On the Ice With Isaac: Hextall Willing to Deal, Team Not Tanking
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Attention, National Hockey League general managers: Ron Hextall is open for business.
The Flyers’ GM thought at the beginning of the season that he had a team on paper that was worthy of the playoffs. He still thinks that potential is there, albeit unrealized.
With the Flyers clearly not living up to their potential, he’s ready to start making some trades if other NHL teams are interested in what the Flyers have. Even Hextall realizes that may not be much, though.
“There’s not going to be a firesale here,” Hextall said. “We don’t have the so-called UFAs. If something makes sense for us to do, long-term and this year, we won’t hesitate to do it.”
The Flyers realize that at a certain point, changes will come. They understand that they’re an underachieving bunch, but like a student procrastinating until the last minute, they still think there’s time to make the grade.
“I don't think we have a team to be in as much (of) a struggle as we are right now,” NHL points leader Jake Voracek said. “We have a playoff team, no question about it. Obviously I understand what Hexy's saying. It's not like we are the worst team in the league or something. We are still 10 points out (actually, it's 13). It is a lot, but it's been done before. We've got to get on a run.”
And if they don’t, Hextall has vowed to stick with the plan he sold to team chairman Ed Snider and now-president Paul Holmgren. He’s not interested in “mortgaging our future to try and sneak into the playoffs.”
“If 23 guys can’t do it, we’re gonna hold,” Hextall said. “If we can do something between now and the deadline that makes sense for the future if in fact we’re in a bad position, we’ll do it.”
Instead of trading away draft picks, Hextall would like to add a few. The 2015 draft is perceived to be