Laxdal named new head coach of Firebirds

Photo: Derek Sparta

The Seattle Kraken have hired Derek Laxdal as the new head coach of their American Hockey League affiliate, the Coachella Valley Firebirds.

Laxdal succeeds Dan Bylsma, who was named head coach of the Kraken on May 28.

Laxdal, 58, joins the Kraken organization after spending the last two years as head coach of the Oshawa Generals in the Ontario Hockey League. He guided the team to a record of 40-19-9 and a berth in the league finals in 2023-24.

Previously, Laxdal spent eight seasons with the Dallas Stars organization, including five-plus years as head coach of their AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars. He led Texas to the Calder Cup Finals in 2018 and was promoted to assistant coach in Dallas in December 2019, eventually reaching the Stanley Cup Final with the NHL club that summer.

Laxdal has also been a head coach in the Central Hockey League, ECHL and Western Hockey League, winning league championships with ECHL Idaho (2007) and WHL Edmonton (2012, 2014). He also captured a Memorial Cup title with the Oil Kings in 2014.

As a player, the native of Stonewall, Man., played 356 AHL games and won a Calder Cup with the Springfield Indians in 1990. He also spent parts of six seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders, skating in 67 career NHL contests.