A Fan Favorite

Today is the 47th birthday of Ronald Jeffrey Hextall. Best known for his years as a goaltender for the Philadelphia Flyers, Hextall is now the Vice President and Assistant General Manager of the Los Angeles Kings. If that weren’t enough, he also acts as the General Manager for the Kings’ AHL primary affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs. Hextall was a third generation professional hockey player. His grandfather, Bryan Hextall, had an 11-year Hall of Fame career with the New York Rangers in the ‘30s-‘40s and his father, Bryan Hextall Jr., had a 10-year career in the pros, most notably with the Pittsburgh Penguins. One of Hextall’s sons, Brett, was drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes in the ’08 Entry Draft, and if he plays in the pros, he will become just the second 4th-generation player in NHL history.

 

Hextall was born in Brandon, Manitoba, a town roughly 60 miles north of the Canadian border above North Dakota. He was drafted 119 overall (6th Round) by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1982 Entry Draft. He wouldn’t make his first regular season appearance until the ’86-’87 season, when he started the season opener against the Edmonton Oilers (winning 2-1). Over the course of the next 13 seasons (11 with the Flyers), Hextall would revolutionize the position of goaltender.

 

Until Hextall, few goaltenders left the net to actively stick handle the puck. His aggressiveness to leave his crease, and essentially act as a 3rd defenseman, paved the way for the likes of current goaltenders like Martin Brodeur and Marty Turco. Hextall’s stick-handling led to him being the first goalie in NHL history to score a goal, and he currently shares the NHL record for most goals by a goaltender, including playoffs, at 2 (Martin Brodeur also has 2). His aggressiveness also carried over into the penalty department. Hextall currently holds the NHL record for most penalty minutes in a single season by a goaltender with 113. In fact, in each of his first 3 seasons, Hextall would earn at least 100 penalty minutes. Hextall would also be suspended for at least 6 games on three separate occasions during his career. In his rookie season, Hextall led the Flyers to the Stanley Cup finals. Despite losing to the Wayne Gretzky/Mark Messier lead Edmonton Oilers in a seven game series, the league awarded Hextall the Conn Smythe Trophy for Player Most Valuable to his team during the playoffs. Hextall also won the Vezina Trophy in his rookie season, an award voted on by all the leagues’ GMs and awarded to the NHL’s Most Valuable Goaltender.

 

Hextall’s # 27 jersey was retired by the Flyers on February 6th, 2008. He currently holds team records for most career games (489), most career wins (240), most career playoff wins (45), most career points by a goaltender (28) and most career penalty minutes by a goaltender (476). Happy Birthday Ron!

 

 

May 3, 2011 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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Playoffs...You're talking Playoffs?

The 2010-2011 NHL regular season has officially come to an end, and the playoff schedules have been set. Here is how we think the playoff race will shake out.

 

Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Matchups:

(1)   Washington Capitals vs. (8) New York Rangers

(2)   Philadelphia Flyers vs. (7) Buffalo Sabres

(3)   Boston Bruins vs. (6) Montreal Canadiens

(4)   Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (5) Tampa Bay Lightning

 

Western Conference Quarterfinal Matchups:

(1)   Vancouver Canucks vs. (8) Chicago Blackhawks

(2)   San Jose Sharks vs. (7) Los Angeles Kings

(3)   Detroit Red Wings vs. (6) Phoenix Coyotes

(4)   Anaheim Ducks vs. (5) Nashville Predators

 

Eastern Conference Semifinals Matchups:

(1)   Washington Capitals vs. (5) Tampa Bay Lightning

(2)   Philadelphia Flyers vs. (3) Boston Bruins

 

Western Conference Semifinals Matchups:

(1)   Vancouver Canucks vs. (7) Los Angeles Kings

(2)   Detroit Red Wings vs. (5) Nashville Predators

 

Conference Finals Matchups:

(2) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (5) Tampa Bay Lightning

(1) Vancouver Canucks vs. (2) Detroit Red Wings

 

Stanley Cup Finals Matchup:

(5)   Tampa Bay Lightning vs. (2) Detroit Red Wings

 

Stanley Cup Winner: Detroit Red Wings

 

How do you think the 2011 NHL playoffs will finish out?

 

 

April 11, 2011 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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Flyers and Canadiens Trivia

 

So you may think you know your team's history, but do you?  Check out the Flyers and Canadiens trivia questions below and drop some knowledge on your friends when you watch the game tonight.

  1. How many times did the Flyers reach the Stanley Cup Finals during the 1980s?  The Philadelphia Flyers reached the Stanley Cup Finals 3 times during the 1980s. The first time was in 1980 when they were defeated by the Islanders. They returned in 1985, and unfortunately were defeated by the Oilers. Then, in 1987, they faced the Oilers again for a second time and lost.
  2. Which Flyer’s forward led the team in goals during the 2001-2002 regular season? Simon Gagne. Gagne scored 33 goals and had 33 assists during this season.
  3. Who was the first Flyer to be inducted into the Hall of Fame?  Bernie Parent.
  4. Bobby Clarke and Reggie Leach were both teammates on what junior hockey team before being drafted to the NHL? Flin Flon Bombers.
  5. Dave Schultz was known for his aggressive hockey style and getting involved in numerous fights – what was his nickname?  The Hammer.
  6. Who was the coach of the Canadiens during the later 1970s when they won 4 Stanley Cups in a row?  Scotty Bowman.
  7. What name are the Canadiens also known as by their most loyal fans?  Habs.  
  8. This Canadiens goaltender was the first Canadien to wear a fiberglass face mask in the early1960s. Who was he?  Jacques Plante.
  9. This player was left winger for the Montreal Canadiens from 1972 to the 1984-85 season. He wore number 22 and scored over 400 goals for Montreal. Who was he?  Steve Shutt. Shutt played on five Stanley Cup champion teams and scored 60 goals during the 1976-77 season. Overall he scored 408 goals.
  10. Only two players in the Montreal Canadiens history have ever scored 6 points in a single playoff game. Who were they?  Guy Lafleur in 1977.  The first player to do it was Dickie Moore. On March 25, 1954, Moore scored two goals and four assists in the semi-final game against the Boston Bruins. Montreal won that game 8-1.

 

May 18, 2010 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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