How dealing Vincent Lecavalier & Luke Schenn became Hextall’s best trade to date

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Well folks, here we are deep down in the trenches of the least exciting part of any hockey fans year. It’s mid-August and legitimately interesting hockey news is hard to come by. So in an attempt to make these grueling times slightly more bearable, let’s revisit one of Ron (the magician) Hextall’s most exciting, how-the-hell-did-he-pull-that-off moves to date!

On January 6th, 2016, Hextall did something even the most devoted and naive of Flyers fans thought was impossible: he traded Vincent Lecavalier. After two full seasons of floating in and out of the Flyers line up, the often ridiculed Lecavalier finally had the constant trade speculation that surrounded him come to fruition. The legendary center found himself headed to Hollywood in a package that included fellow underachiever, Luke Schenn. In return for the pair Hextall was able to secure a third round pick and a young, relatively unknown AHLer, which at the time seemed like a fairly decent haul for what was essentially a player dump.

From the day the deal was signed it felt like a win for Hextall and the gang, so the eventual rise of the aforementioned AHLer, Jordan Weal, only sweetened the pot. Last season, to the absolute pleasure of anyone who wants to see the boys in orange and black succeed, Weal was given a shot to prove he belongs on the big squad. For too long he was stashed in the minors and written off as a perennial AHL-type guy, and he used his opportunity to show the Flyers’ brass that very fact. Weal, scoring 12 points in 23 games, managed to pull together an impressive showing, even stringing together a four game goal streak.

Suddenly he had went from a player very few put much worth into, to a hot commodity in the free agent market. After some negotiating and due deligence on Weal’s part in hearing his other suitors out, Hextal landed his guy at a modest 1.75 AAV deal; no doubt a big win for the Flyers. Weal adds grit and high-effort to a group who at times lacks both those things and also fills one of the team’s biggest positional needs on the wing. He seems too good to be true and could be a great asset for the team long term if he rises to his full potential, and if not, he will at the very least be a great placeholder until some of our highly-touted prospects are ready to make the jump to the big show.

Weal is just another on the list of miraculous moves Hextall has managed to make during his tenure as GM. Finding out where he will slot into the line up and whether or not he will find chemistry with one of our rookie talents will be one of the best storylines of the 2017-18 season. A guy line him is special in that he could essentially find himself on any line from first to fourth, a trait thats truly invaluable. I personally can’t wait to find out whether Jordan is the “Weal Deal” or not, and if you ask me I’d bet he has a huge year for our boys in orange. Hindsight is 20/20, good thing Ron Hextall wears glasses (and may or may not be able to see into the future).

 

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

 

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