[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This was written for The Broad Street Bully, a blog and podcast my friend Drew and I started based off of our mutual interest in the Philadelphia Flyers. See it on http://broadstreetbully.net.]
One of the more subdued moves Hextall did this offseason was resign Ryan White (the hockey player, not the kid with AIDS) for one additional year.
White, while not getting much playing time due to injuries and Lecavalier taking his spot on the fourth line (Just kidding. But not really.) showed his grit when he did get shifts. White brings the energy and big hits of Rinaldo, without the dumb penalties. His up tempo play should work nicely with Hakstol’s new, speed based, approach to coaching the team.
And White has a decent enough scoring touch for a fourth line guy when he gets the chances in the offensive zone.
Ignoring that this is from when he was on the Canadiens, it shows what White can do when things are going well.
Also, what Flyers fan could forget when he rearranged Matt Moulson’s face?
One more year for him? Sure. Let’s see what he can do. He’s a better choice than Rinaldo, if only because he’s not a penalty mark. Face it. Rinaldo was watched every time he stepped on the ice. And if he sneezed wrong he picked up a roughing penalty. Hextall getting Boston to take him (and to get a third rounder in return) is a solid pickup for a guy that a lot of teams aren’t usually going to take a chance on. It looks like the Flyers just got lucky that the Bruins lost Lucic and needed to replace some toughness.
Hextall’s good fortune also turns into Ryan White’s good fortune. Getting ice time only makes players better, regardless of their skill levels. And Hextall is going to let Ryan White do his thing piloting the the fourth line.