Dave Hakstol, former coach of the Seattle Kraken
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Insider reports Kraken players pushed Dave Hakstol out of Seattle

Published April 30, 2024 at 10:48

ESPN's Emily Kaplan is reporting that players with the Seattle Kraken played a major role in getting Dave Hakstol, the first head coach in franchise history, fired

Up to 17 head coaches in the NHL have lost their jobs since the end of the 2022-23 season, and Dave Hakstol was one of them when he was fired from his am to the second round of the playoffs last year. This season, however, he failed to make it to the playoffs, and was let go by GM Ron Francis. Now, we're getting some insight in why the decision was made.

ESPN's Emily Kaplan is reporting that a number of significant players with the Kraken informed Francis they don't want to stay with the team if Hakstol was going to continue to be the coach.

"What I can tell you is that GM Ron Francis did not want to make this move."

"I was told at the exit meetings with players, there were a handful of players, and pretty significant players, who made it clear to management 'I don't want to play on this team in the future if Dave Hakstol is still the coach. That forced them to make a change."

Kaplan did not say what specific problems players had with Hakstol, or who any of the handful of players might be who wanted him out. She did mention that one legitimate candidate for the Kraken's head coaching position is Dan Bylsma, who is currently the coach of the AHL's Coachella Valley Thunderbirds. There was also one other.

"But a lot of scuttlebut I hear around the league is can Ron Francis pry Rod Brind'Amour away from Carolina. That's a situation we wouldn't see come to fruition until the Hurricanes are eliminated from the playoffs."

Brind'Amour and Francis have a long history together as players and then front office staff with the Carolina Hurricanes. Brind'Amour is also on a contract that expires after this season without an extension in place.

"Rod Brind'Amour is going to be a rumored next coach for the Kraken.

His contract is up at the end of this season with Carolina, he's worked with Ron Francis before, and he was rumored to be on Seattle's short list the first time around but weren't able to get him.

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