While the Flyers are thriving under interim head coach Scott Gordon, their old coach still won’t discuss his firing or the events that led up to it on Dec. 17.
Dave Hakstol arrived in Stockholm as part of an exchange program set up by the NHL Coaches Association, and politely declined to speak on the record about what went down between himself and new Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher.
“I haven't talked about it and I'd rather not do it now either. I haven't talked to anyone in the media about it, and it would be unfair if I did this,” Hakstol said, speaking with Swedish hockey website Hockeysverige.
Unlike former general manager Ron Hextall, who met with reporters shortly after his firing, Hakstol has declined all media requests since he was relieved of his duties over a month and a half ago.
Hakstol and his family still reside in the Haddonfield, New Jersey, area, but this week the former Flyers coach is spending time in Sweden as he follows and shadows Swedish head coach Rikard Grönborg during the Beijer Hockey Games.
“When I was fired in Philadelphia, I wanted to continue to be active,” Hakstol told the Swedish website. “We are coaches and we coach. It is our lives. I wanted to find different opportunities and be with different people and different coaches, see different things and different ideas.
“Hockey is hockey. There are new and different ideas all the time. There are various ways to be successful. For me, it is an opportunity to be learning something new from good people and maybe discover something new that can work for me. That's what this is.”
There’s no idea what Hakstol’s next move might be, whether it’s an assistant job with another NHL team or perhaps returning to coach at the NCAA level, but according to his old GM, he has league-wide respect.
“Dave Hakstol is one of the hardest-working people I know,” Hextall said. “He’s got a lot of respect around the league. You’d be shocked when I talk to my colleagues how much respect he has. He’s a good coach.”
Hakstol has one more year remaining on a five-year contract that pays him $2 million annually, so any interest in the former Flyers coach between now and the end of next season would require permission from the organization.
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