As their inaugural season quickly approaches, the Seattle Kraken have finally named their first head coach in franchise history. It was announced this morning that former Philadelphia Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol was hired to lead the expansion Kraken. It was teased last night through the Seattle Kraken’s social media platforms that an announcement would be coming today. Hakstol was also formerly an assistant coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs the last two seasons as well as former head coach at the University of North Dakota. Hakstol while coaching in college helped coach prominent NHL names like Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks) and TJ Oshie (Washington Capitals) reach their goals of playing in the best hockey league in the world.
Introductory Press Conference of Dave Hakstol
It was definitely a surprise to me to see that Dave Hakstol was hired to be the Seattle Kraken’s new head coach instead of Rick Tocchet. All signs and rumors were pointing to Tocchet being the new coach except they all turned out to be wrong. Dave Hakstol is a very solid choice to lead the Kraken as they begin their first season in the NHL. Hakstol had a 134-101-42 regular-season record and a 4-8 playoff record in two postseason appearances in Philadelphia before being fired back in December of 2018.
In college, Hakstol compiled a 289-143-43 record and reached the Frozen Four seven times while he was head coach at the University of North Dakota. Hakstol has a solid and impressive resume throughout his coaching career. He has helped produce thirty NHL caliber players which include Stanley Cup champions in Jonathan Toewes and TJ Oshie. I don’t think Hakstol was given enough of a chance or fair shake while he was the coach of the Flyers as he only coached their for slightly over three seasons. Now he has the opportunity to show how good of a coach he can be if given enough time. Overall, I’d say this was a very solid hire and it will be interesting to see what players the Kraken will pick in the upcoming expansion draft to fit the kind of system Dave Hakstol runs which is a fast paced, and aggressive style of hockey which is I’m sure what GM Ron Francis was looking for.