While the 2020-21 NHL season is far from finished, some hockey fans, experts and bettors are already looking forward to the next season for one reason: the Seattle Kraken.
Last week, the Kraken officially became an official NHL team. This means that they can start making transactions, including trading with other teams and signing staff members. With that being said, Bovada has already released an odds list on who the Kraken’s first bench boss is likely to be.
At +175 odds, Gerard Gallant is favored to be Seattle’s first head coach. It wouldn’t be the first time that he’s been with an expansion team. Gallant was the Vegas Golden Knights’ inaugural coach as well, leading them to an NHL Stanley Cup Finals appearance in their first season. He brought them to the playoffs in the following season as well before getting fired in 2020.
Regardless of how his tenure ended, Gallant would still be a good coach for the Kraken. He’s had success coaching at multiple levels of hockey and showed what he can do with random players on an expansion team in the past. If he can work his magic again, history could repeat itself in Seattle next season.
NHL News: Odds to Be the Seattle Kraken’s First Head Coach
Odds via Bovada as of Monday, May 3
- Gerard Gallant (+175)
- Bruce Boudreau (+250)
- Claude Julien (+450)
- Todd Nelson (+900)
- Rikard Gronborg (+1100)
- Mike Babcock (+1200)
Full odds list available at Bovada.lv.
NHL Odds: Boudreau in the Running to Coach Kraken
Not many available coaches have Bruce Boudreau’s (+250) experience. His 567 career wins rank 18th all-time among NHL coaches. He’s coached teams to championship victories in the ECHL and American Hockey League, so now all that’s really missing from his resume is the Stanley Cup.
The Kraken could value this experience in hopes that Boudreau can have success with whichever players the team ends up with to start the next NHL season. There’s no guarantee that the team will have a playoff run like the Golden Knights did in their inaugural campaign, but stranger things have happened.
There’s also a good possibility that he could lead the Kraken to the playoffs. Between 2007 and 2020, Boudreau-coached team have qualified for the playoffs 10 times.
Quick Return for Julien Behind the Bench?
Claude Julien was fired as the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens on February 24, 2021 after a slow start to the season. Now, Bovada is saying he has +450 odds of being the Kraken’s first NHL head coach.
Julien has been coaching since the 2002-03 season, including stints with the Canadiens, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils. Something that might set him apart from those with better odds than him is that Julien actually does have a Stanley Cup under his belt. His 667 wins rank him 15th all-time and he’s even a former Jack Adams Award-winner for the top coach in the league.
Whether or not he ends up with the Kraken remains to be seen, but you have to think that Julien’s resume gives him a solid chance at helping Seattle achieve early success.
Todd Nelson Rumors
At +900 odds, Dallas Stars assistant coach Todd Nelson would wind up coaching the Kraken next season. The 51-year-old has mostly had success coaching in the AHL, winning the 2016-17 Calder Cup with the Grand Rapids Griffins. He did have a brief coaching stint with the Edmonton Oilers a few years before that, but it was simply on an interim basis.
The Stars are currently fighting for the final NHL playoff spot in the Central Division. Depending on how that turns out, we could see Nelson as the Kraken’s coach the moment Dallas’ run is done.