3 reasons why Seattle Kraken could regret making Dan Bylsma their next head coach

Syndication: Desert Sun
3 reasons why Seattle Kraken could regret making Dan Bylsma their next head coach

The Seattle Kraken are set to name Dan Bylsma as the club’s second coach, The Hockey News reports.

Bylsma has an extensive track record. He coached the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2008 to 2014, winning a Stanley Cup in 2009 and the Jack Adams Award in 2011.

Dan Bylsma has also coached the Buffalo Sabres (2015-2017) and served as an assistant on clubs such as the New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings.

While Bylsma’s hiring looks good on paper for the Kraken, there is reason to believe the Kraken may come to regret hiring Dan Bylsma. So, it’s worth looking at three reasons why the Kraken may regret this hiring decision.

3 reasons why Seattle may regret hiring Dan Bylsma

#1: Bylsma failed to meet expectations in Pittsburgh

Bylsma got off to a great start in Pittsburgh. The club won the Cup in 2009 but then was unable to build on that momentum.

The Penguins did make the Conference Finals twice after winning the Cup but could not get over the proverbial hump on their way to another championship. Bylsma was eventually let go during the offseason of 2014, following a disappointing first-round exit at the hands of the New York Rangers.

The Penguins’ new ownership felt that a change was needed for the Penguins to succeed. Indeed, the change worked as the Penguins won the Cup in 2016 with Mike Sullivan at the helm.

Given the way things went in Pittsburgh, the Kraken may regret hiring Bylsma, especially if the team struggles early on. Kraken fans may become impatient if no immediate results are noticeable.

#2: Bylsma did not deliver results during Buffalo’s rebuild

The Sabres’ rebuild seemed promising with picks like Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel. The club added players like Evander Kane, Ryan O’Reilly, Robin Lehner, and Kyle Okposo. However, the Bylsma could not translate it into success.

In two seasons, the Sabres’ highest finish was 7th. Team owner Terry Pegula fired Bylsma and GM Tim Murray amid an organizational shakeup.

The underlying reason for Bylsma’s dismissal was an apparent lack of player accountability. This precedent does not sit well, considering the Kraken is a young team looking to build a winning culture.

As such, the Kraken may regret hiring Bylsma if he is unable to establish a strong culture in the clubhouse. If that’s the case, players may refuse to put their best effort forward.

#3: AHL doesn’t success mean NHL success

Bylsma coached the Coachella Valley Firebirds, the Kraken’s AHL affiliate. Bylsma found success with the club, leading them to an AHL Conference title in 2022-23 and a division title in 2023-2024.

However, AHL success doesn’t necessarily mean success at the NHL level. There have been examples of coaches who succeed at the AHL level but fail to translate that to the NHL.

Given Dan Bylsma’s AHL success, the Kraken would have reason to promote him to the NHL level. But if Bylsma cannot translate AHL success to the NHL, fans could become impatient while management may think twice about their hiring decision.

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