Dan Bylsma Returns to NHL as Seattle Kraken Head Coach

Press Conference of Seattle Kraken Management Team Announcing Dan Bylsma as Head Coach
Photo via Alison Lukan | ROOTS SPORTS

Dan Bylsma is making his return to the NHL for the first time in seven years as head coach of the Seattle Kraken. This will make him the second head coach in franchise history after former coach Dave Hakstol was relieved of his duties earlier last month.

Bylsma, 53, has spent the past two seasons as the first head coach of the Coachella Valley Firebirds, the Kraken’s AHL affiliate team. In their first season, Bylsma and the Firebirds made it to the Calder Cup Finals after beating the Milwaukee Admirals in the Western Conference Finals. Unfortunately, the Firebirds lost the series to the Hershey Bears.

The Firebirds are again set to play against the Admirals for the title of Western Conference Champion and a spot in the 2024 Calder Cup Finals.

“Dan is a winner with a proven track record of developing both young and veteran talent,” said Ron Francis, General Manager of the Seattle Kraken. “He has had success at every level. He knows the franchise and has worked with several of our NHL players. We are excited to have him behind the bench and guiding our team next year.”

Dan Bylsma smiling in front of Coachella Valley Firebirds background
Kraken Canada via X

Before coaching the CV Firebirds, Bylsma had a short two-season stint with the Buffalo Sabres from 2015 to 2017, where they finished seventh the first year and eighth the following in the Atlantic division during the regular season. Prior to that, Bylsma was head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins for six seasons (2008 – 2014). During this time, he managed to lead the team to a Stanley Cup victory (2009) and landed a spot in the playoffs every year. By the end of this NHL coaching period, Bylsma had coached 565 regular season games and a record of 320-190-55.

Additionally, he was awarded the Jack Adams Award during the 2010 – 2011 season as the league’s most outstanding coach, and three years later, he was named head coach of Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympics, where they finished fourth.

Bylsma’s return to the NHL marks a new chapter for both him and the Seattle Kraken. With an impressive resume and inside knowledge of the up-and-coming players, this was a strategic move for the franchise. With a new head coach in place, the Kraken now faces a busy offseason addressing the challenges of 2023-24.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
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