Kraken looking for coach, Seattle expansion team plans to be patient

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The Seattle Kraken are still in no rush to hire a coach.

The 2021 NHL Expansion Draft is July 21, with the Kraken scheduled to begin play next season.

“We’re patient,” Seattle general manager Ron Francis said Tuesday. “We think we’re prepared [for] when we get to that point to zero in and talk to the people we want to talk to and make that decision. But right now we think it’s prudent on our part just to sort of be patient and wait and see who is all out there when making that final decision.”

Francis has said the Kraken plan to hire a coach in the second quarter of the year, which ends June 30.

“That really hasn’t changed,” Francis said. “I think you look at the guys who are sitting out there currently without jobs. You look at guys that are currently working that maybe have expiring contracts. You look at other [teams] that may be looking to make a change, and you’re not really going to know a lot of that until the next month or two. …

“If we think we’ve got our guy and we’re comfortable with it, we’re not afraid to make that decision prior [to the end of the Stanley Cup Playoffs]. If we think there’s a reason why we should wait a little bit longer, we’re comfortable waiting on that as well too.”

The NHL regular-season ends May 16. Dates for the playoffs have not been determined.

Francis has said the Kraken prefer a veteran NHL coach but are leaving their options open.

Asked if they have a list of finalists, he said, “We have a spreadsheet, yeah. We’ve had a spreadsheet for a long time and [have been] looking at all the different coaches and kind of who they are and what they do and where they’ve been and what their status is. So we update that as we move along and things change, but yeah, we’ve got a sheet of data that we’re working off, for sure.”

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