Seattle Kraken hire McFarland, Leach as first assistant coaches
SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Kraken hired Paul McFarland and Jay Leach on Tuesday as the first two assistants for head coach Dave Hakstol.
McFarland joins the Kraken from the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League and will be responsible for Seattle’s forwards and power play. Leach was most recently the head coach of Providence in the American Hockey League and will be in charge of defensemen for the Kraken.
“We’re very excited to add two talented hockey minds in Paul and Jay to our inaugural staff,” said Hakstol. “Paul’s work ethic and ability to communicate with players to give them the tools to be at their best along with Jay’s leadership and ability to coach and develop NHL talent will be great additions to our team.”
McFarland, 35, became the head coach in Kingston after three seasons as an assistant in the NHL — two with the Florida Panthers and one with Toronto. McFarland and Hakstol were Maple Leafs assistants together on head coach Mike Babcock’s staff during the 2019-20 season.
Leach, 41, spent the past four seasons as the head coach in Providence, going 136-77-26. Leach had a limited NHL career, appearing in 70 games for five different teams but had an extensive career playing in the AHL before moving into coaching.
The hires come as Seattle is about two weeks away from filling out its inaugural with the expansion draft set for July 21.