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Ron Hextall

SPORTS
May 20, 2015 | By Frank Seravalli, Daily News Staff Writer
IF YOU LOOK closely enough, or catch him with a poorly worded question, it's not hard to see a little of Mike Babcock in Dave Hakstol. And it's not only the well-coiffed, strawberry-blond hair that conjures the resemblance. Talk to former players and they'll tell you about Hakstol's icy stare, one of the few in hockey that could give Babcock's menacing mug a run for its money. "That stare," one player told the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald, "will penetrate the back of your helmet.
SPORTS
May 20, 2015 | By Sam Donnellon, Daily News Columnist
THE DARKEST of clouds hovered over the Wells Fargo Center at noon yesterday, threatening a downpour of epic proportions. Inside, though, the sun's high beams were on. Accolades for a coach who has never dipped his toes into the NHL, from a first-year general manager who has never hired a head coach before. Accolades for both from an 82-year-old chairman whose very approval of it clearly indicates a mindset that is now all-in. Give the old man credit for this. Ed Snider defended the hiring of a career college coach yesterday by referencing the humble starts of Fred Shero and Mike Keenan, reminding us not only that his stewardship has not always been about hiring known quantities and former players, but also how long his tenure as head of this team has been.
SPORTS
May 20, 2015 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
When he was hired by the Flyers and left the University of North Dakota on Monday, Dave Hakstol became just the third coach in NHL history to climb directly from the NCAA ranks to his first head coaching job in the NHL. He hopes to be as successful as one of them, the late Bob Johnson, who directed Pittsburgh to the Stanley Cup in 1991. Johnson coached the University of Wisconsin for 16 seasons and won three national titles before being hired by the Calgary Flames in 1982. The Flames made the playoffs in all five of his seasons and reached the Finals in 1986.
SPORTS
May 20, 2015 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
WITH DAVE HAKSTOL at the helm, the next question is: Who will be joining him on the Flyers' bench next season? When Craig Berube was fired on April 17, general manager Ron Hextall said the fate of assistant coaches Ian Laperriere, Gord Murphy and Joe Mullen rested in the hands of the team's 19th head coach. Now, surrounding rookie head coach Hakstol with an NHL-experienced staff will be the top priority. That process began after yesterday's introductory press conference. "We'll form a staff from there," Hextall said.
SPORTS
May 20, 2015 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
Dave Hakstol was talking to a TV camera in another room of the Wells Fargo Center, a city that pays little attention to college hockey still buzzing and puzzled by his ascension to the NHL, and Ron Hextall descended from a dais and stepped in front of a black drape dotted with Flyers insignias. Before Hextall, the Flyers' general manager, began answering follow-up questions about his decision to hire Hakstol as the team's head coach, his predecessor, Paul Holmgren, approached him. The two had carpooled to the news conference from the Flyers' practice facility in Voorhees, and Holmgren grabbed Hextall's left hand, turned it palm-side up, and dropped a ring of car keys into it. "I'll drive myself back," Holmgren said to him. Ten months have passed since Hextall replaced Holmgren as GM, but for reasons of substance and symbolism, Monday marked the true beginning of Hextall's tenure - and of a new era for the Flyers franchise.
SPORTS
May 20, 2015 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
There were lots of big-name coaches available, including Mike Babcock, Dan Bylsma and Todd McLellan. Instead, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall went with a relative unknown to most NHL fans, naming the University of North Dakota's Dave Hakstol as the franchise's 19th coach Monday. Hakstol, 46, is regarded as a no-nonsense coach who sometimes delivers a message with a "scary" stare, according to Flyers forward Chris VandeVelde, who played for him at North Dakota. Ed Snider, chairman of the Flyers' parent company, Comcast-Spectacor, called it a "gutsy" hire.
SPORTS
May 20, 2015 | By John Smallwood, Daily News Columnist
OF COURE, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall stepped out on a limb by hiring University of North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol to direct the organization's move forward. But that was going to be the case, no matter whom Hextall hired to replace Craig Berube as coach. Hiring an established NHL coach such as Mike Babcock, Dan Bylsma or Todd McLellan would have provided a more stable limb than hiring a college coach with no professional experience, but Hextall would still be on a limb that could break.
SPORTS
May 17, 2015 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
MIKE BABCOCK promises this will all be over within a week. For the Flyers, the prospects of landing their No. 1 head-coaching candidate must seem at least a little dull, considering the optics of a 25-minute interview with TSN's Darren Dreger on Friday. Babcock thoughtfully answered every question, but the NHL's most sought after free-agent coach in history did so while sitting next to Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland in a hotel room in Prague, where the two are scouting the World Championships.
SPORTS
May 10, 2015 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Detroit Red Wings granted permission Friday for teams to talk to their highly coveted coach, Mike Babcock. A long line has started forming, and it stretches from Philadelphia to Edmonton. The Flyers, Toronto, Buffalo, New Jersey, and San Jose have coaching vacancies. Edmonton has an interim coach, and many other teams, such as Pittsburgh, Boston, and St. Louis, may get involved if they can lure Babcock. Babcock, 52, whose contract with the Red Wings expires June 30, is considered the No. 1 choice in a lot of cities.
SPORTS
May 8, 2015 | By Frank Seravalli, Daily News Columnist
ONE YEAR ago today, Ed Snider and Paul Holmgren waltzed into the wood-paneled Hall of Fame room at Wells Fargo Center to announce the promotion of Ron Hextall to general manager. Three hundred and sixty-five days later, what have we learned? There has been the bizarre, like last month, when Hextall left head coach and friend Craig Berube dangling for two days before finally cutting him down. There has been the bungled, like on Feb. 26, when the Flyers skated by the $69 million salary cap with just $48,000 to spare, forcing Steve Mason into the lineup and eventually into the net in Toronto after 60 percent of the meniscus in his right knee was removed 16 days earlier.
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