Hakstol joins the Flyers after spending 11 seasons at the University of North Dakota.
“Dave brings a wealth of head coaching experience and success to the Philadelphia Flyers organization,” said GM Ron Hextall. “He’s a proven winner and we are pleased to have him become part of the Flyers family.”
The 46-year-old compiled a 289-143-43 while at North Dakota. This past season Hakstol led the Fighting Sioux to a 29-10-3 record and a berth in the NCAA Frozen Four.
“I am extremely excited to be named the Philadelphia Flyers new head coach,” said Hakstol. “Through the process here with Ron [Hextall] and everybody in the Flyers organization I have gained even more of an understanding of the history and tradition of this organization and I’m very proud to become part of the Philadelphia Flyers today.”
For those looking for a connection between Hakstol and Hextall, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman has a couple:
Hextall’s son played for Hakstol, which is the connection.
Hakstol, who also played at North Dakota, has coached 20 players who went on to play in the NHL including Jonathan Toews, Matt Greene and T.J. Oshie.
“I have spent the better part of my professional life with the University of North Dakota hockey program and every day of it has been a privilege,” said Hakstol. “I’ve had the chance to work with and learn from some of the best people in hockey and I’m lucky to be able to call them my friends. I want to thank the staff, players and fans who have helped make this such a special place for our family.”
Hakstol replaces Craig Berube who was fired in April after parts of two seasons behind the Flyers’ bench.
The Los Angeles Kings’ chances of making the playoffs haven’t evaporated, but they certainly have thinned after losing nine of their last 11 games. The contrast between their 2014 Stanley Cup championship and the 2014-15 campaign couldn’t have been starker as the Kings went from visiting the White House on Monday to being shutout tonight.
They might not be the same team that won the Stanley Cup in 2014, but a lot of the players are the same. So what’s holding Los Angeles back? If you ask captain Dustin Brown, he’ll argue that it boils down to a lack of emotion.
“It starts with our emotion,” Brown said, per LA Kings Insider. “I answered that question similarly today. We’re a good team, but it’s hard to win when you don’t play with enough emotion. That’s on an individual level and a collective level. We need everyone to be invested in the game emotionally, and from there we can work on X’s and O’s and all of that, but you need the emotion first.”
On a more positive note, Brown thinks the team still believes in the system and defenseman Matt Greene added that they remain confident. At the same time, their slump has dragged on for about a month now and they’re still dealing with the same issue.
“If guys don’t know what’s going on, then they haven’t been listening,” Brown said. “We’ve had plenty of meetings. We’ve talked about it. At a certain point, you’ve got to stop talking.”
And it would seem that Brown isn’t immune either as Kings coach Darryl Sutter noted the captain’s bad change on Washington’s first goal tonight when reporters brought up Brown’s lack of emotions talk.
Going into tonight’s action, Los Angeles was just shy of a Wild Card spot. They were even with Calgary with 51 points in 45 contests, but the Flames were the ones holding onto a playoff spot thanks to the tiebreaker. The Kings squandered a golden opportunity to get back into a postseason position though, largely due to the efforts of Flames goaltender Joni Ortio.
The 23-year-old netminder was playing in his fourth game of the season as Karri Ramo is sidelined with an upper-body injury. Ortio kicked out 33 of 34 shots tonight, giving him a 1.23 GAA and .958 save percentage. At this rate it will be very tough for Calgary to send him down.
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick matched Ortio for most of the contest and it was Los Angeles’ Matt Greene that was able to strike first midway through the third period:
Sean Monahan, who scored the overtime game-winner against San Jose on Saturday, came up big again with the equalizer 3:32 minutes later:
Dennis Wideman found the back of the net at 4:08 of the overtime frame.
Calgary and Los Angeles are both scheduled to play on Wednesday (against Anaheim and San Jose respectively), so it is still possible for the Kings to enter the All-Star break in the second Wild Card position, but either way the team is in trouble. Los Angeles has won just two of its last 10 contests. The fact that the Kings have gotten five consolation points over that stretch has helped, but that only slowed the bleeding. They need something more.