During the 2021-22 season there was no team with a worse save percentage than the Seattle Kraken. The team has made a move to try and address that though not with an on-ice change. Instead, the team has hired goaltending coach Steve Briere, who had previously parted ways with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Briere, 45, has spent the last seven seasons with Toronto, working most notably with Frederik Andersen during his time there. A disciple of famously successful goalie coach Mitch Korn, who is currently with the New York Islanders, Briere had an up-and-down tenure with the Maple Leafs, his first role in the NHL.
Notably, he goes to a situation in Seattle that should be relatively comfortable. Head coach Dave Hakstol worked alongside Briere in Toronto for a time, serving as an assistant on Mike Babcock’s staff. The two obviously have a good enough relationship to continue it with the Kraken, where they’ll try to improve on that .880 save percentage from year one.
Among the reasons why the Kraken didn’t perform up to many expectations was the goaltending issue, as a career-.920 netminder Philipp Grubauer posted a brutal .889 save percentage, and backup Chris Driedger failed to do much better. The system, the defense, or bad luck could be partly to blame but there is also a good amount of responsibility to be heaped on the goaltenders themselves, and the coaching staff that was tasked with preparing them.
Briere will try to change that next season, after a dreadful first campaign in Seattle.