I'll be honest. I think that Dave Hakstol is at least a somewhat valuable hire for a first year program. Where Hakstol has had the most amount of success as a coach was at the college level with North Dakota. Sure, he took the Fighting Sioux to the Frozen Four in 7 different seasons and then the team finally won another National Championship the year after he left. But let's not act like getting to the Frozen Four in 7 out of 11 seasons behind the bench in NoDak isn't a crazy accomplishment.
So as far as a guy who can quickly build a team identity out of players who haven't had years and years of experience together go, Dave Hakstol is actually a great choice here.
With that being the case...well the Vegas Golden Knights really fucked everything up for expansion teams from here on out. Because the immediate success in Vegas will always be what new teams are compared against. Stanley Cup Final in year 1. A playoff berth again in year 2. A trip to the conference finals in year 3, and now another trip to the Stanley Cup Semifinals this year. They've been one of the final four teams standing in the NHL in 3 out of the team's 4 seasons in the league. And...well...after watching Dave Hakstol behind the bench for 3.5 seasons with the Flyers, I can all but assure you that the Kraken won't have that same level of immediate success as the Golden Knights.
I see the Kraken having a really solid first season where they just miss out on making the playoffs. I see them getting to the playoffs but coming up short in the first round of year 2. Maybe they even win a playoff series by year 3. And then they have a total drop off by year 4 once most of the roster stops listening to the guy and then Seattle moves on. I could be wrong. Maybe I'm just insanely jaded by my entire existence as a Philly sports fan and the amount of hatred I had for the Flyers by the end of his time in Philadelphia. But between his lack of success in Philly and now having that Toronto Maple Leafs stink on him, I just don't think we have to worry about Seattle turning the league on its head again the same way that Vegas did out of the gates.
At the end of the day, I'm happy for Dave Hakstol though. This is a great opportunity for him to turn his image around. A new team filled with guys who will head into the season feeling like they have something to prove after being exposed at the expansion draft. A beast of a GM with Ron Francis. There are worse situations to step into. But I swear to god, if the Kraken now make it to the Stanley Cup Final before the Flyers? I'm paying however much it would take for Zdeno Chara to ring a clap bomb directly off of my skull to put me out of my misery.