Kraken sign GM Ron Francis to 3-year contract extension

The Seattle Kraken have rewarded general manager Ron Francis with a three-year contract extension that will keep him with the organization through the 2026-27 season, the team announced Wednesday.

Francis has been at the helm of the Kraken since well before the team's expansion draft and helped build the club from the ground up. He was hired in July 2019, more than two years prior to the franchise actually playing its first NHL game.

"Ron has done remarkable work over the last four years and deserves this recognition," Kraken co-owner Samantha Holloway said in a release. "He has built a tremendous team, putting Seattle hockey on the map. He is building for long-term success and is dedicated to our city, our fans, and our community."

Ron Francis will head up the Kraken through the 2026-27 season. (Photo by Christopher Mast/2021 NHLI via Getty Images)
Ron Francis will head up the Kraken through the 2026-27 season. (Photo by Christopher Mast/2021 NHLI via Getty Images) (NHLI via Getty Images)

After a disappointing first season that saw the Kraken finish at the bottom of the Pacific Division, the team took a massive step forward in its sophomore campaign. Seattle earned the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference, then pulled off a massive upset of the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the playoffs. The Kraken fell to the Dallas Stars in the second round.

Francis has creatively constructed a roster that may not boast much truly elite talent but possesses outstanding depth. That consistency across lines and defense pairings made the Kraken a tough opponent every night, as the Avalanche discovered in their seven-game series.

"We said from Day 1, we want to do two things," Francis said at the conclusion of the season. "We want to have a competitive team up top, which I think we built, and we want to continue to build from the ground up.

"We've talked about the way we build this. And we use a lot of different things: we use cap space and free agency; we use the trades and the draft picks we accumulated; we use our amateur staff and drafting guys."

Francis and the Kraken will select 20th is this year's draft after taking Shane Wright fourth overall last year and Matty Beniers with the No. 2 pick in 2021.