Seattle Kraken appoint Dan Bylsma as their second head coach.

The Seattle Kraken’s hiring of Dan Bylsma as the franchise’s second head coach on Tuesday brings two promising aspects.

Bylsma, a former Stanley Cup-winning coach with extensive postseason experience, is a significant asset for a relatively new expansion team that has made the playoffs only once in its first three seasons. Additionally, his current role as the coach of the Kraken’s AHL affiliate means he is already familiar with the team’s prospects.

“Dan is a winner with a proven track record of developing both young and veteran talent, and his leadership will help our team as we move forward,” said Kraken general manager Ron Francis.

This is Bylsma’s first NHL head coaching job since 2017. He replaces Dave Hakstol, who was dismissed on April 29 after the team experienced a 19-point drop from its lone playoff season in 2022-23, missing the playoffs by 17 points.

Bylsma, 53, has a 320-190-55 record as an NHL head coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres. He also led Team USA to a fourth-place finish at the 2014 Olympics.

He was promoted from the AHL to the NHL as a replacement for the fired Michel Therrien in the 2008-09 season, going 18-3-4 down the stretch and guiding the Penguins to their third NHL championship. He led Pittsburgh to five more playoff berths before being fired in 2014. His tenure with the Sabres from 2015-17 was less successful, with seventh and eighth-place finishes before he was let go.

After serving as an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings and spending a season in the AHL, Bylsma was named coach of the Coachella Valley Firebirds in 2022. The Kraken affiliate reached the Calder Cup final in his first season and has made the conference finals this season. The Firebirds’ roster includes forward Shane Wright, the Kraken’s No. 4 overall pick from the 2022 draft.

With Bylsma’s hiring, only the San Jose Sharks currently have a head coach opening. Recent coaching changes include the Los Angeles Kings removing the interim tag from Jim Hiller, the New Jersey Devils naming Sheldon Keefe as coach, and the Winnipeg Jets promoting Scott Arniel. Earlier, the Toronto Maple Leafs hired Craig Berube, the Buffalo Sabres appointed Lindy Ruff, the Ottawa Senators selected Travis Green, and the St. Louis Blues removed the interim tag from Drew Bannister. Additionally, Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour agreed to a multi-year extension.