He’s not going anywhere.
The Seattle Kraken announced that Ron Francis, the only team in franchise history, has signed a three-year extension to stay with the club through 2026-27.
« Ron has done an outstanding job over the past four years and deserves this recognition, » Seattle Kraken co-owner Samantha Holloway said in a statement. “He built a great team, putting Seattle hockey on the map. He builds for long term success and is dedicated to our city, our fans and our community. Francis was hired in July 2019, two years before the 2021 expansion draft and with a lot to do. He had to build a staff that included research and development, coaches, scouts and ultimately players. There was also the need to build a group of quality prospects who could scale and sustain success at all levels of play.
Francis joined the Kraken on July 18, 2019, serving two seasons before the Kraken hit the ice for the first time. Francis previously served as director of hockey operations and later general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes in 2014. He was promoted to president of hockey operations in March 2018 before being fired a month later.
In just two seasons, Francis made the Kraken a force in the Western Conference. The team missed the playoffs in 2021-22, but finished fourth in the Pacific Division this year. The Kraken beat the defending Stanley Cup champions Colorado Avalanche in the first round before losing to Dallas in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals.
The Kraken have built a strong pool of young prospects, which includes top picks Matty Beniers and Shane Wright, as well as unsigned free agent star Tye Kartye.
Francis had one year left on his contract, so the new deal will give him some stability as the club seek to remain relevant from the start.
« We said from day one that we wanted to do two things, » Francis said at the end-of-season press conference. « We want to have a competitive team at the top that I think we’ve built, and we want to keep building from scratch.