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November 10, 2016

Happy 20th anniversary to the insane Ron Hextall-Felix Potvin goalie fight

It’s amazing how far Ron Hextall has come, now the calm and methodical general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers. Since taking over after the 2013-14 season, the 52-year-old has mostly cleaned up a messy situation he inherited in a manner that has impressed Flyers fans and outside observers alike.

Twenty years ago today, Hextall was in between the pipes for the Flyers playing a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. And boy, “calm” is probably the last word you would use to describe him here. As the clock was ticking down at the end of the third period, a brawl broke out near the Toronto net.

At this point, Hextall made the executive decision to skate the full length of the ice and get in on the action:

A fan poll on has the brawl scored almost dead even, and The Hockey News ranked it as the greatest goalie fight of all-time. Here is what Potvin told the Toronto Star a few years ago:

“The only thing I remember is being dead tired,” Potvin said. “At the end, we were holding each other and just trying to catch our breath.”

“I did pretty good, but there was no judge to tell who won and lost.”

The Flyers went on to reach the Stanley Cup Finals that season.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann