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Published on April 24, 2024
Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis Signals Potential Team Overhaul After Missing PlayoffsSource: Unsplash/ Mariah Hewines

The ice has cracked for the Seattle Kraken, and General Manager Ron Francis is hinting at potential changes to the team's leadership and roster following a disappointing season. After a playoff miss, the organization's brass is evaluating what went wrong, and no one, including head coach Dave Hakstol, is guaranteed to return next season. "There's a lot of things we have to look at and factor in, and we'll continue to do that in the next few weeks," Francis said, in a statement obtained by, leaving the door open to a potential coaching shake-up.

Hakstol, once lauded as a Jack Adams Award finalist and rewarded with a two-year contract extension, failed to recreate the success of the team's first playoff appearance, which saw the Kraken upset the then-defending champion Colorado Avalanche. With a record of 107-112-27 over his three-season tenure with the Kraken, and a significant slip to a 34-35-13 finish this year, Francis's comments suggest an evolving front-office stance. He expressed, according to an interview with KATU, that the team might not have fully grasped the difficulty of maintaining their competitive edge, saying, "The message was don't think this is going to be easy next year because it's going to be harder. I think in some regards they heard that, but I don't know if they necessarily believed it."

Amidst the team's struggles, Francis pinpointed a drop in offensive output as the Kraken's Achilles' heel, with the team languishing near the bottom of the league in goals scored and shooting percentage. Despite ranking high in defensive metrics, the Kraken's inability to find the net consistently proved fatal to their playoff hopes. Injuries took a toll on the team with key players like Andre Burakovsky, Philipp Grubauer, and Vince Dunn missing significant time. Francis acknowledged these challenges but emphasized the necessity of bolstering the offense as the off-season priority.

Francis, who took reigns of the team during its inception, remains optimistic about leveraging the organization's salary cap space, and an arsenal of draft picks to inject some offensive dynamism into the roster. "We'll look at everything that we have to look at to try and make our team better. It’s important for us to get back on the winning track," he told AP News. With plans to scrutinize all aspects of the game, the Seattle Kraken aims to navigate through this rough patch with the hope of smoother sailing – and better scoring – in the seasons ahead.