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Bylsma named the new Kraken coach |

The Seattle Kraken have named the head coach of the Coachella Valley Firebirds Dan Bylsma the new head coach of a National Hockey League team.

Under Bylsma, who was named the first head coach of the Firebirds on June 21, 2022, Coachella Valley became the second team in AHL history to increase 100 points in the standings in each of the first seasons of play. Bylsma led the club to a combined record of 94-32-11-7 (.715), finished second in the 32-team league in 2022-23 and 2023-24 and won the Pacific Division title this year.

In the Calder Cup Playoffs, Bylsma guided the Firebirds to the 2023 Western Conference championship before losing in overtime in Game 7 of the Calder Cup Finals. This offseason, Bylsma returned with his team to the conference finals where they will face Milwaukee starting Wednesday night.

Bylsma first joined the Kraken organization when he was hired as an assistant coach for the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers in 2021-22, working with Seattle’s prospects as part of a shared relationship with the Florida Panthers.

Bylsma’s previous NHL head coaching experience came with Pittsburgh and Buffalo. He won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009 and received the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach in 2010-11. He also served as an assistant for three seasons with Detroit.

Bylsma began his coaching career as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Cincinnati Mighty Ducks in 2004-05. He later served as an assistant with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2006-08, and as head coach in 2008-09 before being promoted to Pittsburgh.

Internationally, Bylsma was the head coach of the US men’s hockey team at the 2014 Olympics. He also served as an assistant coach for Team USA at the IIHF World Championship three times, helping the team to bronze medals in 2015 and 2018.

A native of Grand Haven, Mich., Bylsma played 12 pro seasons from 1992 to 2004, including stints in the AHL with Rochester, Moncton, Albany, Springfield, Lowell and Cincinnati. He played 429 games in the NHL and reached the Stanley Cup Final with Anaheim in 2003.

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