Bobby Clarke: 'Flyers paying for Ron Hextall's huge mistakes'


The Philadelphia Flyers are a franchise that seems to be headed in the wrong direction and executive Bobby Clarke is putting the blame on former general manager Ron Hextall.

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"He alienated everyone right away," Clarke said of Hextall, who is the current general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins, on the Cam & Strick Podcast. "He shut his door, he locked his doors, he was lost and nobody else was part of it. We get the second pick in the draft and we end up drafting Nolan Patrick. None of our scouts wanted Nolan Patrick. I don't know where Patrick should have gone after his performances...and he's a pretty good player. They wanted [Cale] Makar, of course he went next. Now, he's a superstar and Patrick hasn't played—but Hextall made that choice himself. And there were other choices made in our draft that we're paying for. We've got two or three first round picks that are never going to play. That's why we're struggling, Hexy made some huge mistakes.

Patrick, now 23, was traded to the Predators and then immediately flipped to the Golden Knights last summer. He has been sidelined with multiple injuries, playing just nine games this season.

The host of the podcast also pointed out the Hextall—who was the Flyers' GM to 2014 until November of 2018—gave the Blues Brayden Schenn, as well.

"That was just as bad," Clarke said. "Nobody knew it. Hexy made that on his own. Our scouts were so mad at Hexy for doing that. We also had a chance to get [Ryan] O'Reilly from Buffalo, but we didn't. Obviously, that was the manager's decision. But it was another one that the scouts we're consulted on."

The Flyers are currently 13-15-7 and on their fourth head coach since 2015. They haven't made it past the Eastern Conference semifinals since 2009-10, when they lost to the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Hextall's Penguins are 20-9-5.