NHL Notebook: Kraken fire head coach Dave Hakstol and Jets’ Dillon remains out with hand injury

Seattle Kraken Dave Hakstol
Photo credit:Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
4 days ago
The Seattle Kraken’s inaugural head coach is no longer with the club as Dave Hakstol has been fired three years after he took over the reins of the NHL’s latest expansion franchise.
The move was announced Monday and will also see the team part with assistant coach Paul McFarland.
“I thank Dave for his hard work and dedication to the Kraken franchise,” Kraken General Manager Ron Francis said in a statement. “Following our end-of-the-season review, we have decided to make a change at our head coach position. These decisions are never easy, but we feel this is a necessary step to help ensure our team continues to improve and evolve.”
Hakstol becomes the 17th head coach to lose their job since the end of last season, highlighting how little job security coaches have these days. In fact, there have been three coaches this season who lose their jobs before extensions kicked in, with Hakstol joining Todd McLellan, Lindy Ruff and Don Granato.
All four will be looking for new jobs, joining Jay Woodcroft, Craig Berube, Gerard Gallant, Dave Evason, and David Quinn, among a litany of other options.
While the Kraken struggled in their inaugural season, they took a huge step forward in 2022-23, finishing the year with a 46-28-8 record for 100 points, and fourth place in the Pacific Division. They squared up with the defending Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the playoffs, winning the series in seven games, before falling in the second round to the Stars in seven games.
Seattle regressed this year, losing 19 standings points with a 34-35-13 record, finishing fifth in the Pacific.

Dillon remains out due to cut

A scary scene broke out in Colorado in Game 3 of the Avalanche’s series against the Jets when Winnipeg blueliner Brenden Dillion suffered a nasty cut to his hand.
It happened in a post-game scrum, which continued at length after the final whistle ended the game, resulting in Dillon’s hand being cut by a skate blade. It kept him out of the lineup for Game 4, and Jets bench boss Rick Bowness said Monday he would miss the fifth game of the series, too.
Vladislav Namestnikov, meanwhile, wasn’t ruled out for the series after he took a slapshot to the side of the head, leaving him with a broken left cheekbone. There was no orbital bone damage, Bowness said, adding he would fly to Denver with the team Monday.


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Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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