Ronald Jeffrey Hextall (born May 3, 1964) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey goaltender who played 13 National Hockey League (NHL) seasons for the Philadelphia Flyers, Quebec Nordiques, and New York Islanders. He served as assistant general manager for the Flyers for one season, and was promoted to general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers, replacing Paul Holmgren on May 7, 2014. Before this he served as assistant general manager for the Los Angeles Kings, who won the Stanley Cup in 2012.
Hextall played 11 of his 13 seasons over two stints with the Flyers. He holds several team records and is a member of the Flyers Hall of Fame. During his rookie season in 1986–87, he was awarded the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender and led the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Finals. Despite the Flyers’ loss to the Edmonton Oilers in seven games, he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs’ most valuable player, making him one of only five players to win the trophy in a losing effort. Injuries in the middle of his career contributed to a drop in his playing ability; as a result, he was traded on three occasions in the off-seasons between 1992 and 1994 to the Quebec Nordiques, the New York Islanders and then back to the Flyers. Upon his return to Philadelphia, Hextall regained confidence and form, recording goals against averages (GAA) below 3.00 in each of his five subsequent seasons – the lowest of his career. He retired from the NHL at the end of the 1998–99 season.
Hextall became the first NHL goaltender to score a goal by shooting the puck into the opponent’s empty net, against the Boston Bruins in the 1987–88 season. The following season, he became the first goaltender to score in the playoffs, by shooting the puck into the Washington Capitals’ empty net. His mobile style of play, in which he provided support to his defencemen by coming out of the goal area to play the puck was revolutionary, and inspired future generations of goaltenders, such as Martin Brodeur. He was also known for being one of the NHL’s most aggressive goaltenders: he was suspended for six or more games on three occasions, had more than 100 penalty minutes in each of his first three seasons, and set new records for the number of penalty minutes recorded by a goaltender in the NHL.