Dave Hakstol isn’t going anywhere. At least not this season.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Hextall said that Dave Hakstol will be the coach for the rest of this season and beyond.
Hexy: Hak will coach the rest of season. And beyond.
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) December 5, 2017
Hakstol has received a lot of criticism over the past few months, but it has really ramped up over the past few weeks during the Flyers long losing streak. He was brought on board in May of 2015 after firing Craig Berube. Hakstol was a respected coach in the NCAA, and was brought in partially due to his ability to develop young players.
Hextall has reiterated that this is going to be a five or six year process for the Flyers. We are now in year three, with the future looking bright in terms of prospects, but the product on the ice not showing any promise recently.
This isn’t one of those situations where you can absolve blame in Hextall’s quote, because he could’ve not addressed it in that way or simply said “Dave Hakstol is the coach.” You have to now believe that Hakstol is one of the best options out there, as many other coaches share his same flaws. There is also the fact that firing Hakstol, or placing the majority of the blame on him would be sending a message that the players are playing well enough, which they are not as of the past few games.
The players know that they have to be better. They stood by Hakstol after a closed-door meeting, and Shayne Gostisbehere summed it up best when he said “it’s fucking brutal” after Saturday’s loss.
Hopefully this could be Hextall sending a message to the players that they need to get better and the coach won’t be the first one to go if things continue down this path. But we’ll have to wait and see if this is a bluff. For now it looks like Dave Hakstol is here for the long haul.
(Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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