Fantasy Take: Seattle Name Dave Hakstol First Coach

Michael Clifford

2021-06-24

The Seattle Kraken have named their first head coach. For months now, it was expected to be Rick Tocchet, but those rumours seemed to have fallen apart over the last few days. New names emerged this week, and today the team announced that Dave Hakstol will be the franchise's first bench boss.

What does this mean for the team?

Well, Hakstol really didn't find much success in Philadelphia. Remember that his last full season with the Flyers (2017-18) saw Claude Giroux post over 100 points, Jakub Voracek was a point-per-game player, Sean Couturier was playing at an MVP-calibre, Shayne Gostisbehere had a 60-point season, both Travis Konecny and Wayne Simmonds had 24-goal seasons, and they got bounced in the first round. And they weren't even a good even-strength team! They were basically middle-of-the-pack in the regular season with all that talent, and by expected goals for, they were sandwiched between Arizona and Detroit. By actual goals, they barely outscored Los Angeles.

So when I see the last team Dave Hakstol had, with all that top-end talent all over the lineup, being able to barely be league-average, I have serious concerns about what this means for Seattle. He won't get an MVP Sean Couturier, he won't have a prime Claude Giroux, and he won't have a 60-point defenceman. If he can't get a team with all those players to be average, what is he going to do with a bad roster? Probably what he did during the rest of his tenure in Philadelphia.

This isn't to say that coaches can't learn, and it's hard to pinpoint exactly what went wrong in Philly, though I'm sure Flyers fans have their theories. But all we have to go off is what he's done in the recent past, and all we're concerned about from a fantasy perspective is offence. The players did well offensively because of the power play; they had three players with over 30 PPPs each. That is no