Updated: 7:42 p.m.
VOORHEES, N.J. -- Will Ron Hextall replace Paul Holmgren as general manager of the Flyers next season?
Club chairman Ed Snider said on Friday afternoon that whatever happens between now and next fall when training camp opens, Holmgren will be part of the decision-making process, but that job titles in the hockey ops department could change.
Holmgren said later in the afternoon he wants to return as GM next season.
Snider said he would meet with Holmgren, who has one year left on his contract, soon to discuss his future role.
“Of course Paul will be back,” Snider said Friday at Skate Zone. “Basically, he's the head of our hockey operations. The job he did I think was excellent. Not too many guys would have guts enough to fire a coach after three games.”
When pressed specifically about what role Holmgren will have next year, Snider said the Flyers' front office is in the process of “analyzing everybody's title” and that Holmgren will “be the head of hockey operations” before offering a wry smile.
Snider did concede that assistant general manager Ron Hextall was brought in to one day succeed Holmgren as GM.
“Paul brought in Hextall. ... That's why he was brought in [to become GM]. He didn't come in to stay assistant GM forever, but that doesn't mean tomorrow. But I've got to sit down with Paul.
“I expect our operation to be solid, good hockey men. We have a lot of people that are analyzing this entire situation.”
It’s Holmgren's call ... so long as he and Snider agree.
“It’s really Paul’s call. All I have to do is endorse it,” Snider said. “If I don’t agree with him, then we have a behind-closed-door discussion.”
There have been several general manager openings this season, and even this past week, that Hextall would have been a logical candidate for.
Yet his name has not and does not come up. Why? Sources inside and outside the Flyers say it’s because Hextall is going to be the next GM in Philly and it could happen this summer.
Asked if he wanted to remain GM, Holmgren said, “Yes. I’m the one who brought Hexy back. He’s an excellent resource in our organization, a tremendous hockey man.
“I have no question he is ready to be a general manager at any point. We’ll see how it goes. I’m certainly not in any position today to change chairs.”
Snider was observing Holmgren’s remarks from the back of the room at Skate Zone where the new conferences took place.
If Vancouver or Washington called and asked to speak to Hextall, would the Flyers allow it?
“I don’t have to if I don’t want to,” Holmgren said. “If that were the case, for me, you do the right thing. Is that the right thing? Yeah.”
Ironically, Hextall’s other title is exactly as Snider called Holmgren: director of hockey operations.
If a change is made, it’s entirely possible the two men switch titles, with Holmgren also taking on the vacant title of “club president.”
Peter Luukko, who left Comcast-Spectacor this past winter, was the previous club president.
Snider said he thought Holmgren did an “excellent” job with the Flyers this season.
In assessing the Flyers' current roster, Snider gave the team a "B" and stated that he was pleased with the team's core but does believe the team needs some “several tweaks.”
MONTREAL — It was at least a point in the taking.
A valuable point against the best team in the Eastern Conference, being preserved for the Flyers by goalie Steve Mason.
Despite an outstanding road effort and 30 saves from Mason, it wasn't enough Monday night at Bell Centre as Les Canadiens defeated the Flyers, 3-1 (see Instant Replay).
“We were right there, same as other games this year in the third period,” Jakub Voracek said. “We got scored on from the power play. It happens.”
Brendan Gallagher’s tip at 13:08 on the power play was the difference. Thing is, Boyd Gordon, who won 10 of 12 draws, cleanly directed the draw but it went right to Shea Weber — a faceoff loss — with Alexander Radulov unleashing a wicked shot.
“Sometimes you go against a righty and get jammed and it was more towards their winger,” Gordon said. “I bumped it back. A mix-up up top. Too bad because the PK was good.”
The Flyers have nothing to be ashamed of after Monday's effort. They deserved a better fate. If they continue to play like this, the victories will come.
“I thought Mase played really well but I thought our team played really well,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. “We didn’t have to steal anything. Our team played a real solid road game and it always starts with your goaltender.”
Mason had four point-blank shots he denied in this game.
“We definitely wanted to come in here and get two points and it’s disappointing with the loss,” Mason said. “Nice thing is, we can get right back at it tomorrow [against Buffalo].
“It was a close game overall and both teams had chances to go ahead. They capitalized on a couple bounces there and that’s the ebbs and flows of the game. They found a way to win and we didn’t.”
On the game-winner, Mason was expecting the one-timer from Weber but instead the former defenseman, who came over during the summer in a controversial trade for P.K. Subban, gave it off to Radulov.
“He shot it and I had a good line on it,” Mason said. “Gallagher was able to get his stick on it there and it changed directions on me.”
Curiously, Montreal had four power plays in this game to the Flyers' one despite the evenness of play across the board with the exception of the slot, where Montreal had better chances.
Sean Couturier’s tripping call on Torrey Mitchell was inadvertent, setting up the crucial late power play.
“It was a pretty well-played third period,” Hakstol said. “Tough penalty we ended up getting called on.
“Not much Coots could do. He was dragging his stick to break up the play. It’s a penalty when the stick goes between the legs.”
The Flyers owned much of the second period. While Mason handled a number of rushes right into the crease, he was felled by a point drive from Weber that stanza.
Weber’s shot was so hard it broke Brayden Schenn’s stick. Yet, the simple truth was Mason was screened out completely by Andrew MacDonald.
Eleven of the Flyers' 13 shots on Carey Price came via five-on-five play that period, most of it contained in the period’s latter third when they were rewarded.
Voracek had a ferocious shift with an open shot in the slot that Price denied, but he kept the puck alive and earned his third goal with a tip of Claude Giroux’s drive from the high slot to make it 1-1.
Voracek has three goals in six games during this first month. He didn’t get his third goal last season until Dec. 19 at Columbus — 33 games.
“Second period is usually the most offensive one,” Voracek said. “It’s too bad we only generated one goal.
“As a game on the road in a tough building against a team that [has lost once], we can be happy the way we played.”
MONTREAL — Nothing like coming off a win against a weak opponent like Carolina and then having to face the No. 1 club in the East.
Still, that was the Flyers' task Monday night at Bell Centre against Carey Price and the Canadiens during a very well-played 3-1 loss.
Dave Hakstol’s Flyers gave the Canadiens all they could handle and deserved a point.
Brendan Gallagher’s power-play tip broke a 1-1 tie at 13:08 of the third period.
Jakub Voracek’s second-period tip was his third goal in six games. It took him 33 games last season to score three. That unit with Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny created chances all night. On the goal, however, Claude Giroux had come onto the ice for Couturier as part of a change.
Steve Mason had a terrific pad stop on Paul Byron’s first-period breakaway up the left side of the ice. Phillip Danault drove the net twice on Mason from great distance to force a stop. That sequence was repeated too often. Shea Weber’s point shot in the second period shattered Brayden Schenn’s stick, but Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald blocked Mason’s vision in the paint and it became a goal. Mason had several point-blank saves in this one. If not for those, it would have been a rout.
The Flyers' first one was brutal. They managed just one shot while the Habs cleared the puck four times. The Flyers didn’t get another power play.
Couturier had a block at the point near the end of one PP. However, he could not get his stick cleanly on it while being trapped by two Canadiens as he tried to come up ice. If the puck had squirted cleanly out of the zone, he might have had a breakaway. The Habs were 1 for 4 on the power play.
Wayne Simmonds, after coming out of the box for serving a holding call early in the game, nailed Habs defenseman Andrei Markov along the side board with a cross check that sent the defenseman face-first into the boards. That will be reviewed. Markov stayed down to sell the penalty that never came. Alexander Radulov rattled Nick Cousins that period, as well, and was called for interference.
Radko Gudas (suspended) and Dale Weise (suspended). Scott Laughton (knee), Michael Del Zotto (knee) and Michael Raffl (abdominal pull).
The Flyers are playing back-to-back games and will host the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center. This is the Flyers' second set of consecutive games since the season began on Oct. 14.