Seattle Kraken hire McFarland, Leach as first assistant coaches

Jul 6, 2021, 2:25 PM
Seattle Kraken Dave Hakstol Paul McFarland...
Dave Hakstol and Paul McFarland were assistants together in Toronto in 2019-20. (Getty)

SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Kraken hired Paul McFarland and Jay Leach on Tuesday as the first two assistants for head coach Dave Hakstol.

Hakstol explains what drew him to coaching the Seattle Kraken

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.

NHL analyst: Why Seattle Kraken are ‘in good hands’ with Hakstol


NHL Tyler Bertuzzi...
The Associated Press

NHL camps open as teams take stock of unvaccinated players

NHL protocols allow teams to suspend unvaccinated players without pay this season when they are unavailable to participate.
1 day ago
Seattle Kraken iceplex...
Brent Stecker

Seattle Kraken set roster for inaugural NHL training camp

Yet another sign that Seattle Kraken hockey is really real has arrived with the team's release of its inaugural training camp roster.
2 days ago
Seattle Kraken Philipp Grubauer...
The Associated Press

Seattle Kraken: Training camps opening after NHL’s shortest offseason

Every offseason feels short to Seattle Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer, though this one in particular was a doozy.
2 days ago
Seattle Kraken Philipp Grubauer...
Maura Dooley

Dooley: Breaking down who Seattle Kraken have added in free agency

What does the Seattle Kraken team look like after making key additions in free agency? 710 ESPN Seattle's Maura Dooley profiles the expansion team's newest players.
18 days ago
Philipp Grubauer Seattle Kraken...
The Associated Press

Philipp Grubauer surprised, excited to get opportunity with Seattle Kraken

Landing Philipp Grubauer seemed unlikely for the Seattle Kraken given the success he had last season, but they jumped at the opportunity to add one of the top goaltenders in the league.
2 months ago
Seattle Kraken Philipp Grubauer...
The Associated Press

Kraken make splash with Philipp Grubauer leading trio of signings

After an expansion draft where the Seattle Kraken preserved salary cap space, they made a trio of signings on the first day of NHL free agency.
2 months ago
Seattle Kraken hire McFarland, Leach as first assistant coaches