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Former Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma named head coach of Seattle Kraken

Former Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma is returning to the NHL to coach the league’s newest franchise.

Bylsma was officially named the head coach of the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday.

Bylsma is the second coach the Kraken’s history after they parted ways with Dave Hakstol in April.

This is the first time Bylsma will coach in the NHL since the 2016-17 season with the Buffalo Sabres. He currently serves as head coach of Seattle’s AHL affiliate in Coachella Valley, which made the Calder Cup Playoffs Western Conference Finals this season.

“I have a familiarity with a lot of the players and staff here and think we have a chance to build something special together,” Bylsma said. “I’d like to thank everyone with the Coachella Valley Firebirds for welcoming my wife and me with open arms, and I’d like to thank Samantha Holloway and the entire Kraken ownership group, as well as Ron Francis, for trusting me with this opportunity.”

Prior to coaching the Sabres, Bylsma served as the head coach for the Penguins for five years, with his first season in 2009 producing a Stanley Cup championship. Two seasons later, he won the Jack Adams Award voted as NHL coach of the year when the Penguins went 49-25-8 despite 350 man-games lost because of injury and missing forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin for the final 35 regular-season games.

“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,” Kraken general manager Ron Francis said. “He has had success at every level, winning the Stanley Cup in 2009, earning a Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach in 2011, and he led the Firebirds to Game 7 of the Calder Cup Finals last year in the team’s first season. He knows our franchise and has worked with several of our NHL players. We are excited to have him behind the bench and guiding our team next season.”

With Bylsma’s hiring, the San Jose Sharks are the only team without a coach.

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