The suspense is over, giving way to the rise of a mysterious beast: Say hello to the Seattle Kraken.
The betting favourite from Day 1 to be the team name of the National Hockey League’s 32nd franchise, Seattle will indeed be dubbed for the mythical, deep-sea creature. Standing at what will one day be centre ice at the under-construction Climate Pledge Arena, team president and CEO Tod Leiweke faced a crowd of distanced construction workers-turned-fans and emphasised that this was a process driven by input from the fans who will one day pack the rink.
“We’ve spent two years listening,” he said on the live-streamed event.
Seattle’s character as a city and its rich hockey tradition are all over the primary logo and jersey design. The colour scheme featuring four different shades of blue — deep sea navy, ice blue, shadow blue and boundless blue — draw on Seattle’s maritime heritage. The tentacle-shaped ‘S’ on the front of the sweater is a nod to the Seattle Metropolitans, who played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1915 to 1924 and, in 1917, became the first American team to win the Stanley Cup.
The club’s secondary logo incorporates the city’s Space Needle into an anchor.
“Hockey’s always been here,” said Heidi Dettmer, the team’s vice-president of marketing. “A sleeping giant waiting to be awoken.”
If the reaction on Twitter is a reliable representation of how the hockey world feels about the unveiling, the Kraken already have their first win. Though some dissenters chimed in, the overwhelming vibe was one of positivity.
Predictably, there were also a few “Let’s get Kraken” dad-style jokes.
For 18 months, Leiweke said, Seattle’s executive group was taking the pulse of the region, looking for that perfect moniker and look. Ever since the NHL awarded the Emerald City the franchise in December of 2018, suggestions have poured in. Sometimes fans voiced their preferences via official polls and sometimes they simply charged up to a member of the new team at a coffee shop and blurted out their favourite choice.
Though there was always a range of options — they could have simply brought back Metropolitans; the Seattle Totems got some love, while Seattle Sockeyes also seemed like a plausible fit — Kraken appeared to be imprinted on a lot of brains from the start.
(Is it too early to play the nickname for the team name game? ‘Skate Squids Skate!’ has a nice ring).
With its name and logo revealed, the club can turn its attention to the next big events on the calendar. General Manager Ron Francis still hasn’t found a coach for the club that will begin play in the 2021-22 season. And, of course, there’s the matter of an expansion draft that will occur after the NHL’s 2020-21 campaign.
Though we won’t know for some time who will wear the Kraken uniform, we do know they’ll be wrapped in the city’s history and look beautiful in blue.