalities among today's goalies.
"When you look at goalies making great saves, and as athletic as they are, it's one of the things in the game we probably don't focus on enough," Hextall said last week before being inducted into the Flyers' Hall of Fame.
"We all focus on scoring," he said. "We want to open the game up. I'm not disagreeing with that, but we don't talk about team defense, or about the goaltender and how many great saves he made."
Hextall rattled off a few names: Miikka Kiprusoff of the Calgary Flames, Robert Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks, and the Flyers' Martin Biron and Antero Niittymaki.
"That is entertaining, to see a guy who is really on his game," Hextall added.
Nevertheless, Hextall was more than a goalie; he was an entertainer between and outside the pipes.
"Yeah, I keep being told that I was different," Hextall said, grinning. "Personality? Is that a compliment? I guess it's a compliment, and I'll take it. I look at the great goalies. Marty Brodeur, I think, has personality. He moves the puck extremely well. He's fun to watch. . . .
"Goalies aren't out there fighting as much as they were. But I don't think anybody is. It's probably . . . where the game has changed from the late 1980s and early '90s."
When Hextall retired, after the 1998-99 campaign, the goalie position no longer packed the punch it once had, in terms of entertainment value. Hextall was an original. Few since have had his flair for the dramatic.
And hockey misses that.
Another thought. Regardless of how you feel about the relationship between the Flyers and Eric Lindros, he, too, deserves to in the team's Hall of Fame someday. His worst tormentor, Bob Clarke, said this year that No. 88 deserved to be in the Hockey Hall of Fame. If Lindros belongs there, he belongs here as well.
Changing of the game. Dallas goalie Marty Turco is on pace to win 30 games this season for the fifth straight year. He was asked whether the position had become more or less difficult with all the rule changes.
"At times, the game has slowed down and becomes easier and more black and white," Turco said. "But other times, you have more high-quality chances against you.And with the skill level of guys coming to the net untouched, certainly [there are] a lot more backdoor plays that give guys a chance to hold onto [the puck] and find open guys in front of the net for quick, extra shots.
"You certainly have to be on your toes, ready for anything."
Number 21. If the Flyers sign Peter Forsberg, will team captain Jason Smith give up his number?
"I haven't really thought about it," Smith said. "I've worn other numbers before. I wore 21 in Edmonton. I wore 26 and 25, too. So, we'll have to wait and see."
Forsberg "obviously is a very gifted player," Smith said. "You know, I'll make that decision when it happens."
Tocchet back. Rick Tocchet was reinstated last week as an assistant coach in Phoenix after spending the last two seasons on leave. He pleaded guilty to promoting gambling and conspiracy to promote gambling.
"This was a mistake," Tocchet told the Canadian Press. "The whole thing makes you feel bad. I feel bad for my parents and everybody else that this went down.
"It took a lot more time than maybe I wanted, but the sport of hockey, they really did a great job to figure out what was going on, and they came up with their conclusions. . . . I made a mistake. I should not have gotten involved in illegal gambling. I paid a heavy price."
The Olympics. Virtually every NHLer wants to go to Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics. However, few are thrilled about going to Russia in 2014.
"Personally, would I like to do it again? No," Anaheim's Chris Pronger said in an interview with SLAM Sports. "Do I think it's good for the NHL? I think it is. . . . [But] it's a long way to go for a couple of games."
The Ducks started this season in Europe. Their players said that because of the long Stanley Cup playoff run, the late-September start of the new season was too quick a turnaround.
"For us this year, it probably wasn't the right move with the short summer. . . . We weren't the right team," Pronger said. "I'm not going to sit here and say that I felt great coming back [from Europe]. You're going to have jet lag. . . . It's a 10-hour time difference for us."
Let's say Team Canada wins the gold at the Vancouver Games. Does anyone believe Canada won't want to defend its title in 2014 with NHLers?
Team USA. The American squad for 2010 figures to be young and should include Patrick Kane, Dustin Brown, Phil Kessel, Jack Johnson and Paul Martin, among others.
Anaheim's Brian Burke should get the GM title, with the Flyers' Paul Holmgren as his assistant.
Peter Laviolette failed miserably at the last Olympics, but didn't choose the team. Look for John Tortorella and Laviolette to be the American coaches, with Torts as the lead guy. You can't go wrong there.
Burke, Laviolette and Tortorella all have won the Stanley Cup. This should be one of Team USA's best squads ever for international competition.
Contact staff writer Tim Panaccio at 215-854-2847 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation is taking a group of local youngsters to Detroit to participate in a "Hockey in the Hood" tournament. Honest, that's the name of it. It's a gathering of NHL diversity programs designed to promote multicultural inclusion in hockey during a three-day tournament Feb. 15-17. Forty boys and girls from the Philly area will participate. For some, it will be their first experience out of our city. "We have seen tremendous growth in many of our young participants, both on and off the ice," foundation president Scott Tharp said. "We're pleased to send this deserving group of students. This will be an opportunity of a lifetime for many of these youngsters." . . .
In case you missed it, Steve Yzerman has been named general manager of Team Canada for this spring's IIHF World Championships. . . .
The Penguins' Petr Sykora scored his 600th career point with a goal Monday against New Jersey. . . .
Awful break for Edmonton, as center Shawn Horcoff will miss the rest of the season with a torn labrum in his left shoulder. His loss could seal the Oilers' fate in not gaining a playoff berth. . . .
The Devils' Jay Pandolfo is back in the lineup after missing 28 games with an abdominal strain. Before the injury, he had a personal streak of 307 consecutive games played, third longest in Devils history. . . .
More on the NHL's next outdoor game. Speaking in Colorado this week, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Denver would receive strong consideration for the next outdoor affair. Of course, no one knows when the next one will be held. . . .
Finally, the Flyers need to shore up their defense for a playoff run. What about Brad Stuart in Los Angeles? Yes, Dean Lombardi drafted him in San Jose and then signed him in Los Angeles. It would take players going to the Kings, and the Flyers would have to lose salary to afford Stuart. Then again, he's worth it.