Seattle Kraken’s first head coach likely to be Rick Tocchet or Rod Brind’Amour

Feb 22, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet reacts during the second period against the Anaheim Ducks at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Blue Jackets promoted from within when they hired Brad Larsen to be their next head coach. The New York Rangers landed the biggest available fish in Gerard Gallant. That leaves Rick Tocchet and possibly Rod Brind’Amour as the two most likely candidates to be the Seattle Kraken’s first head coach.

Seattle Kraken’s first head coach

While the Buffalo Sabres are still looking around for a head coach and would absolutely love Tocchet, the rumor mill has him as the favorite to land the job with Seattle. That is unless Rod Brind’Amour is going to leave Carolina.

The moment Rod Brind’Amour was eliminated from the Playoffs he catapulted to the top of the available head coaches list. His name was mentioned in the rumor mill before that, especially when it was reported he didn’t sign a three-year deal worth $1.8 million per season.

seattle kraken coach
Aug 15, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour talks with his team during the first period in game three of the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

I am on record saying that Rod Brind’Amour and the Carolina Hurricanes will work this out. Almost all of the top insiders feel this way too. The hold up is believed to be Brind’Amour trying to make sure his assistant coaches are taken care of.

Everyday that passes where Brind’Amour doesn’t re-sign opens the door more and more for Seattle. The Ron Francis connection is the obvious reason.

A well-placed source said Brind’Amour would immediately become Seattle’s first choice if he gets to the open market. The expansion Kraken might have greater appeal to Brind’Amour, with his one-time Carolina teammate Ron Francis running the show as GM.

Larry Brooks, NY Post

With that said, Rick Tocchet and Ron Francis were teammates in Pittsburgh from 1991 to 1994.

Rick Tocchet should get the job

Gerard Gallant’s hiring but the Rangers and subsequent four year-deal worth $3.5 million per season is exactly what Rod Brind’Amour wanted. He can now go back to the Hurricanes and ask for five years at $4 million per year. If Carolina play’s hardball, Brind’Amour could be in Seattle. However, I firmly believe he stays with the Canes.

This will open the door for Tocchet who has interviewed to become Seattle’s first coach. The 57 year-old former NHL power forward took the reins as head coach of the Coyotes back in the 2017-2018 season and did an admirable job. He is widely considered an up and coming coach who knows how to relate to his players.

One final thought, if Brind’Amour leaves for the Kraken it wouldn’t shock me to see Tocchet behind the bench of the Hurricanes.