Release the Kraken! Grades, and everything we know (so far) about the NHL's 32nd franchise.
Since the NHL announced back in 2018 that the league was choosing the city of Seattle as their next expansion location, the hockey world has been chomping at the bit to learn more about the league's newest franchise. The league appeased us, and released a list of 13 potential names that the franchise could go by. Leaving many to speculate and wonder what the name would be. Among the 13 potential names were the Cougars, Eagles, Emeralds, Evergreens, Firebirds, Renegades, Sea Lions, Rainiers, Seals, Sockeyes, Totems, Whales and finally, Kraken.
Obviously you can tell which name was chosen, and the rest is officially history.
The residents of Seattle and the rest of the state of Washington deserve(d) a new sports franchise. Seattle is a city of die-hard fans who have seen their fair share of ups-and-downs in the city's sporting history. "Seahawks should have ran the ball" memes, the Mariners still starving for World Series gold, and the SuperSonics' ghost still haunt the city.
With such close proximity to the Canadian border, Seattle should do just fine attracting hockey fans. And we will hopefully be able to see a Kraken and Canucks territorial rivalry blossom from this since Seattle is only 2 and a half hours from Vancouver.
I (like many others) am on the fence about the teams colors and uniform. It kind of gives me a San Jose Sharks vibe, and I was fully expecting Seattle's NHL team to be of the green color-scheme kind. But am I surprised? No. Both the Seahawks and the Mariners sport the dark neon colors, so for Seattle's newest team to follow the trend, it does not shock me at all.
Jersey color scheme/team logo grade: C-
Seattle's primary logo features a capital "S" in the shape of a serpent, complete with the tentacle slithering through the middle, along with a red eye as a nice compliment toward the top. The "S" that will be featured on the front of both Seattle's home and away jersey's, pays homage to Seattle's old professional hockey team, which pre-dates the NHL. They went by the Seattle Metropolitans, and sported a similar, less flashy "S" as their logo. The Seattle Metropolitans played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1914 to 1925, and were the first team from the United States to win a Stanley Cup. The Mets' 1917 Stanley Cup victory came 11 years before the first American NHL team won a Stanley Cup. (1928 New York Rangers)
Their secondary logo features a hidden Seattle Space needle as the head of the anchor, while the third logo (their wordmark) is just "Seattle Kraken" in an old-timey, nautical pirate font.
While the primary logo is a little too plain for my taste, I do like the creativity with the Space Needle as the secondary logo and I very much like the wordmark font. It is appropriate for the team name and fun to look at.
Logo grade: B+
The Seattle Kraken will play in the newly renovated, newly named Climate Pledge Arena, formerly known as KeyArena, home of the Seattle SuperSonics of the NBA, before their 2008 relocation to Oklahoma City. It will be the world's first sustainable arena.
The announcement of the team name was made here, at Climate Pledge Arena. Ex Chief Executive Officer of the Seattle Seahawks and current Seattle Kraken CEO Todd Leiweke, claimed that the ownership group took public opinion into account before deciding on the name of the franchise. The NHL originally wanted to announce the name of their newest franchise during the All-Star break, but the announcement was delayed due to trademark issues.
The league's 32nd franchise is expected to begin play in the 2021-22 season. 30 NHL teams (Vegas Golden Knights excluded) must submit a list of protected players, prior to the June 2021 expansion draft. Seattle must choose a minimum of 20 players who will be under contract for the 2021-22 season. Currently, NHL teams who are participating in the expansion draft will be allowed to protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goalie. Or, eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goalie.
There are a multitude of rules that Seattle must follow when drafting players during the expansion draft. You can find them in the photo below.
Before we go, can we appreciate this Tweet from the Kraken's marketing team from back in 2014 during the NHL Stadium Series, Rangers vs Devils at Yankee Stadium? They wished it into existence.
Lets go Seattle!