Hextall says Flyers goalies 'a good mix'

Posted: September 30, 2013

Ron Hextall, one of the best goalies in Flyers history, likes what he sees in the goaltender battle between Steve Mason and Ray Emery.

Mason, 25, a former rookie of the year, is trying to regain the form he showed after the Flyers acquired him last April, while Emery, 31, is attempting to duplicate his 2013 success with Chicago.

"You have a young guy and a veteran, and typically that works," said Hextall, who is in his first year with the Flyers as an assistant general manager and director of hockey operations. "It's not two guys who will be battling each other for the next five, six, seven years. I think it's a good mix moving forward."

The goalies have been longtime friends - they have worked out together in the summers for several years - and they say they learn from each other.

Ideally, the Flyers would like one of the goalies to emerge and play 50 to 55 games.

"Obviously we're looking for someone to take the bull by the horns," Hextall said.

Hextall, who spent the last seven years in the Los Angeles Kings' front office, said he will not be on the ice assisting goalie coach Jeff Reese.

"I talk to Reeser, but in terms of teaching, no, I won't be involved there," he said. "In the past I've talked to our young goalies, and they always felt they could come up to me, and I'll offer the same here. But the hands-on stuff, that's up to Reeser."

During training camp, Hextall said he has had a few conversations with the goalies, "but nothing in depth."

While Hextall was with the Kings, they developed two outstanding young goalies, Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier, who is now with Toronto. "Both would come up to my office once in a while and I'd spend time with them," Hextall said. "I think I was more of a sounding board for them than anything else. I didn't get on the ice with them and I certainly don't take any credit for their success."

Hextall is high on the Flyers' goalie prospects - Anthony Stolarz, who is playing for London in the OHL, and the Adirondack Phantoms' Cal Heeter. He said Stolarz has "lots of athletic ability" and "needs to improve his rebound control, which is typical of young goalies. But he has lots of tools and I'm excited about him."

Heeter, a former Ohio State star, displayed poise in a preseason game with the Flyers, Hextall said.

"He has a bit of swagger and believes in himself, and that's a good thing."

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