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Former Flyers Coach Dave Hakstol Earns Contract Extension With Kraken

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Seattle Kraken coach Dave Hakstol. AP Photo: Gene J. Puskar
Seattle Kraken coach Dave Hakstol. AP Photo: Gene J. Puskar

From afar, we knew former Philadelphia Flyers coach Dave Hakstol was having a successful season with the Seattle Kraken.

Even with Kraken games starting too late, we knew Hakstol’s team was doing something special.

After a 100-point regular season, eliminating the defending champion Avalanche in the playoffs and taking the Stars to seven games, Hakstol was rewarded with a two-year contract extension Wednesday.

Hakstol, 54, orchestrated the Kraken’s 40-point improvement in his second season in Seattle. Under Hakstol, the Kraken were 27-49-6 in his first season, not horrible for a new franchise. The Flyers, for perspective, were 25-46-11 that same season. Seattle went 46-28-8 this past season.

“We are building something special here in Seattle. We have a committed staff, a great group of players and an incredible fanbase,” Hakstol said in a news release.

“We took a lot of positive steps last season and we have much more to achieve. I’d like to thank Ron Francis, Tod Leiweke, as well as Samantha Holloway and the Kraken ownership group, for their continued faith in me.”

Fired In Philly

Hakstol was fired in his fourth season in Philadelphia. He was hired by Ron Hextall out of the University of North Dakota. The Flyers made the playoffs in two of his three seasons. His record in Philadelphia: 134-101-42.

Hakstol’s firing came 31 games into his fourth season. The Flyers were riding a four-game losing streak on a Western Canada trip. They were 12-15-4. More notably, especially in hindsight, Hakstol was fired only two weeks into the tenure of new general manager Chuck Fletcher.

Hakstol was one of three finalists for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s best coach. Hakstol finished third behind former Flyer Jim Montgomery, of Boston, and the Devils’ Lindy Ruff. Montgomery played 13 games over two seasons with the Flyers. He also played three seasons with the Phantoms.

After being fired in Philly, Hakstol was an assistant coach for the Maple Leafs for two years before Kraken general manager Ron Kraken hired him as the franchise’s first head coach.

“We believe we are heading in the right direction with Dave as our head coach and it was important to show that confidence with this contract extension,” Francis said in a news release.

“Dave and his staff have done a great job of creating a close-knit, team-first mindset in our locker room and their work ethic helps set the tone for our team.

“Dave helped guide this team to a 40-point improvement and was a Jack Adams finalist for coach of the year. That recognition is well deserved.”

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