From now on, I’m posting every unsubstantiated tip I get. Every. One. This is an email I got Friday afternoon from an unknown (but identified) tipster:
I spent the next two hours poking around, searching Twitter (at that point, Hakstol’s name had only been tweeted once, by anyone, in the last seven days), and emailing a Flyers PR rep, who had never even heard of Hakstol. I figured it was just a strange rumor, or that Hextall had talked to Hakstol (names!) because Ron’s son, Brett, played for Hakstol at North Dakota. Fast-forward to this morning– Flyers press release:
Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall announced this morning that Dave Hakstol has been named the 19th head coach in Flyers history.
“Dave brings a wealth of head coaching experience and success to the Philadelphia Flyers organization,” said Hextall. “He’s a proven winner and we are pleased to have him become part of the Flyers family.”
“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.”
Hakstol, 46 (7/30/1968), comes to the Flyers from the University of North Dakota where he spent the last 11 seasons compiling an overall record of 289-143-43 with a .654 winning percentage in 475 games. In 2014-15, he led North Dakota to a 29-10-3 record with a .726 winning percentage and a berth in the NCAA Frozen Four.
North Dakota made the NCAA Tournament in every one of Hakstol’s 11 seasons and reached the Frozen Four seven times in that span, which is the most of any program in the country during that period. Hakstol led North Dakota to an overall postseason record of 54-24 for a .692 winning percentage, including a 17-11 record in the NCAA Tournament, during his tenure.
He joined the school’s coaching staff in 2000 as an assistant coach, and took over the head coaching job four years later. Under Hakstol’s watch, North Dakota won three regular season conference championships – two in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA, 2008-09, 2010-11) and one in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC, 2014-15). North Dakota also won WCHA playoff championships in 2005-06, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12. Hakstol received conference coach of the year honors twice, in the WCHA in 2008-09 and in the NCHC in 2014-15. He was also an eight-time finalist for the Spencer Penrose Award as national coach of the year.
Hakstol’s program has produced 20 NHL players and a total of 46 that have played professionally at some level. His former players include Jonathan Toews (CHI) and Matt Greene (LAK), each of whom have won two Stanley Cups since leaving the school, as well as T.J. Oshie (STL), Travis Zajac (NJD), Drew Stafford (BUF, WPG) and Chris VandeVelde (EDM, PHI). He has also had seven players named Hobey Baker Award finalists, including Ryan Duncan who won the award in 2007, and 11 players named All-Americans.
Hakstol has virtually no experience in major professional hockey: