Looking back at the wild career of Ron Hextall

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer

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Ron Hextall returned to the Philadelphia Flyers organization on Monday, taking over as the team's new assistant general manager and director of hockey operations.

Hextall had previously held a similar position with the Los Angeles Kings since 2006 and seems to be on the fast track to becoming a general manager in the NHL (perhaps even in Philadelphia at some point?).

He spent the majority of his playing career with the Flyers and is, to this day, one of the best goalies the team has ever had. His return to the organization is the only excuse that we needed to remember his wild playing days (that, and it's the middle of July and it's a fun thing to do).

Hextall won the 1987 Vezina Trophy and added the '87 Conn Smythe though the Flyers lost the Stanley Cup Final to Edmonton in seven games. Along with his ability to stop a lot of shots, he brought an incredible level of physicality to the position and rewrote the record book when it comes to goalies and the penalty box. In each of his first three seasons in the NHL, he tallied at least 100 penalty minutes. Hextall was suspended multiple times over the course of his career and still holds the career record for most penalty minutes by a goalie with 584. There's nobody else even close.

You can get an idea for how that happened when watching this three-minute YouTube video that is simply titled, "Ron Hextall Violence."

The only thing missing from that clip: the time that he chased Pittsburgh Penguins forward Rob Brown around the ice after Brown celebrated a power-play goal in the playoffs.

Hextall also scored two goals -- one in the regular season and one in the playoffs. He was the first goalie to actually shoot a puck into the other net (other goalies had been credited with goals, but none had physically scored on their own).

Perhaps my favorite image of Hextall's career, however, had nothing to do with anything that he did during a game, but rather what he did in this mid-1980s Canada Dry Ginger Ale commercial.

This might more terrifying than anything in the above clips.

 
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