VORHEES, N.J. (AP) — Former Philadelphia general manager Ron Hextall said he was stunned the Flyers fired him this week, despite their losing record. Hextall, a former Flyers goalie, was fired Monday after 4 ½ seasons on the job. "I didn't see this coming in any way," Hextall said Friday. "I was shocked. I was stunned, yeah." The Flyers are 10-12-2 and in last place in the Eastern Conference under coach Dave Hakstol headed into Saturday's game at Pittsburgh. Flyers President Paul Holmgren said he fired Hextall because it had "become clear that we no longer share the same philosophical approach concerning the direction of the team."
Hockey in the NHL is a far different game than it was 45 years ago, when the Broad Street Bullies ruled the ice with their fists. In the 1970s, the Philadelphia Flyers had guys like Dave ''The Hammer'' Schultz, Bob ''The Hound'' Kelly and Andre ''Moose'' Dupont to not just beat opponents but beat them up, too. The current Flyers may still carry the ''Bullies'' nickname but they are hardly bullying anyone: They are one of only two teams in the NHL that has not been assessed a fighting major a quarter of the way through the season.