When Hextall took over this team was a disaster, they were in cap hell, and just look at the 2013-14 roster, who would you have kept that he got rid of.
Hartnell was a salary dump, and CBJ had to buy out the last $7M this offseason after 3 years.
Schenn was traded for two reasons, he had failed at center (he's not the kind of center that makes his wingers better, he needs top wings to make himself better, not the guy you want on a rebuilding team), and Hextall loves Morgan Frost, fastest player at the scouting combine who is now tearing it up in the OHL in his post-draft season, supposedly has speed, shot, great ice vision, off the chart hockey IQ.
Other than those two, the guys Hextall got rid of were players like Coburn (3rd pair D-man now), Kimmo, Streit, Vinnie, L Schenn, McGinn, Rinaldo, and got draft picks and Gudas and Weal back for them.
The problem with the Flyers was a deliberate decision by Hextall to blow up the team quietly, so he didn't spend any assets on replacement players, signed some short-term FA contracts (MDZ, Schultz, PEB), Weise is the biggest contract ($2.35M a year), and add some players in trades where he also got draft picks (Filppula, Lehtera). So right now they're thin at forward and really inexperienced on defense.
The first wave of his drafts (starting in 2014) arrives this year and next year (Lindblom, NAK, Vorobyev, Myers),
Next year his 2015 draft will be in the AHL, knocking on the door.
By 2019, the Flyer roster will be loaded, and the AHL roster will be crowded with prospects trying to prove they belong on the big team.
He had a plan coming in, and I think it's always been focused on 2019-20.
This spring he'll probably try to trade Simmonds, Filppula and Manning, and maybe move MacDonald next summer by retaining salary.
At some point, maybe next summer, he'll start trading prospects and draft picks for young starter quality players.