Following the success of the Vegas Golden Knights, the Seattle Kraken will become the newest member of the NHL when they join the league as an expansion team for the 2021-22 season.
With the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft set for July 21, Seattle general manager Ron Francis will begin sculpting his roster for the NHL’s 32nd team in the coming months. When it comes to which man will lead the newly formed club as head coach, there still hasn’t been an announcement.
That’s where oddsmakers come in. Online sportsbook Bovada has released odds on which man will be the first coach of the Kraken.
Gerard Gallant headlines the list with +175 odds, followed by Bruce Boudreau (+250), Claude Julien (+450), Todd Nelson (+900) and Rikard Gronborg (+1100) in odds to be the first Seattle Kraken head coach.
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Here’s a look at the shop’s odds on who will be the Kraken’s first-ever head coach.
Odds to Be Seattle Kraken Head Coach
Odds as of May 6 at Bovada
Seattle in No Rush To Hire a Coach
Speaking to reporters on April 13, Francis preached a wait-and-see attitude when it comes to hiring a bench boss.
“We’re patient,” Francis said. “We think we’re prepared (for) when we get to that point to zero in and talk to the people we want to talk to and make that decision. But right now we think it’s prudent on our part just to sort of be patient and wait and see who is all out there when making that final decision.”
Francis has said the Kraken plan to hire a coach in the second quarter of the year, which ends June 30.
“That really hasn’t changed,” he said. “I think you look at the guys who are sitting out there currently without jobs. You look at guys that are currently working that maybe have expiring contracts. You look at other (teams) that may be looking to make a change, and you’re not really going to know a lot of that until the next month or two.
“If we think we’ve got our guy and we’re comfortable with it, we’re not afraid to make that decision prior (to the end of the Stanley Cup playoffs). If we think there’s a reason why we should wait a little bit longer, we’re comfortable waiting on that as well too.”
Where’s the Betting Value?
If you’re looking for the smart play in odds to be the first Seattle Kraken head coach, there’s plenty of value on the board.
Gallant has experience guiding an expansion team, so it’s no surprise to see the Prince Edward Island native as the favorite.
He was hired to lead the Golden Knights in their inaugural season in 2017-18 and guided them all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in that first campaign.
The 57-year-old was fired by Vegas halfway through the 2019-20 season and has been out of hockey since. It’s far from a sure thing that he’ll be chosen by Francis to take over as the head coach of the Kraken, but he looks like the right man for the job.
Given his plus-money +175 price in odds to be the first Seattle Kraken head coach, it’s definitely worth a bet.
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