EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Flyers general manager Ron Hextall cut off the question and requested for the key phrase to be repeated.

“Built to what?” Hextall asked.


The rookie GM smiled, now understanding where the line of questioning was going.

“I don’t know that word.”

Hextall’s first season running the Flyers on his own could certainly have gone better to this point. It’s early December, but the Flyers have lost 10 of 11 and shockingly are only six points out of playoff contention.

Perennial cellar-dwellers like the Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers are in the conversation to be contenders for drafting top prospects Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid. The Flyers are starting to creep into that conversation as they slide down the Metropolitan Division standings.

Plenty of blame has been passed around from Paul Holmgren, Hextall’s predecessor who built most of the Flyers’ roster as it stands, to the players and to coach Craig Berube.

“I can say this: there’s culpability from all of us,” Hextall said from the L.A. Kings’ practice facility, where he had an office for seven year as assistant GM. “For myself, Chief, assistant coaches, everybody. Everybody’s in this and we all have to do a better job. And I have no plans on replacing the coach.”

The Flyers have actually played better in their last couple games, which came against some of the toughest competition they’ve faced all year. They lost on a last-minute goal by the San Jose Sharks and dropped a shootout to the Anaheim Ducks.