Kraken Bylsma, Coach York

Seattle Kraken Bylsma’s Coaching Pedigree Runs Deep

Kraken Dan

The Seattle Kraken’s new head coach Dan Bylsma, who continues his work Wednesday night leading the Coachella Valley Firebirds of the AHL in Game-1 of the Calder Cup western conference final, benefited from the very best in coaching influences as far back as 35 years ago.

That’s when Bylsma played wing for legendary coach Jerry York, a 2019 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, at Bowling Green State University in northern Ohio. York won one NCAA national championship with the Falcons, before moving on to win four more with his alma mater and hometown Boston College Eagles.

Bylsma played four seasons under York at BG, a time he remembers fondly, playing with other future NHLers like Nelson Emerson, Marc Potvin, and Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Rob Blake.

York, who led his Eagles in scoring as a collegiate center in 1967, would be considered one of the ultimate “hockey lifers”. The only Division-1 college coach with more than 1,000 wins, remains committed to his former players, years and even decades later, as indicated by Bylsma during his introductory press conference in Seattle on Tuesday.

“He’s texted and we’ve texted back two or three times in the last eighteen hours,” Bylsma said, “and so that ability to establish a relationship and keep a relationship going, coach York is the best at it. He must text a million people, he texted me three times yesterday, he texts hundreds and hundreds of other people in the game of hockey and people that’s he’s coached.”

“He texted me about Dan,” Kraken General Manager Ron Francis interjected.

Bylsma continued to laughs with the anecdote seen below …

His Jerry York and Bowling Green experience was not a bad way to start a hockey career, and as we’ve seen from Bylsma over the years, not a bad way to learn how to treat people. One genuine, successful individual left his mark on another.

Earlier Kraken:

— Seattle Kraken: ‘Disco’ Dan Bylsma The Right Man For The Job

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.
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