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Hextall Turned Down Job With Kraken to be Penguins New GM

Ron Hextall turned down a job offer from the Seattle Kraken prior to joining the Pittsburgh Penguins as their new GM.

As per a report by NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, Ron Hextall had a pretty significant job offer on the table before he took the role as general manager with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Seattle Kraken were interested in working with Hextall, but the man now at the helm of the Penguins had other plans.

Related: Future For the Penguins Veteran Stars Under Hextall and Burke…

As part of his latest 31 Thoughts column for Sportsnet, Elliotte Friedman writes:

Hextall had the opportunity for an assistant GM role in Seattle. He declined because he wanted to be a GM. Score one for betting on yourself.

Perhaps that was a bit of a gamble on Hextall’s part considering nearly 20 different applicants were tied to the Penguins vacancy, but good on him for knowing what he wanted and then holding out until he got it. Friedman reports that competition was tight for the Penguins’ job and candidates like John Ferguson Jr., Mike Futa and Mark Hunter among others were all vying for the role.

Friedman adds:

The nine interviews I’m aware of for Pittsburgh were (in alphabetical order) interim GM Patrik Allvin (who returns to his assistant GM role), Burke, Boston’s John Ferguson, Michael Futa, Hextall, OHL London’s Mark Hunter, Jason Karmanos, Colorado’s Chris MacFarland and NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes. Weekes, I believe, got a long look for the role Burke received. It opens more possibilities for him.

Ron Hextall Penguins New GM
Ron Hextall Penguins New GM was offered job with the Seattle Kraken

It Would Have Been a Very Different Job

The Penguins and Kraken are in two very different places. The Kraken will be part of this year’s NHL Expansion Draft and trying to build a winning team from scratch, adding the club’s first players and hoping to be competitive out of the gate. The Penguins, on the other hand, are trying to keep certain pieces and improve their club now. If it doesn’t work, they’ll be looking at a rebuild.

The Vegas Golden Knights showed that expansion teams can be contenders early, but this history of expansion teams is that they aren’t great immediately. Hextall’s skills at the draft would have been an important factor in their success.

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