Just about a month before the NHL expansion draft and more than two years after the league awarded a team to the Emerald City, the Seattle Kraken has announced who will lead the franchise in its inaugural season.
Former Philadelphia Flyers coach Dave Hakstol, who most recently served as an assistant focusing on defense and penalty kills for the Toronto Maple Leafs, is the first coach in Kraken history.
Arriving in Seattle with more than 26 years of coaching experience, Hakstol made a name for himself with the junior hockey Sioux City Musketeers before becoming an assistant at his alma mater, the University of North Dakota in 2000.
Four years later, Hakstol became the coach of the Fighting Hawks, where he led the team to seven Frozen Four appearances in the NCAA tournament in 11 years. Hakstol then made the jump to the NHL with the Flyers, reaching the playoffs two times in three seasons.
What to know about the Kraken’s coach
Name: Dave Hakstol
College: North Dakota
Hometown: Drayton Valley, Alberta, Canada
Notable: In 277 games coaching the Flyers, Hakstol went 134-101-42, amassing 310 points. … Despite leading Philadelphia to the postseason in 2015-16 and 2017-18, Hakstol is still searching for his first playoff series win, crashing out in the first round both years. … He went 289-143-43 in 11 seasons as coach of North Dakota … Noted for his experience working with younger players, both at college and professional levels
Quotable: “Experience is valuable. The first time around I had the opportunity to be in this spot I had a great deal of experience working with real good players, working with very dedicated, motivated players, working with great coaches, but I hadn’t had the experience of working at the National Hockey League level. There’s a different rhythm to the National Hockey League in almost every realm — from the 82-game schedule to the pace of the daily business to on ice and the pace of the game. Experience is very valuable, there are a lot of things that I solidified and were really cemented in terms of my philosophies, but there are other things where you grow, you learn, and you develop. All of those experiences, not just over the last six years, all of my experiences are very valuable in terms of how I apply those going forward, especially with the opportunity here to work with (Kraken general manager) Ron (Francis) and work with the Kraken.”