When deciding on their first head coach in franchise historical past, the Seattle Kraken ought to contemplate Nolan Pratt of the Colorado Avalanche. Pratt, who has been behind the Avalanche bench as an assistant coach since 2016, has helped the staff turn into one of many premier defensive squads within the NHL. Though he doesn’t have the pinnacle coach expertise, he can be an excellent match with the Kraken.
A Confirmed Winner
Pratt would deliver a successful angle to Seattle if chosen to be their first head coach. He is aware of find out how to compete for and win a Stanley Cup as he was a participant on the 2003-04 Tampa Bay Lightning. (from ‘Remembering the Tampa Bay Lightning’s final Stanley Cup tour,’ Tampa Bay Occasions, 09/30/2020) He was additionally a part of the 2000-01 Stanley Cup-winning Avalanche, however didn’t take part within the playoffs. Together with the expertise of enjoying 592 NHL video games, hiring Pratt can be a sensible transfer by Seattle. He is aware of what it takes to win a Stanley Cup as a participant, and may move on that information to his new staff.
Along with his Stanley Cup, Pratt can also be a Calder Cup champion. He was behind the bench as an assistant coach when the Lake Erie Monsters received the Calder Cup in 2016. Throughout that playoff run, Lake Erie completed with a file of 15-2 and averaged 2.235 targets in opposition to per sport. Pratt is aware of find out how to win at each degree. Though he could haven’t been the pinnacle coach, his contribution to the staff helped push them to be as profitable as they had been.
Turning Colorado Right into a Defensive Powerhouse
Pratt has been with the Avalanche for the reason that 2016-17 season. Since then, the protection has continued to enhance. Throughout his first season with the staff, Colorado completed the season thirtieth in targets in opposition to per sport. The following season, the staff — whose defensive group didn’t change a lot — completed 14th within the league.
Quick ahead to this season, Colorado is now ranked second in targets in opposition to per sport. Not solely are the targets in opposition to down, however so are the photographs in opposition to. Over his 5 seasons with the staff, the Avalanche have seen a lower of 6.2 photographs per sport in opposition to and lead the league this season averaging 25.6 per sport. 12 months over 12 months, the staff is enhancing defensively and is now one of many premier defensive teams within the league.
Particular Groups Work
The opposite key a part of Pratt’s work with the Avalanche is on the penalty kill. In his first season, Colorado completed with a 76.6 p.c penalty kill, rating twenty ninth within the league. This season, the staff is at 82.7 p.c, which ranks ninth. They’re additionally ninth in power-play targets allowed with 24 in 139 penalty kill eventualities. The straightforward reality is that the staff continues to get higher yearly with Pratt in control of the protection. He has turned them into constant Stanley Cup favourites, particularly this season.
No Head Teaching Expertise Is Not a Deal Breaker
The one drawback with Pratt is that he has by no means been a head coach at any degree. Seattle could also be a coach with some expertise to steer their new franchise, however this could not get rid of him from the choice course of. There are a few examples of present NHL coaches who made the transition to NHL head coach with out being a head coach at one other degree. The primary is Rick Tocchet.
Tocchet was first an assistant coach with groups like Colorado, Phoenix, and Tampa Bay earlier than being getting his first head teaching alternative in 2008-09. That 12 months, he changed Barry Melrose early within the season. Though his tenure solely lasted for one and a half seasons, he didn’t have any earlier expertise earlier than taking the job.
Though Tocchet is an efficient instance, the most effective argument could be made by trying on the success Rod Brind’Amour has had. Earlier than being named head coach in 2018, he was an assistant coach with Carolina from 2011-2018. Earlier than that, he spent one 12 months after retirement as a director of participant improvement. Brind’Amour discovered from behind the bench from coaches like Paul Maurice, Kirk Muller, and Invoice Peters earlier than changing into the pinnacle coach of the Hurricanes.
Like Pratt, Brind’Amour put in his time and is now one of the profitable coaches within the NHL. Since Brind’Amour has turn into the pinnacle coach in Carolina, the Hurricanes have the sixth-most factors within the league together with the second-best energy play. Coaches don’t want head teaching expertise to achieve success. They only want the fitting coaching and an opportunity to succeed.
A Nice Selection for Seattle
In conclusion, Pratt can be a wonderful candidate to steer the Kraken subsequent season. His championship pedigree alongside together with his means to show a staff into not solely top-of-the-line defensive models, however total teams in the NHL, ought to put him up for consideration for the pinnacle teaching place. Pratt deserves an opportunity to be a head coach, and Seattle could also be the most effective alternative for him.
Adam is worked up to be becoming a member of The Hockey Writers as a part of the Seattle Kraken staff. His work will also be discovered at dubnetwork.ca the place he covers the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League. Adam is worked up to be a part of the Kraken’s inaugural season and able to deliver you in depth protection of the NHL’s thirty second staff.