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Fire Hextall, gut senior management and the coaching staff


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Okay,

So the senior management part isn't going to happen, but it needs to.  

 

Get a priest or two and do an exorcism and rid the Flyers of the influence of Clarke and Holmgren.   Then use about 600 cans of lysol to get rid of the stench.

 

Those two combined drove this organization right into the 9th circle of Hell.  And then they're rewarded by moving UP in the organization and stand over Hextall, who therefore cannot acknowledge the mess and gut the team as needed.  No, he has to pretend it's not a complete cluster#### and make changes over 5 years (largely by attrition) while maintaining the delusion of competitiveness.

 

I still believe Hextall has done a terrific job with the farm system and with the prospect pool.  I wonder how much better he could have done had he been able to get higher quality picks by being able to trade Vorazombie or Girabanass.  

 

We would have won the exact same number of playoff rounds and participated in only 2 less over the last 5 years.

 

With that defense of Hextall's job with the farm system/prospects and the built in excuse of the imbeciles before and above him, the coaching staff is squarely on him.  It was worth a shot.  When they were gearing up to s###can Berube, I was on here advocating for them hiring out of juniors or the college ranks (Juniors was my preference).  I had no knowledge of Hakstol at the time, but he was along the lines of what I was advocating for.

 

He's been a dramatic failure that has gotten worse.   Whether it's his insistence or Hextall's, the blind loyalty to the supporting staff of assistant coaches is no longer admirable.  It's a disastrously fatal flaw.   As a group, this staff is not remotely competent.  

 

Combine that with inability to address the 3C, signing Folin instead of an NHL defenseman, and not addressing the goaltending situation in a sober way ALL WHILE SITTING ON AT LEAST $10M IN CAP ROOM-- that is an indictment on the general manager.

 

I don't think many of us--myself included--will like the results of a GM change.  It will likely result in the trading of many of the prospects we've spent some time waiting on.    But this is going backwards fast.   Already, the effects of the shitshow that is the Flyers/Phantoms coaching are showing themselves on Hart.  

 

Gut it.  Cut out the cancer.  Exorcise Clarke and Holmgren.  Fire the GM and his coaching staff, retain the amateur scouts but gut the pro-scouting.  Start over.

 

[/rant]

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As long as the fans don't turn on Gritty everything is gonna be fine.

You gave me a new show idea. The Skating Dead.

The more I'm thinking about this the more I'm coming to the conclusion it's not simply the coach but the result of the coach trying to compensate for the goaltending -- which is ultimately on Hextall.    The centers ARE a mess. And so is Ghost. Why? Because the centers are not staying low in the offensive zone and--Patrick and Coots in particular--not mucking it up in the slot to cheat back to hedge against being caught.    Ghost is doing less going low or pinching much for t

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Can a new coach really change the sum of the parts without actually changing some of the parts?  As I mentioned before - I'd put Voracek at the top of my trade list. 

 

A new management system doesn't make our goaltending any better.  I also don't think there is a coach out there that can actually change the mentality of some of the Flyers players as some of them just play weak most of the time.  They slap off the puck quickly for fear of being hit.  The players play a peripheral game of which I'll bet is not by design.  

 

Have the players quit on Hakstol, yeah likely.  It's an excuse really, they did this last year too until Hextall assured them Hak wasn't going anywhere.  They then took it upon themselves to play with more intensity for fear of being completely embarrassed.  

 

Last year I was against Hakstol being fired.  This year - sure I can be onboard with a coaching change - But it doesn't solve the issues of the parts on the ice.

 

 

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@ruxpin 

 

Excellent post Rux.  I don't have much more to add except I fear several more years of being in the dark ages if/when changes are made.  I know several of us agreed with your assessment about going outside the NHL to find a new coach after the disaster known as Berube.  Hak was an unknown quality at the time and we gave him the benefit of the doubt.  Hak simply has not grown as a NHL coach. 

 

I'm all for the gutting of the ENTIRE coaching staff.  It simply is not working.  Speaking of which, I know I questioned the signing of Knoblauch but was assured that this was a good signing.

 

https://www.broadstreethockey.com/2017/6/7/15754190/kris-knoblauch-hired-assistant-coach-philadelphia-flyers

 

So is this more spoke and mirrors or is he still a decent coach??  After all he was brought here and is coaching the PP which is putrid nowadays.

 

So "IF" we gut the coaching staff....who is out there???

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@hf101

 

I get your POV, however, I will add ..."IF" Hak has lost the locker room, there is no way that this team will respond to anything he says.  A change in coaching is a must.  I will acknowledge the fact that the players must still perform on the ice and that simply has not been happening.  Agree goaltending is a Halloween nightmare and that squarely falls on Hexy's shoulders for not addressing it during the off season.

 

Last point ... can we all agree that it was wise sending Hart to LV and avoiding this sinking ship.  (I know some advocated keeping Hart with the Flyers during the preseason)

Edited by pilldoc
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5 minutes ago, pilldoc said:

I get your POV, however, I will add ..."IF" Hak has lost the locker room, there is no way that team will respond to anything he says.  A change in coaching is a must. 

 

But what sends a bigger message to the players?  Changing coaches or trading away one of the favorited part of the Leadership core?

 

Honestly, I don't care what we'd get for Voracek as in good value or not.

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21 minutes ago, hf101 said:

 

Last year I was against Hakstol being fired.  This year - sure I can be onboard with a coaching change - But it doesn't solve the issues of the parts on the ice.

 

Just quoting the summation. 

 

I don't think we're getting the sum of the parts. I think the sum should be vastly better than this unless I'm under-appreciating just what negative affect the goaltending is having. 

 

Don't get me wrong, I know the goaltending is a large part of it and that's on Hextall rather than Hakstol. 

 

But I can't get past what I witnessed yesterday on unchallenged clear possession plays that had nothing to do with goaltending or getting back to cover, etc. By people we have witnessed play better. 

 

You and I are on the same page with Vorazombie. I can't stand him any more than you can. But that's standing out even more because the rest of it is such a crap show. 

 

I realize the roster still has players like Weise and Lehtera. But the sadistic irony is they've been our best players. Possibly because they're playing for their careers. 

 

Konecny, Couturier, Patrick, Giroux, Ghost. And yes, Voracek. All better than they're showing. 

 

Hextall has to do a better job at the NHL level, but this is the coaching staff. It's been 4 years. It's not a quick trigger at this point. 

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27 minutes ago, hf101 said:

It's an excuse really, they did this last year too until Hextall assured them Hak wasn't going anywhere.  They then took it upon themselves to play with more intensity for fear of being completely embarrassed.  

I wanted to highlight this separately because I think this is valid. 

 

On the other hand, I think it showed talent and work overcame a lousy plan. Until the playoffs when plans matter more. 

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11 minutes ago, hf101 said:

But what sends a bigger message to the players?  Changing coaches or trading away one of the favorited part of the Leadership core?

 

I don't know.  "IF" you had a competent coach then moving/trading your favorite parts of the core would be the better option of waking up this team.  However, what "IF" you have an incompetent, way over his head and fails to make appropriate adjustments type of coach aka Hak? (I am not saying Hak is totally incompetent.  He just has not adjust to the NHL style of play)  After all the players have to have some faith in their coaches.

 

It is a vicious catch-22 cycle I admit with no easy answers.

Edited by pilldoc
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6 minutes ago, hf101 said:

 

Honestly, I don't care what we'd get for Voracek as in good value or not.

You know I'm with you on the one hand.  But he does produce, so I want value coming back.  The thing is, if he were on a team where he WASN'T "the man," and could be held accountable by other vets, he could be a great asset. 

 

We don't have that here, obviously.  So yes, move him.  I think you could get tremendous value if you picked the right team. 

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9 minutes ago, hf101 said:

 

But what sends a bigger message to the players?  Changing coaches or trading away one of the favorited part of the Leadership core?

 

 

I don't think this is simply message-sending time. If it were, the answer is player. 

 

But you're replacing the staff because top down, it just isn't competent. 

 

Same goes for Hextall soon. 

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9 minutes ago, ruxpin said:

On the other hand, I think it showed talent and work overcame a lousy plan. Until the playoffs when plans matter more. 

 

The Flyers roster doesn't measure up the Penguins in any which way you want to stack up the blocks with or without coaching.  

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12 minutes ago, hf101 said:

 

The Flyers roster doesn't measure up the Penguins in any which way you want to stack up the blocks with or without coaching.  

I can't possibly argue against that with a straight face or with any credibility. 

 

On the other hand, the Penguins were ripe for taking and the coach didn't exactly help. 

 

Ultimately, they were simply beaten by a better team. 

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3 minutes ago, hf101 said:

 

The Flyers roster doesn't measure up the Penguins in any which way you want to stack up the blocks with or without coaching.  

 

Now is that really a fair comparison?  Crosby / Malkin / Letang / Murray / (MAF when he was there) etc .....  We as
Flyers fans may hate that team but they have legit superstars ......

 

Lets compare to the newest /current successful phenom ..... Carolina.....

 

Ferland / Aho / Teravainen

Foegele / Staal / Williams

Slavin/ Hamilton

De Haan / Faulk

 

Goalies: Mrazek / McElhinney

 

Coaching Staff:

Rod Brind'Amour -Head Coach

  • Rod Brind'Amour, 47, is in his first year as head coach for the Carolina Hurricanes, after serving as an assistant coach for seven years.

Jeff Daniels - Assistant Coach

  • Jeff Daniels is in his 21st season with the Hurricanes organization, now back behind the bench as an assistant coach, a role he previously held from 2003-08. Daniels most recently served as the manager of pro scouting, assisting the general manager with the evaluation of players in the professional ranks and coordinating scheduling for the team's professional scouts.
  • Prior to being named manager of pro scouting, Daniels served as a pro scout for the Hurricanes for two seasons. He served as head coach of the team's top minor-league affiliates from 2008-15, posting a career AHL record of 268-225-51 in seven seasons with Albany and Charlotte. The Oshawa, Ont., native also served as assistant coach for the Hurricanes on the NHL level for four seasons from 2003-08, helping to guide the team to a Stanley Cup championship in 2006. He also spent time in a player development role for the organization immediately following his retirement as a player in Nov. 2003. 
  • Selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the sixth round, 109th overall, of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft, Daniels played 425 NHL games with Pittsburgh, Hartford, Carolina, Florida and Nashville, winning a Stanley Cup title with the Penguins in 1992 and helping the Hurricanes reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2002. 

 

Mike Bales - Goaltending Coach

  • Mike Bales, 46, is in his first season with the Carolina Hurricanes and his fifth season as a goaltending coach in the National Hockey League.
  • Prior to joining the Hurricanes, Bales served as goaltending coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2013-2017, winning back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 2016 and 2017. Prior to being promoted to goaltending coach, Bales served as the Penguins' goaltending development coach and scout from 2011-2013, helping to scout, draft and develop Matt Murray, who posted 15 wins as a rookie during Pittsburgh's 2016 Stanley Cup run. A Penguins netminder posted at least 30 wins during the regular season in each of Bales' four seasons as goaltending coach, with Marc-Andre Fleury earning Team MVP honors and a spot in the NHL All-Star Game in 2014-15, posting 34 wins and a franchise-record 10 shutouts. During Pittsburgh's run to the 2017 Stanley Cup, Pittsburgh goaltenders combined for a 2.19 goals-against average, .929 save percentage and five shutouts.
  • A native of Prince Albert, Sask., Bales was selected by the Boston Bruins in the fifth round, 105th overall, at the 1990 NHL Entry Draft. He played professionally as a goaltender for 18 seasons before beginning his coaching career, appearing in 23 NHL games with Boston and Ottawa. He also spent time in the American Hockey League (AHL), International Hockey League (IHL) and European leagues in Germany, Sweden and Northern Ireland. Prior to turning professional, he played three seasons of collegiate hockey for Ohio State.

Compare this staff to the Flyers ....... 

 

and yes I know this would be Brind's first stint as a NHL head coach BUT at least he was an assistant for 7 years at the NHL level learning the NHL game......

 

Again I get your POV, I'm just looking at the coaching angle for now ...well aware there is a player responsibility also.

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, ruxpin said:

I don't think this is simply message-sending time. If it were, the answer is player. 

 

But you're replacing the staff because top down, it just isn't competent. 

 

But the same coach and staff had the same Players playing better hockey last season after Hextall told them Hak wasn't going to be fired.

 

In hindsight should Hextall have made a genuine effort to hire Barry Trotz last summer, yeah probably.  The Islanders clearly have our number even without Tavares this season.  

 

And I think most teams have our number.  Giroux will shoot from the left circle.  Ghost will shoot from the center blueline.  Voracek will shoot from the wall or lose the puck.  But are those plays Haks' 1 page playbook, or are they the simple comfort plays of the players to generate a multitude of shots?

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3 minutes ago, hf101 said:

 

But the same coach and staff had the same Players playing better hockey last season after Hextall told them Hak wasn't going to be fired.

 

In hindsight should Hextall have made a genuine effort to hire Barry Trotz last summer, yeah probably.  The Islanders clearly have our number even without Tavares this season.  

 

And I think most teams have our number.  Giroux will shoot from the left circle.  Ghost will shoot from the center blueline.  Voracek will shoot from the wall or lose the puck.  But are those plays Haks' 1 page playbook, or are they the simple comfort plays of the players to generate a multitude of shots?

 

 

Again all great points.   I wish I had answers but I don't.   It could be very possible that we have a coach who is out of his element and players who really don't want to listen and really just want to do their own thing knowing full well there will be no repercussions from the coaching staff.  A very bad mix indeed.

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1 minute ago, pilldoc said:

 

 

Again all great points.   I wish I had answers but I don't.   It could be very possible that we have a coach who is out of his element and players who really don't want to listen and really just want to do their own thing knowing full well there will be no repercussions from the coaching staff.  A very bad mix indeed.

 

 

THIS.  Although I'm not 100% certain Hakstol is completely out of his element.  

I think Hakstol sitting McDonald was step in the right direction yesterday.  

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1 minute ago, Podein25 said:

I knew we would reach the FIRE ALL THINGS phase soon, I just didn't think it would be this soon.

 

LOL ..yeah ..amazing isn't it.

 

It's not the losses .....BUT how they are losing which is what is bringing out the pitchforks so soon.

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50 minutes ago, Podein25 said:

 

As long as the fans don't turn on Gritty everything is gonna be fine.

 

That wont be an issue, he’s the best thing at the arena at the moment and has become well loved overnight.

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This is a great thread.  All the talk about firing Hakstol raises the broader "systems problem," and I don't mean coaching system, I mean the whole nine yards of organization and mindset.

 

If indeed Hak is dismissed, then the aftermath helps to answer the question.  If the team pulls out of the tailspin and makes it to the playoffs, we might say "well, there was talent, it just needed better management." But if we don't, then the question is bigger and uglier.  Pilldoc's post about Carolina, or what I said about Colorado a few days back, is what we need to consider--is there a deeper "rot?" 

 

I am trying to be "fair and balanced."  Ghost and Provo seem to be good payoffs (hopefully) for our drafting.  The same holds for Konecny (I think/hope). What else can we say?  Our young goalies may produce at some point.  Maybe our forward drafts begin to pay off.  But a lot of drafting over the past five years is still a question mark.  And I hate to say it--will any of these forwards be a difference maker/game changer?  Maybe..just maybe, Scott Laughton becomes a decent 3-4 line player.  Good.  But we need more players who can really swing a game and snipe/demoralize the opponent.  Have we snagged one?

 

And I have to agree with what Occam and Pilldoc are saying about "lesser trades/deals," if I can call them that.  Signing Weise to four years was probably no blessing.  All in, keeping PEB and letting Neuvy walk might have helped this team.  As for Folin--shoot, why not let a youngin up and see what they can offer?  Hextall has done a fine job clearing cap.  Maybe he's snagged a good core.  But he hasn't brought in "the role players" who might make the team better.  

 

Bottom line--I think the coming road trip may make or break Hakstol, but this thread raises the issues long-term fans have to ask.  Our patience is wearing thin for good reason.  

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5 hours ago, ruxpin said:

Fire the GM and his coaching staff

 

I'm down with firing the whole coaching staff....all of them...find a new coach and let him hire his guys.

 

I am ok with Hextall thinking outside the box so to speak with a college hire.

 

My biggest concern with Hak and his resume was he had no idea how to win it all.....he could get close but not win it.

 

So it was a big concern that a guy can't win it all regardless the level he was on and now i kind of see why.

 

Then he leaves and ND wins it all.........very strange i have to say....so now yes let's just reboot it.

 

And i would maybe just maybe be ok with hiring Knoblach as coach till the end of the season. Just to see what he can do.

 

With one caveat......he hasto can all the other coaches and see if he can get his guys.

 

And the main and only reason i am going to ok this is because he has won two championships.

 

One with Kootenay Ice in the WHL and then one in the OHL with Erie.

 

So i will give him a look see for the main reason i don't know how much freedom he was allowed to coach the team like he wanted under Hak.

 

So for the rest of the year why not.

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3 minutes ago, OccamsRazor said:

 

I'm down with firing the whole coaching staff....all of them...find a new coach and let him hire his guys.

 

I am ok with Hextall thinking outside the box so to speak with a college hire.

 

My biggest concern with Hak and his resume was he had no idea how to win it all.....he could get close but not win it.

 

So it was a big concern that a guy can't win it all regardless the level he was on and now i kind of see why.

 

Then he leaves and ND wins it all.........very strange i have to say....so now yes let's just reboot it.

 

And i would maybe just maybe be ok with hiring Knoblach as coach till the end of the season. Just to see what he can do.

 

With one caveat......he hasto can all the other coaches and see if he can get his guys.

 

And the main and only reason i am going to ok this is because he has won two championships.

 

One with Kootenay Ice in the WHL and then one in the OHL with Erie.

 

So i will give him a look see for the main reason i don't know how much freedom he was allowed to coach the team like he wanted under Hak.

 

So for the rest of the year why not.

 

I'm okay with all of that.  More than okay.

 

Yeah, I was okay with Hextall thinking outside the box with the college hire.   Like I said, I was advocating for that or juniors.  I preferred juniors, but I was okay with it.  I defended it.   I heard you and some others at the time express concern that he hadn't won.  That definitely gave me pause.  At the time, I chalked it up to that ND just maybe wasn't as big a program or some other handicap (since I don't follow college that closely).  But as you say, they won immediately after he left.   Very strange, and concerning.  It says "right players, wrong plan" to me.

 

Yeah, canning the head coach without jettisoning Lappy and others doesn't get it done.

 

Here's my problem with letting Knoblach finish the season:  We've seen this movie before.   He'll be made interim.  The team will bounce from the firing of the coach--because it's actually a decent team.  The myopic brass will come to the conclusion that it was because of the coach and reward him with making him head coach without the "interim" moniker.  And we'll be having the same exactly conversation in two years because Knoblach's experience on the power play was clearly predictive of his ability as head coach.

 

The best two coaches we've had since 2000 were brought in from the outside and both had pedigree.  Hitch & Lavvy.   I realize Hakstol came in from the outside, but no pedigree.   I'm okay with trying from juniors or college ranks again, but it's the wrong time of year for that. 

 

But I'll try it your way with Knoblach.   I'd prefer the agreement "you're finishing the season, but keep your resume out there."

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Hakstol works hard and expects same from his players. He didn't want to purge the Flyers coaching staff. He could have brought in "his guys" from the University of North Dakota. Maybe he should have. They went on to capture the NCAA championship without him. Hextall could try to turn this thing around by firing the assistants and Hakstol could bring in retired nterim guys like Dean Blais (UND/Nebraska-Omaha), Dave Tippet (Phoenix, now Seattle advisor and or Don Lucia (U of Minnesota). See if this Flyers crew has any pride left.....

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12 hours ago, ruxpin said:

Whether it's his insistence or Hextall's, the blind loyalty to the supporting staff of assistant coaches is no longer admirable.  It's a disastrously fatal flaw.   As a group, this staff is not remotely competent.  

 

Combine that with inability to address the 3C, signing Folin instead of an NHL defenseman, and not addressing the goaltending situation in a sober way ALL WHILE SITTING ON AT LEAST $10M IN CAP ROOM-- that is an indictment on the general manager.

Yes, this offseason put me over the edge with Hextall.  How can you come back with the same coaching staff, especially on the PK?  How can you not address 3C and come away with $10m in cap room?  Seems like a total lack of planning.   Also, this JVR contract will be absolutely despised in no time.  Hextall has been bad at making NHL level moves.

 

 

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