Seattle Kraken, Dave Hakstol

Kraken Head Coach Dave Hakstol Gets 2-Year Extension

Dave Hakstol received a two-year contract extension to continue coaching the Seattle Kraken through the 2025-’26 season. He will meet with media on Thursday morning at the Kraken Community Iceplex.

“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,” Kraken General Manager Ron Francis said in a statement. “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.”

At the time of his nomination and following the NHL Awards presentation in Nashville, Hakstol was quick to extol the virtues of his staff.

“I can’t say enough about our staff,” Hakstol told us at the time. “With (assistants) Paul McFarland, with “Leachy” (Jay Leach), with “Lowz” (Dave Lowry), Tim (Ohashi) and Brady (Morgan), those two, the video guys don’t get a lot of of the spotlight, but they sure are a big part of it. And (goalie coach) Stevie Briere was new with us this year and our goaltending really solidified and stabilized, and was a big part of our success throughout the regular season and playoffs.”

Much of the rest of the story from the past two seasons has been told and leads to a contract extension that many considered a foregone conclusion.

Kraken Improvements

Along with all of the impressive statistics relating to defensive play and forecheck effectiveness leading to offense, it was Hakstol’s demeanor that shown through the group. The press occasionally jokes with him about his even keel style, whether it’s not giving up too much information with a cautious approach to the media, or just keeping his cool on the bench, even during times of intense stress.

In other words, the peaks and valleys of emotion are not very steep or deep. His players reflect it. They stayed calm under duress.

Maybe the best example is how well the team handled its unexpected trip to the playoffs. That would be unexpected by the “experts” and the rest of the NHL when the season started.

The 1st-round of the Stanley Cup playoffs featured three one-goal victories for the Kraken over the Colorado Avalanche, including the dramatic Game-4 overtime victory at Climate Pledge Arena. The Kraken opened the 2nd-round against the Dallas Stars with an overtime victory as well.

The combination of a steady hand behind the bench and the veteran leadership from a roster loaded with former Stanley Cup champions paid dividends.

Moving Ahead

Hakstol’s extension comes seven weeks after his boss picked up a three-year contract extension of his own. Francis is on board with the Kraken through the 2026-’27 season.

”We came here to try and build a championship team,” Francis said after humbly and uncomfortably listening to accolades from Kraken co-owner Samantha Holloway and club CEO Tod Leiweke. “We talked about the goals we had as a group and we wanted to accomplish not only in the NHL being as competitive as quickly as we could, but also in drafting and developing from the ground up to get sustainable over time. So that’s still our goal. We want to be a successful organization. We want to win championships and we’re going to continue working until we accomplish it.”

Now Francis locked up his coach. With one more player deal to be announced, everyone will be under contract for the upcoming season and another run at the Cup.

Wednesday Morning:

— Kraken Wednesday: Zany Social Media; Jones Floats

Kraken Head Coach Dave Hakstol with the author of this story following the NHL Awards in Nashville.

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.