Philly Sports Live

Flyers name North Dakota’s Dave Hakstol as new head coach (Puck Daddy)

The Philadelphia Flyers went outside the box in replacing Craig Berube. On Monday morning, it was announced that GM Ron Hextall hired University of North Dakota head coach Dave Hakstol as the team’s newest head coach. From the Flyers :  “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 was 289-143-43 in 11 seasons at North Dakota, reaching the Frozen Four seven times. ( Not quite a “no-name,” Philly Inquirer .)  According to the Grand Forks Herald, he groomed 20 players who reached the NHL, including Jonathan Toews, T.J. Oshie and Brock Nelson. He also coached Hextall’s son, Brett, from 2008-2011. Following “Badger” Bob Johnson and Ned Harkness, Hakstol is the third head coach to jump to the NHL from the NCAA without any prior experience in the league, according to College Hockey, Inc . Hakstol played in the IHL from 1992-1996 then moved into coaching where was an assistant and later a head coach in the IHL and USHL. He moved on to North Dakota as an associate coach before taking the head job from Dean Blais in 2004.  With Mike Babcock saying he wants to make a decision on his future by Wednesday, it was interesting to read that the Flyers weren’t among the teams to ask for permission to speak with the Detroit Red Wings head coach as of Monday. Hextall didn’t fly to Prague to attend the World Championships last week as other coaching candidates like Todd McLellan and Dan Bylsma were over there meeting with GMs. Now we know why he remained stateside.  Price certainly wouldn’t have been an obstacle for Flyers owner Ed Snider, and we’ll likely get an answer to the Babcock question later Monday when Hextall and Hakstol meet the media. – – – – – – – Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Sean_Leahy MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY: