Dave Hakstol Returns to Philadelphia

In honor of Dave Hakstol’s Philadelphia return, I pulled the photo of him with Flyers beat writers at The Olive Garden, circa 2015.

That’s before The Maestro became a digital mogul. He’d often blog his distaste for the hockey scribes and wrote this at the time:

“It’d be easy to joke about how taking a group of people to Olive Garden would make them significantly less likely to be kind, but knowing what we know about the greasy slimeballs who cover the Orange and Black, a dish of soggy pasta and maybe a little bit of wine will go a long way in securing favorable coverage from the scriptuals.”

As a quick aside, I have to disagree with Kyle about The Olive Garden. There’s nothing wrong with the place. You can get unlimited bread sticks and/or the never-ending pasta bowl. The fallacy is thinking that you’re going to a chain restaurant for five-star dining, and hence the negative reviews. You go there because you’re familiar with the menu and you know you’re gonna get something suitable and affordable for the family. If you want fancy, you drop $400 at Vetri.

Anyway, Hakstol returns to Philadelphia tonight as the head coach of the expansion Seattle Kraken. Will the Flyers show a tribute video? “Yes” is currently available at -400 on the Crossing Broad sports book.

Hakstol was 4-8 in the playoffs here and had some decent teams, but he was a first-time NHL head coach and had the same growing pains once might say Gabe Kapler and Brett Brown experienced. His Kraken aren’t bad, with a 1-1-1 record so far. It looks like Brandon Tanev is gonna have a good season and Jared McCann is also off to a good start. They aren’t gonna win the Cup, but they’ve got some pieces.

The former Flyers coach was asked about his time in Philly and is quoted in an article from Adam Kimelman at NHL.com:

“The experience of the good, the bad and the ugly are all outstanding, they’re all great growth opportunities,” Hakstol said. “I was a confident person and coach then, believed in the things that I feel are important to the game. I’m no different today other than I’ve grown and continued to evolve.”

After four seasons with the Flyers and two as an assistant with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Hakstol was named the first coach of the expansion Kraken on June 24. He said he feels more comfortable running an NHL bench and prior to Seattle’s opener at the Vegas Golden Knights on Oct. 13, he told ESPN that the game has “slowed down” for him now.

“I would apply that statement to a little bit to everything, right from running training camp to operating things throughout the year,” Hakstol said. “I didn’t just mean game speed, game action. Just everything. And that’s where experience is a benefit.”

Hakstol left Philly with a 134-101-42 record. He was fired not long into the 2018-19 season and went to Toronto to become an assistant.

I’m sure people will react appropriately if the Flyers lose at home to Hakstol and his expansion team tonight (sarcasm).

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