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Role reversal: Flyers reportedly hire Lombardi to work for Hextall

Los Angeles Kings Welcome Back Rob Blake

EL SEGUNDO, CA - JULY 5: (L-R) Assistant general manager Ron Hextall, president and general manager Dean Lombardi, veteran defenseman Rob Blake #4, and head coach Marc Crawford of the Los Angeles Kings pose together after Blake agreed to a two-year contract with the team on July 5, 2006 at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California. Blake was drafted by the Kings in 1988 and played with the team until 2001 when he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

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Here’s a wholly unscientific assumption: things started to go sideways for the Los Angeles Kings when Ron Hextall left then-GM Dean Lombardi & Co. to join the Philadelphia Flyers organization.

Whether accurate or not, the two executives have experienced different paths lately, with Hextall doing a solid job with his Flyers’ rebuild-on-the-fly while Lombardi was fired after winning two Stanley Cup with (and signing some dicey contracts for) the Kings.

Well, it sounds like the pupil will switch roles with the teacher, as The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reports that the Flyers hired Lombardi.

It’s not clear what Lombardi’s title will be; in many cases, teams either use the title “consultant” or dress such a role up with a fancier, corporate-speak-heavy thing to put on an office door.

This marks a full-circle feeling in more than one way, as Lombardi once served as a scout for the Flyers. Considering some of the big trades that took place between the Flyers and Kings, it’s easy to see a pipeline between the two franchises.

While Lombardi experienced some missteps, he also laid the foundation for a strong team in Los Angeles, and brings a robust resume of experience from his time in the NHL.

Broad Street Hockey’s Travis Hughes made the case against the Flyers bringing in Lombardi back in May.