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Kraken announce extension for head coach Hakstol

Dave Hakstol Seattle Kraken Dave Hakstol - The Canadian Press

Dave Hakstol is staying in Seattle. 

The Seattle Kraken have agreed to an extension through the 2025-26 season with their head coach, the team announced on Wednesday. The terms of the contract were not made public. 

Hakstol led the young franchise to its first ever Stanley Cup Playoff appearance this season, where they also became the first NHL franchise to eliminate a defending Stanley Cup champion in their inaugural postseason appearance.

He was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, which is given annually to the best coach in the NHL, after he boosted the Kraken from 30th with 60 points in 2021-22 to 12th with 100 points last season. 

"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," said general manager Ron Francis 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," he continued. 

"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."

The Kraken used a deep lineup to create offence regardless of which line was on the ice this year - their 13 skaters with at least 10 goals tied the Edmonton Oilers for tops in the NHL, and their 18 players with 20 or more points were the best in the league. 

"As a staff we take pride in the reflection of (what our group did) in terms of how 'all in' our guys were," Hakstol said.  

Hakstol, 54, served as head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers from 2015 to 2019, where he qualified for the playoffs twice. He has led the Kraken since their inception, and has a career NHL head coaching record of 207-178-56, including a record of 73-77-14 with the Kraken.