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Seattle Kraken hire Dave Hakstol as first head coach in team history

Former Philadelphia Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol (C), shown Dec. 28, 2016, served as an assistant coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs over the past two seasons. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Former Philadelphia Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol (C), shown Dec. 28, 2016, served as an assistant coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs over the past two seasons. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

June 24 (UPI) -- The Seattle Kraken have named Dave Hakstol as their first head coach in franchise history.

"I view it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of something that we have an opportunity to build from the ground up," Hakstol said during his introductory news conference Thursday.

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"Communication is going to be very, very important, not only over the next few weeks of building the roster, but from there, it's planning on how everything fits together."

The 52-year-old Hakstol previously coached the Philadelphia Flyers for three-plus seasons before being fired in the 2018-19 campaign. He served as an assistant coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs for the past two seasons.

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When the Flyers hired him in 2015, Hakstol -- a former longtime coach at the University of North Dakota -- was the first head coach to make the jump from the NCAA to the NHL in more than three decades.



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The Kraken will begin play next season as the NHL's 32nd franchise. The NHL will hold its expansion draft July 21 under the same rules as when the Vegas Golden Knights entered the league in 2017.

"It's really about building with good quality people to begin with, building it the right way," Hakstol said. "Making sure that we're building not only a team that can come out of the gate and play with a lot of pride, passion and have success, but also work toward building the depth of the organization for not only that early success, but to have that sustainable success."

Hakstol posted a 134-101-42 record during his time with the Flyers. He guided the team to the playoffs twice, though they were eliminated in the first round in each appearance.

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The Kraken also considered former Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet and ex-New York Rangers coach David Quinn for the position, among others.

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