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Seattle Kraken Add Two Assistant Coaches

July 6, 2021, 6:02 PM ET [4 Comments]
Sean Maloughney
Seattle Kraken Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Kraken announced on Tuesday that they had hired two assistant coaches to join franchise first head coach Dave Hakstol; Paul McFarland and Jay Leach. MacFarland and Hakstol have a connection through the Toronto Maple Leafs, as both served as assistant coaches for the team through the 19/20 NHL season. McFarland was supposed to coach the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL but unfortunately due to the cancellation of the season that never occurred. This was a position that McFarland had held for three years between 2014-2017 where the team did hold a winning record.

The Kraken also added another head coach from a development league in Jay Leach of the Providence Bruins. Leach served as head coach for the past four seasons. According to Hakstol, Leach will be in charge of the defensive core while McFarland will have more responsibilities with the forwards and the powerplay.

Looking more into Leach, I think this is a really good move and with the right buy in could be a huge asset for the Kraken in limiting their chances against. Over the past four seasons the Providence Bruins have regularly been among the best in the league in limiting their goals against despite the changes in the roster.

McFarland meanwhile had the experience of working with some of the best forwards in the league in Toronto and while he was with the team the Leafs had a top 10 powerplay at 23.08%. This season, despite having essentially the same personnel on the PP the Leafs dipped and finished 16th in the NHL on the PP at 20%.

The other part I like about these adds are these give the Kraken two men who have had their finger on the pulse in the AHL and OHL for the past few years and should bring some valuable information and perspective on certain players that could be worth selecting in Expansion Draft, or options that the team could pursue either in free agency or trade. All of these moves signal to me that the Kraken are going to be focusing on building a team through the draft, arguably far more than what the Vegas Golden Knights ended up doing.

What say you, what are your thoughts on these two new hires?
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