During Saturday Headlines it was reported that the Leafs assistant coaches might be pursuing better opportunities elsewhere, and today we’re getting a bit of an idea around Dave Hakstol’s better opportunity…
One name that has surfaced as a possibility for the head coach job with expansion Seattle is that of Dave Hakstol, the former Flyers HC who was assistant coach with the Maple Leafs this past season….@TSNHockey @TheAthletic
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 24, 2021
Kraken expected to name their first coach today. Hearing it is not Rick Tocchet. They’ve kept us guessing, but among other recent interviews whose name has not been out there: TOR assistant Dave Hakstol.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 24, 2021
Darren Dreger added that “all signs are pointing to this” and Chris Johnston has noted that there were multiple interviews between Hakstol and the Kraken, so basically by the time I finish writing this sentence, I expect that it will be have made official.
Hakstol has been largely responsible for the Leafs defense turnaround in the past couple of seasons, and as a former head coach of both the Flyers and the University of North Dakota, it seemed likely that he would try to find a new head coaching gig if the opportunity ever presented itself. It looks like it has.
Given the familiarity with the Leafs, and in particular, the Leafs blueline, this could make for an interesting expansion draft scenario as there are probably very specific Leafs that Hakstol would be excited about, and perhaps in contrast to what the expansion draft work to date that has been done by the Kraken organization.
This also means that the search for a new assistant coach begins for Kyle Dubas, and might I humbly suggest Bruce Boudreau. Though I’m sure I’ll put a bit more thought into the topic once the ink is dry of Hakstol’s contract with the Kraken which amazingly hasn’t happened while I end this post. I guess I’ll have to give it five minutes before I come back and edit this with an update.