Seattle Kraken, Oliver Bjorkstrand

Kraken NHL Monday: Roadie Starts, Coach Fired, All-Star Draft

When the Kraken see the Minnesota Wild, their potential adversary for a Western Conference playoff wild card spot from the Central Division, they’ll be seeing a different look. Dean Evason was fired as the head coach of the club on Monday amidst a seven-game losing streak.

Assistant coach Bob Woods was also fired.

“Dean did an excellent job during his tenure with the Minnesota Wild, especially as head coach of our team,” Wild President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Bill Guerin said in a statement. “I am very thankful for his hard work and dedication to our organization.”

“I would also like to thank Bob for his hard work during his time as an assistant coach with the Wild,” said Guerin. “I wish Dean, Bob and their families all the best in the future.”

The Kraken first host the Wild this season on December 10th.

Kraken Roadie

For now the Kraken are hitting the road, which has been friendlier than the Climate Pledge Arena this season. Seattle owns a 4-3-and-4 record outside of Washington state, while stumbling to a 4-6-and-1 mark at home.

First stop; the Chicago Blackhawks and phenom rookie center Connor Bedard. As entertaining as he’s been, the Hawks remain a team in a rebuild. They’re 6-and-13 on the season for 12 points in the standings, the 2nd fewest in the NHL.

Bedard leads the league in rookie scoring.

After Tuesday night’s visit to the Windy City, the Kraken cross the border and head to a Thursday night tilt against the mysterious Toronto Maple Leafs. Mysterious because they should probably have a better record than 10-6-and-3. As we pointed out Sunday (same link as the Bedard click), offense isn’t really the problem, at least from their top-6 forwards.

After the stop in T.O. the calendar flips to December before Seattle visits the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens on Saturday and then Monday.

A 3-and-1 roadie would make the team and its patrons very happy.

By the way, winger Oliver Bjorkstrand and defenseman Vince Dunn share the team lead in points right now with 19 each.

All-Star Shenanigans

According to a story in the league will go back to its fun NHL All-Star Game draft for the festivities in Toronto this season.

The experiment proved to be a lot of fun when they first tried it back in 2011. Designated captains for each side drafted players for their teams one-by-one. Each was introduced and came down out of a gallery of seats.

Phil Kessel won a car for being picked last. Many of the players were sipping cocktails as the proceedings unfolded, only adding to the humor.

NHL turned Maple Leafs executive Brendan Shanahan, a Hockey Hall of Famer as a player, and league executive Steve Mayer talk about the origins of the idea. There’s a certain pond hockey, “pick teams” flavor to it, so why not.

The All-Star weekend will begin with the draft on Thursday, February 1st and celebrities will help the captains make their picks this time around.

Recent Kraken Biggies:

— Simmer’s Sunday 9: Roadie, Head Slash, Trade Rumor

— Seattle Kraken Suffering Through Reality Check

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.