On Monday, the Seattle Kraken made the decision to relieve head coach Dave Hakstol of his duties
Photo credit: La Presse

In depth look at Kraken Parting Ways with Head Coach Hakstol

Published April 29, 2024 at 7:50 PM

Less than a year after securing a contract extension, Seattle Kraken coach Dave Hakstol, who was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award in 2022-23, was dismissed by the team on Monday.

The Kraken concluded the 2023-24 season with 19 fewer points and missed the playoffs by 17 points. The season was marked by a slow start, a 13-game point streak, an eight-game winless streak, a nine-game winning streak surrounding the Winter Classic, and another eight-game slide in March.

"We seemed to be up and down moreso this year than we had been," general manager Ron Francis said in a news conference.

Francis described the decision to change coaches as a challenging one and emphasized that he didn't believe the players had stopped responding to Hakstol.

"They worked hard for him. We just didn't get he results that we wanted," Francis said.

He mentioned that the quest for a replacement coach would commence promptly, although he didn't specify a timeframe for the hiring process.

Hakstol was initially appointed as the inaugural coach for the expansion Kraken. In their debut season in 2021-22 as the NHL's 32nd team, they concluded with a record of 27-49-6, placing last in the Pacific Division. However, they demonstrated significant progress in the subsequent season, elevating their point total by 40 to reach 100 points, thereby securing a playoff berth in only their second season.

Following their remarkable postseason performance, they surprised the hockey world by defeating the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Colorado Avalanche, in the opening round. However, their journey was halted by the Dallas Stars in a hard-fought seven-game series during the second round.

In recognition of his contributions, the Kraken honored Hakstol with a two-year contract extension last summer, extending his tenure through 2025-26. Nevertheless, Seattle's regular-season performance this year fell short of expectations, culminating in a record of 34-35-13.

"We had a real good season last year, probably better than we expected, and our staff did a good job and they got rewarded for it," Francis said. "This season didn't go as well as we hoped and then you got to look at things and make decisions at the end of the season."

Additionally, the Kraken announced the departure of assistant coach Paul McFarland, who was responsible for overseeing the NHL's 17th-ranked power play, from the coaching staff for the upcoming season.

Hakstol's dismissal marks the third coaching change in the NHL since the conclusion of the regular season, following the Buffalo Sabres' decision to part ways with Don Granato and the San Jose Sharks' dismissal of David Quinn. The Sabres have since appointed Lindy Ruff as their new head coach.

Source : Seattle Kraken fire coach Dave Hakstol after giving him an extension last summer
April 29   |   80 answers
In depth look at Kraken Parting Ways with Head Coach Hakstol

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