Before the Washington Capitals take on the Philadelphia Flyers tonight at the Wachovia Center, goaltender Ron Hextall will become the 19th player inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame.
Hextall was drafted in the 6th round of the 1982 draft by the Flyers behind superstar goalies like Mario Gosselin, Dave Meszaros, Shawn Kilroy and Dave Ross. In his first year in the NHL during the 1986-87 season, Hexy led the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Finals only to lose in seven games to the powerhouse Edmonton Oilers of the 1980's. Hextall tallied 37 regular season wins that year (a career high) and brought home a Vezina Trophy for best goaltender of the year as well as the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP despite losing.
Ron would go on to play five more seasons in the orange and black before he was traded with Peter Forsberg and a bevy of other players and picks to Quebec in 1992 for the one and only Eric Lindros. Hextall's tenure north of the boarder was short as he was sent to the Islanders a little less than a year later. By 1994 Hextall was back in Philadelphia.
Hextall would go on to play five more seasons in Philadelphia, including another Cup run in 1997 only to get swept by Detroit, before he called it a career. Hexy won 240 games for the Flyers, eight more than Hall of Famer Bernie Parent.
Whether it was his goaltending skills, his leadership, toughness or ability to shoot a puck into an open net from 128 feet away, there is no denying that Hextall is deserving of this award.
Even if you despised him or the way he played, we all have a memory of the craziness and love he brought to the game.