Kraken hire Dave Hakstol as 1st head coach

Len Redkoles / National Hockey League / Getty

The Seattle Kraken announced Dave Hakstol as their first head coach in franchise history Thursday.

Hakstol had been an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs since 2019, and he previously served as the Philadelphia Flyers' head coach. Before breaking into the NHL in 2015, Hakstol coached the University of North Dakota.

"Tracking back to (his) University of North Dakota days, Dave is a coach who cares about his players," general manager Ron Francis said. "At times, a coach's messages can get diluted. Players want to understand what the coach wants them to do. Dave communicates clearly and concisely. Players like that."

Francis and Hakstol worked together for Team Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Championship. Francis revealed Thursday that the Kraken interviewed eight head coaching candidates, some more than once, according to's Nick Cotsonika.

Hakstol had a 134-101-42 record as the Flyers' coach across three-plus seasons. He was mainly in charge of running the Maple Leafs' defense during his time with Toronto.

The 52-year-old will be able to build his own coaching staff with the Kraken.

Seattle's inaugural season will be the 2021-22 campaign. The expansion draft is scheduled for July 21.

Kraken hire Dave Hakstol as 1st head coach
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