Jay Leach leaves Seattle Kraken coaching staff to join Boston Bruins as assistant coach

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 31: Assistant coach Jay Leach of the Seattle Kraken skates during practice for the 2024 Discover NHL Winter Classic between the Vegas Golden Knights and Seattle Kraken at T-Mobile Park on December 31, 2023 in Seattle, W (Christopher Mast / NHLI / Getty Images)

Seattle Kraken assistant coach Jay Leach has left the organization to become an assistant coach with the Boston Bruins.

The Bruins announced the hire of Leach on Wednesday after he spent three seasons as a part of Dave Hakstol's coaching staff with the Kraken. Leach had spent five seasons as head coach of the AHL's Providence Bruins before joining Seattle's staff for the 2021-22 season.

"The Boston Bruins are excited to welcome Jay Leach back to the organization," Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said in a statement. "Jay was a very successful coach with the Providence Bruins where he greatly impacted our player development system, and he also brings valuable experience as an assistant coach from the Seattle Kraken. We believe Jay will integrate quickly and complement our current staff as he comes back to the Bruins to work with our defense corps."

Leach's departure leaves at least two vacancies on the coaching staff of the Kraken moving forward. Paul McFarland was dismissed at the end of the season along with Hakstol. Dave Lowry and goaltending coach Steve Briere remain with the team.

Kraken general manager Ron Francis spoke highly of both Leach and Lowry following the hire of Dan Bylsma as the new head coach last month. While Francis was clear he believed both were valuable assistants, Bylsma would be free to choose his own coaching staff.

"I've talked to both Jay and Dave. I've talked to Dan about how valuable I think they are and what they can bring. Ultimately, he will have conversations with them and fill out his staff the way he wants to do it," Francis said.

Leach compiled an overall record of 136-77-26 during his five seasons as head coach of the Providence Bruins. He had previously served as an assistant coach for the AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (2015-16) and the Adler Mannheim of the Deutsche Eishokcey Liga in Germany (2014-15).

Leach played 11 seasons in the NHL and AHL with 70 total games played in the NHL. A left-shot defenseman, Leach played for the Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens, and San Jose Sharks.

Bylsma said he wanted to talk with Leach and Lowry about the coaching staff positions. Additionally, he said that AHL Coachella Valley assistants Jessica Campbell and Stu Bickel would be considered for roles as well.

"Jessica has been part of that conversation, Stu Bickel has been a part of that conversation and what they've done the last two years in developing the players down there. Tye Kartye and Ryker Evans is evidence of that and so they are a part of the conversation about going forward with the staff here."


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