The penguins have found the perfect man to rebuild or at least renew the team.
Ron Hextal did an unwanted job for the Philadelphia Flyers. Hired in May 2014, he had the delicate task of revamping the youth bank while keeping the team competitive. An almost impossible challenge.
The Flyers had an interesting nucleus about attacking with Claude Giroud, Jacob Vorak, Wayne Symonds, Bryden Shane and Sean Couturier, but the defense was porous and old. Guardian Steve Mason was good at times, sometimes terrible.
His first sale to the veterans, less than a year after taking office, paid off. He won the 1st and 3rd round picks for Brydon Coburn and the 2nd and 4th rounds for Kimo Timonen.
This abundance of choices in 2015 helped shape two important elements for the team’s future, seventh-place defender Ivan Proforov (now Philadelphia’s number one defender), and Travis Konekney, the club’s top scorer. Last year at 24H Ring.
Ron Hetxall’s best legacy in Philadelphia is still this bold trade: Center Bryden Shane, on the cusp of its 26th birthday, moved to the St. Louis Blues for first-round selections in 2017 and 2018.
The first player named in 2017, Morgan Frost (21), midfielder, remains a high probability. He had 29 points in 41 games in his first professional season last year in the Major League Soccer, and seven points in 20 matches in the National Hockey League. However, he is on the list of sufferers for a long time.
Second, in 2018, winger Joel Farabi, just 20, had a great start to the season with 12 points in 13 games.
The Blues found their account there with Shane, 29, a position capable of producing between 55 and 70 points per season.
The mistake of Hextal and his recruiting partner Chris Pryor was undoubtedly a preference for Nolan Patrick over runners-up in 2017 over Cal McCar, Miro Heskanen and Elias Peterson.
Then Nolan Patrick was said to have developed physically better than others and is able to influence more quickly. The 22-year-old may not have said his last word yet. He returned to the match in January after missing the entirety of the last season. He had five points in 13 games.
The reset was going well, but maybe not fast enough for the owners. Hextall and Pryor were separated in November 2018. Former Minnesota Wilde General Manager Chuck Fletcher inherited an almost complete club.
After missing out on the qualifiers in 2018-19, the Flyers finished sixth last year and reached the second round by eliminating the Canadians. They are 8-3-2 since the start of the season.
The new general manager of the Penguins, backed in the adventure by a new head of hockey operations, Brian Burke, was crystal clear during his first press conference on Tuesday. “We’ll try to make the Pittsburgh Penguins the best team possible this year. We’ll see next. Let’s show how good we can be. We’ll see how our players respond. We’ll adjust along the way. We’ll keep the future in perspective, of course, and we’ll try to mobilize assets here and there. But you have to) You also have a good team. We have owners, Crosby and Letang. We want to be short-term competitors with three of the best players in the world. ”
Free translation: Let’s give this center a chance to win this year and if that fails, let’s start a facelift …
Not many hopes remain in the bank. Former general manager Jim Rutherford squandered the youth and their options to stay in the competition in the short term.
Since 2013, the Penguins have drafted in the first round twice out of eight. Among their picks, Kasperi Kapanen traded to Maple Leafs … and then repatriated this fall with another first round pick.
They don’t have a pick for the first round in 2021 either. Rutherford ceded it to Minnesota Wild to acquire Jason Zucker. They do not have a choice of the third and fourth round. The Shark’s third round was selected last year to have Patrick Marlowe.
The last few picks were traded in the second round, Philip Gustafson, Calin Addison and Philip Hallander. Zachary retires Luzon due to multiple concussions. In short, the hopefully tank is nearly dry.
Hextall has just inherited a four-year contract in Pittsburgh, as well as an elective year. We hope he can reap the rewards of his work this time.
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