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The next generation's Hextall is making an impact

September 14, 2011 | 11:36 pm

Kings logo The first hit of Wednesday's rookie game between the Kings' prospects and their Phoenix Coyotes counterparts was thrown by a kid with a familiar name on the back of his jersey: Hextall.

That the Phoenix forward always seemed to be getting a piece of someone and also scored his team’s last two goals in an 8-7 comeback victory testified to the power of genetics.

Brett Hextall, a sixth-round pick by the Coyotes in the 2008 draft, is the son of Kings assistant general manager Ron Hextall. His dad was watching from above as Brett, a 5-foot-10 forward who played three seasons at North Dakota, put the Coyotes ahead, 7-6, and scored again off a scramble during a power play.

Those two goals matched the two his father, a goaltender renowned for his puck-handling ability, scored during his own outstanding career.

“These games don’t count,” Ron Hextall, apparently intent on keeping the family goal-scoring title, said by email.

Brett spent many summers in Southern California after his father joined the Kings’ front office in 2006 and has visited the Toyota Sports Center many times. That made it easy for him to picture where his father was Wednesday.

“I knew where he was sitting because they have that corner where the management sits, but I didn’t let myself look up there,” Brett said of the upstairs perch his dad occupied. “He sent me a text today that said, ‘Don’t make me look stupid.’”

Brett got the laugh he was seeking, then paused. “No, he sent me the text he usually sends me before games that says, ‘Give 'er hell out there. I love you,’” Brett said. “It put me a little bit at ease.

“It was a fun experience, one that I’ll never forget and hopefully he’ll never forget.”

The Hextalls can become the NHL’s second four-generation family. The first was Howie Morenz, son-in-law Bernie (Boom Boom) Geoffrion, Bernie’s son Danny, and Danny’s son Blake, currently with the Nashville Predators. The Hextalls’ NHL lineage began with Bryan Sr., continued with Bryan Jr. and Dennis and was extended by Ron, son of Bryan Jr., with Brett pushing to join them.


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-- Helene Elliott