Why Seattle Kraken Hired Dan Bylsma: Stanley Cup Winning Coach Brings Experience and Promise

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Discover why the Seattle Kraken hired Dan Bylsma as their new coach. Learn about his Stanley Cup-winning experience, success with the Coachella Valley Firebirds, and his ability to develop young talent. Find out how Bylsma’s leadership can transform the Kraken’s future.

Why Seattle Kraken Hired Dan Bylsma
Why Seattle Kraken Hired Dan Bylsma

After a challenging 34-35-13 season in 2023-24, the Seattle Kraken have decided to make a significant change in their coaching staff. The franchise is expected to name Dan Bylsma as the second coach in its history, a decision that has garnered much attention in the hockey community. This appointment, anticipated to be officially announced at a news conference, marks a pivotal moment for the Kraken as they aim to build on their young but promising history.

Bylsma’s Coaching Legacy

Dan Bylsma, 53, is no stranger to success in the NHL. His most notable achievement came in 2009 when he led the Pittsburgh Penguins to a Stanley Cup title after taking over as head coach with just 25 games left in the regular season. Bylsma’s impact was immediate and profound, transforming a struggling team into champions. In recognition of his exceptional coaching, he was awarded the Jack Adams Trophy in 2011, an accolade given to the league’s best coach. Over his tenure with the Penguins, Bylsma amassed a commendable 320-190-55 record, solidifying his reputation as one of the top tacticians in the sport.

Experience with the Kraken Organization

Bylsma’s connection to the Kraken is not entirely new. For the past two seasons, he has been at the helm of Seattle’s AHL affiliate, the Coachella Valley Firebirds. Under his guidance, the Firebirds reached the Calder Cup Finals in 2023, narrowly losing to the Hershey Bears in a thrilling seven-game series. This success continued into the 2024 season, with the Firebirds once again making a deep playoff run. Bylsma’s experience with the Firebirds has given him valuable insight into the Kraken’s organizational structure and player development pipeline.

Youth Development Expertise

One of Bylsma’s key strengths is his ability to develop young talent, a skill that will be crucial for the Kraken as they look to build a sustainable winning culture. During his time in Pittsburgh, he played a significant role in the development of superstars like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang. His track record with young players is impressive, and the Kraken have several promising prospects, including Matty Beniers, Shane Wright, and Jani Hyman. Bylsma’s experience and success in nurturing young talent make him an ideal fit for a team looking to build for the future.

Strategic Acumen and Game Planning

Bylsma’s tactical prowess is well-documented. His game plans are known for their meticulous attention to detail and adaptability. This strategic acumen will be vital for the Kraken as they navigate the highly competitive Western Conference. The Kraken have a roster brimming with talent, including players like Jared McCann, Oliver Bjorkstrand, and Vince Dunn, who were instrumental in leading the team to a 100-point season not long ago. With Bylsma’s leadership, there is a strong belief that the Kraken can harness this talent more effectively and translate it into consistent success on the ice.

Immediate and Long-term Impact

The hiring of Dan Bylsma is expected to have both immediate and long-term benefits for the Kraken. In the short term, his presence brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective that could provide the spark needed to turn the team’s fortunes around. The Kraken are eager to return to playoff contention, and Bylsma’s winning pedigree could be the catalyst for such a resurgence.

Looking further ahead, Bylsma’s emphasis on player development aligns perfectly with the Kraken’s vision of building a team that can compete at a high level for years to come. His familiarity with the organization’s young talent and his proven ability to elevate players’ performances bode well for the team’s future.


The Seattle Kraken’s decision to hire Dan Bylsma as their new head coach is a bold and strategic move aimed at bringing the franchise to the next level. With a Stanley Cup championship and a Jack Adams Trophy on his résumé, Bylsma’s credentials speak for themselves. His experience within the Kraken organization, combined with his expertise in developing young talent and strategic game planning, make him an excellent choice to lead the team.

As the Kraken prepare for the upcoming season, the excitement and anticipation surrounding Bylsma’s appointment are palpable. The team and its fans are hopeful that this new chapter will usher in a period of sustained success and perhaps even bring the ultimate prize—a Stanley Cup—to the Emerald City. With Dan Bylsma at the helm, the Kraken’s future looks brighter than ever.

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