There were lots and lots of questions surrounding the Philadelphia Flyers at season’s end. One of the biggest questions that faced General Manager Ron Hextall was a question that seems to never go away. Would Dave Hakstol return as Head Coach of the Flyers next season? No, it’s not beating a dead horse, rather it’s a legit question.
Hakstol is a man who was scrutinized for a portion of the season for the orange and black. Rightfully so at times, as he benched the youngsters in Travis Konecny, Nolan Patrick, Taylor Leier, Travis Sanheim, Jordan Weal, Oskar Lindblom and Robert Hagg at times throughout the portion of the season. Not to mention the goalie carousel, and riding Brian Elliott into the ground.
What started as a youth infused season to begin the season. It ended as a season riding the veteran presence. This had some in the City of Brotherly Love upset with Hakstol. However, in Hakstol’s defense sometimes a young player has to be held accountable for their mistakes, especially if it’s happening time after time. It’s the only way to teach a young player to take accountability for their actions.
The proud orange clad fans were promised a season of the youth, not the veteran presence. They knew that it wasn’t about this season, rather it was about next season. This has led to one disconnect between the fans and Hakstol. Is it all Hakstol’s fault? Well, no as a coach he is trying to win as many as games possible, with the best lineup as possible. With Hextall’s support this showed that Hakstol could put the best team out there, regardless if they were the young or not.
With all these factors still lingering in a proud fans mind. The prime question still remained, would Hakstol return as the Flyers coach next season? Well, this past weekend was a good indication that he would return next season as the Head Coach of the Flyers:
Ron Hextall and Dave Hakstol are here at tonight's Phantoms playoff game along with several others from Flyers management.
— Bob Rotruck (@BobRotruck) April 27, 2018
Doesn't look like #Flyers Coach Dave Hakstol is going anywhere at least this off-season that is. #earntomorrow https://t.co/h97Wqo7Crv
— Jamey Baskow (@JameyBaskow) April 27, 2018
If the Flyers were going to make a coaching change or thinking of one. Hakstol wouldn’t have made the trip to Lehigh to watch the Lehigh Valley Phantoms play in their playoff home opener on Friday night. Moreover, Hakstol does have a pretty favorable NHL coaching record in 246 career games coached, while amassing a 122-86-38 record, with a .573 Winning Percentage, and two playoff appearances. With this pretty solid coaching record, hopefully Hakstol can make the Flyers a more consistent hockey team next season.
Flyers fans hopefully we will let bigons be bigons, as Hakstol will enter the 2018-19 season on a short leash. The last three seasons were seasons with minimal expectations. Now with the youth, and the current core of the Flyers still in tacked. Next season will be a good season to judge Hakstol for what he is. This isn’t about rallying the troops, it’s to simply ease a fans mind if Hakstol will return next season or not. One thing is certain Flyers fans, the future is bright in Flyer land.
Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports