Ron Hextall ‘all-in' With Newest Flyer Mike Vecchione

You're either "all in", or you're out.
There's no toeing the line, in Ron Hextall's mind.
That's how the Flyers general manager explained Friday morning's signing of Union College centerman Mike Vecchione for the remainder of the season (see story)
"It's one of those things when a guy is in demand," Hextall said. "You want to get in the game or get out of the game. If you're not going to bring him right in, you're out of the game.
"Most teams who wanted him are going to do that. That's the rule. You got to make a commitment."
Vecchione will need at least one practice, Hextall said, and is not expected to play until Sunday -- at the earliest -- in Madison Square Garden against the Rangers.
He is due to arrive in Philadelphia sometime Saturday, hopefully by the morning skate.
"We're excited about it," Hextall said. "We identified a couple of college free agents and Mike was one of them. Thankfully, we got him."
The 24-year-old will play now and burn the one-year of his contract which calls for $925,000 in salary, but will be prorated. He gets his full $92,500 signing bonus.
Hexall cautioned that just because Vecchione is only 5-foot-10 not to underestimate his size in terms of competitiveness on the puck. He is similar to Jordan Weal in that he can win puck battles with his center of gravity and overall strength.
"He's a thick kid," Hextall said. "There is a big difference. Jordan is a thick kid and Mike is a thick kid. I don't like comparing players but there is a difference between a guy who is not huge in terms of thickness and he is a thick kid."
Because he is a restricted free agent, the Flyers have time to re-sign him without worrying about him leaving. Hextall didn't say when contract talks would begin with his agent, Mark Toof.
The immediate question is where Vecchione fits. Hextall sees him as a center even though that position is again rather crowded in the organizational depth chart.
Vecchione doesn't project to be a top two-line center yet, so this could result in him dropping into the fourth line with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare moving to the wing.
"I'll say what I always say: a lot of teams have a lot of centers," Hextall said. "Centers are always the best players coming up typically, so every team ends up having six, seven centermen on the roster that played on the way up. We're no different than any other team.
"I see him playing in the middle. Where? That's going to have to play out. Can he play the wing? Other guys can play the wing. A lot of that's got to shake out. You try a guy in the middle and see how it goes, try a guy at wing and see how it goes."
So what's his ceiling?
"In terms of his ceiling, kids have to come in and show us what they can do," Hextall said. "We have our ideas, but we feel like he'll fit into our group real well."
Because Vecchione went undrafted as a teenager, teams had six years to evaluate his overall skill set. Hextall said it's obvious, at this point, Vecchione has NHL talent.
"No question," Hextall said. "But still, in the end, he has to come in and help us be a better team, right? That's reality.
"Just like everybody else. He's a more finished product than a kid we bring into camp at 18 or 19-years-old, no question."

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