Dave Hakstol named finalist for coach of the year

Arizona Coyotes v Seattle Kraken

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - APRIL 06: Head coach Dave Hakstol of the Seattle Kraken looks on during the third period against the Arizona Coyotes at Climate Pledge Arena on April 06, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

Seattle Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol is up for NHL hardware, named a finalist for the league's Jack Adams Award, given annually to the top coach in the NHL.

Like Matty Beniers and his nomination for the Calder Trophy, the award is settled by votes at the end of the regular season, in this case submitted by members of the NHL Broadcasters' Association. Jim Montgomery, who helped the Boston Bruins smash NHL regular season records despite a first round-and-out finish, and Lindy Ruff of New Jersey were named as the other two finalists.

Hakstol though proved his nomination with one extremely worthy mission by landing a 40-point and 19-win improvement for the Kraken this season, setting new NHL records for second-year teams. Armed with an offense that arguably had no superstar but a swath of six separate 20-goal scorers, Hakstol helped orchestrate a 34 percent increase in goal-scoring production that landed the Kraken into the sixth best offense in the NHL, maneuvering four potent lines that had a 20-goal scorer typically on each line - all teh way down to Daniel Sprong's 21 goals which was suited for a typically referenced fourth line.

Defensively, the Kraken ranked second with a stingy defense that allowed just 27 shots per game.

While securing a playoff berth, the Kraken became the third team in NHL history to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs in just their second season, joining the Vegas Golden Knights of 2017-18 and the Atlanta Flames of 1973-74.

The Kraken, tied in their second round series at 1-1 with the Dallas Stars, will host Dallas in game three of the second round at Climate Pledge Arena on Sunday, 6:30pm PT (93.3 KJR / Kraken Audio Network).

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