The Philadelphia Flyers announced Monday Ron Hextall had returned to the franchise as the team's assistant general manager and director of hockey operations.
Hextall had spent the past seven seasons as assistant GM of the Los Angeles Kings. He signed a multiyear deal with the Flyers after his contract with the Kings expired at the end of June.
"I'm really pleased we were able to do this," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. "To me, [Hextall] is probably the most highly thought-of guy in the League who is not a general manager. To add him to our staff is just huge."
In his role with the Kings, Hextall was the GM of the club's American Hockey League affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs. In his seven seasons in charge, the Monarchs reached the AHL playoffs each season, including two appearances in the conference finals. He also worked with Kings GM Dean Lombardi in helping build a team that won the 2012 Stanley Cup.
Hextall will essentially fill the same job with Philadelphia that he had in Los Angeles. But after seven successful years with the Kings, the former Flyers standout admits there were a number of factors pulling him back East.
"One of the things that happened, quite frankly, is we won the Stanley Cup. I came out here with a vision to build a team and help in trying to build a Stanley Cup winner," Hextall said. "That was part of my decision. There are a lot of little things, but there's not one big thing I can point to."
Before going to L.A., Hextall had been part of the Flyers' front office from 1999-2006, working first as a pro scout and later as director of pro hockey personnel.
"I think Ron's ties to the Flyers are obvious. He's been a player here for a long time. He was part of the management of the organization for a long time," Holmgren said. "He went away for seven years and obviously has had success in L.A. This opportunity came up in the last little while since the Draft and it just went from there."
The 49-year-old will officially assume his new role on Aug. 1. He replaces John Paddock, who was shifted last season from assistant GM to assistant coach. Chris Pryor, the team's current director of hockey operations, will continue to be heavily involved in the team's scouting as the Flyers' director of scouting.
Hextall spent 11 of his 13 NHL seasons as a goalie for the Flyers, and is the team's all-time leader in wins (240) and games played by a goaltender (489).
Hextall's first order of business when he returns to Philadelphia will be familiarizing himself with the team's roster. The Kings and Flyers have played each other just twice since January 2011 and Hextall admits that he needs to take a long look at the roster he'll be inheriting in Philadelphia.
"I really haven't taken a good enough look to see their team. I know they've got some really good young pieces in place," said Hextall, who admits that the decision to leave Los Angeles was a difficult one. "It was not an easy decision. I gave it a lot of thought. It came back to my gut, and that's what I went with."