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Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

The Seattle Kraken names Dan Bylsma as the second head coach in franchise history

By meerna Jun11,2024

SEATTLE (AP) The Seattle Kraken named Dan Bylsma their coach on Tuesday, putting the 2009 Stanley Cup winner from Pittsburgh back in charge of an NHL team for the first time since 2017.

Bylsma spent the past two seasons as head coach of the American Hockey League’s Coachella Valley Firebirds, the Kraken’s top team, and returned to the Calder Cup semifinals. He has worked extensively with several top prospects who the franchise hopes will head to Seattle in the coming seasons.

“Dan is a winner with a proven track record of developing both young and veteran players, and his leadership will help our team continue to thrive,” said Seattle General Manager Ron Francis.

Bylsma replaces Dave Hakstol, who was fired after his third season as coach after the Kraken took a significant step back and performed poorly on the offensive end of the ice. Seattle made the playoffs in his second year and gave Hakstol a two-year contract extension, but he was fired before that extension even took effect.

Prior to his career at Coachella Valley, Bylsma spent parts of eight seasons as a head coach at the NHL level with Pittsburgh and Buffalo. He took over the Pittsburgh team midway through the 2008-09 season and helped the Penguins win the Stanley Cup. Pittsburgh made the playoffs in Bylsma’s five seasons after winning the title, but advanced to the conference finals only once in those five trips.

After being fired by Pittsburgh, Bylsma spent two seasons as the head coach in Buffalo before being fired after the 2016-17 season. The Sabers finished seventh and eighth in the Atlantic Division in two seasons.

Seattle finished last season with a record of 34-35-13 and finished fifth in the Pacific Division with 81 points. Although they were solid defensively and played well in goal for most of the season thanks to the combination of Joey Daccord and Philipp Grubauer, the Kraken had a terrible attacking record. Seattle was 29th in the league in goals scored, 29th in shooting percentage and 18th in power play.

Increasing scoring will be one of We’ve Been in Seattle’s main mission. Both teams he coached at Coachella Valley scored easily and achieved significant success. The Firebirds reached the Calder Cup finals in their first season before losing to Hershey in Game 7.

That season, Coachella Valley won the AHL’s Pacific Division and was one of two teams in the league to score the top 100 points. The Firebirds advanced to the Western Conference finals, which begin Wednesday.

In both seasons, the Firebirds finished in the top three in the AHL in regular season goals. Bylsma has also collaborated with artists such as Daccord, Shane Wright, Ryker Evans and Tye Kartye, who will likely play key roles in Kraken’s future.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

By meerna

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