Flyers GM Ron Hextall’s Q&A Part I
The first in a two-part series.
The Flyers open the on-ice portion of training camp on Sept. 15 with rookie camp beginning on Sept. 11. General manager Ron Hextall will have some tough decisions to make. Before those calls have to be made, he sat down with Flyers reporter Dave Isaac to go over a variety of topics.
DI: Everybody knows you’ve got prospects coming and there will be competition for several spots in camp. Is there a particular roster battle you’re most curious about?
RH: No, not necessarily. I’m staying very open minded. Obviously in the end we’ve got to make the decision, but it’s really up to the players to compete for spots that are available. May the best man win. I’m excited about training camp because you saw (Travis Konecny) and (Ivan Provorov) last year and now all of a sudden this year is that next stage and the year after…it’s an exciting time for us and the organization and I’m sure all the kids.
DI: You’ve got a lot more established bodies up front than on defense. I know you had talked about bringing a defenseman in on a tryout. Have you gotten anyone yet?
RH: No, we don’t have anybody yet. We have some feelers out there. We’ll see what happens there. We’re not going to bring someone in for the sake of bringing someone in. He’s got to be a guy that we feel can play if need be. We’ll see where it goes, but we’re continuing to monitor the market.
DI: At the same time, the only way a tryout player is getting a contract is if two rookies fall on their faces, right?
RH: If two rookies fall on their face, a combination of that player’s play as well. If it makes us a better team that’s a different story. We don’t want to close the door on our kids. We want to give them an opportunity. We’ve reached the point where kids have earned the right to get an opportunity. That’s where we feel a number of our kids are at.
DI: When you’re trying to read that market of players that haven’t caught on with anybody yet, are there players hesitant to sign in the NHL this season because they think they have a chance of playing in the Olympics since the NHL isn’t going?