Fine, then: Hextall approved Flyers’ holiday travel despite CBA violation

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The salary cap keeps NHL spending fairly even, but the league’s richer franchises can stomach other bills that others might not stomach.

That often translates to more front office spending, yet one cannot help but wonder if the Philadelphia Flyers thought that friendlier holiday travel would be worth whatever CBA-related fines the NHL might send their way.

In case you missed it, Philly violated Article 16.5(b) by traveling during a three-day period (Dec. 24-26) in which travel wasn’t allowed, as their team plane reportedly departed from Nashville at 8:24 p.m. ET on the 26th.

GM Ron Hextall took the fall for such a thought process, as he told CSNPhilly.com on Sunday.

“We were aware of the rule and certainly accept the league’s decision,” Hextall said. “I was approached by the players and after giving it some thought, it was pretty hard not to allow them the best possible chance to win the game, given the fact they have shown the commitment that they want to do something that is best for the hockey club.

“In the end, we were willing to accept the consequences.”

If the extra rest has given the Flyers any kind of boost, it’s been … subtle. After all, they’ve lost all five games since returning from the holiday break, only managing one standings point in the process. About the only good news is that they’re traveling back to Philly on Saturday for a four-game homestand.

Hextall didn’t divulge the details regarding the price of the fine – the range is pretty wide as it could be as low as $10K and as high as $100K – but it sounds like the Flyers are comfortable lying in that bed.

Their opponents might have been griping if they actually won games, particularly close to that “extra break,” though.