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What you missed during the Seattle Kraken release

By Andy Eide

It has been the most debated, discussed, and anticipated decision for Seattle hockey fans over the past 18 months.

No, not who the head coach will be. Not what the arena name would be and not even who the general manager would be – that’s Hall of Famer Ron Francis by the way.

Rather, fans clamored to know what the team name was going to be.

Thursday morning the endless speculation and internet meme war ended as NHL Seattle officially became the Seattle Kraken.

Kraken CEO Tod Leiweke addressed construction workers at Climate Pledge Arena Thursday morning to make it official. He raved about the fans and stressed the team has had its collective ear to the ground all along.

“We’ve heard from tens and tens of thousands of fans and we’ve spent two years listening,” Leiweke said. “Everyday for the past two years we thought about this moment and we knew that if we did listen we couldn’t go wrong.”

With the hockey world watching along online, the Seattle Kraken was revealed thanks to a slick video while in the arena a giant banner was unveiled with the team name and logo.

The reaction was swift and immediate. 

Following the announcement, the Kraken live stream turned into an infomercial for the team. For hours there were interviews with team officials, all reveling in the moment. 

With everything going on, it was easy to miss some stuff. With that in mind, here’s what you may have missed while dreaming of buying merch.

Who’s going to coach the Kraken?

In between all the logo love there was a bit of hockey talk.

Kraken general manager Ron Francis was on the live stream in an interview with Ross Fletcher.

Asked about hiring a head coach, Francis said that the team was “comfortable sitting tight” and waiting for the current NHL season to complete. 

The NHL will re start it’s paused season with a 24-team post season beginning August 1st and will end early in October. While every year there are coaches who become available after the season, what does Francis’ statement say about Gerard Gallant or Peter Laviolette — two top coaching options who are available now?

Palm Springs update coming?

Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke appeared on the live stream late in the day and dropped a couple nuggets about the Kraken’s American Hockey League plans for Palm Springs.

The arena project in the desert has been on hold and the short timeframe to get it started, and built, in time for the start of the 2021-2022 season is in jeopardy.

While somewhat cryptic, Leiweke mentioned that he would have some “good news” regarding Palm Springs soon. Hopefully that news will be some dry, cracked desert ground being broken.

He also joked that with the NHL team becoming the Kraken, there was no plan to name the Palm Springs affiliate the Squid. Although, that would be fun.

The near leak of the Kraken

In these modern times, its amazing that the logo, colors, and jersey designs were kept secret for as long as they were. 

ESPN’s Emily Kaplan penned a fantastic piece on the naming process and some of the steps the team took to keep it secret. The name was kept under tight lock and key.

That diligence was almost undone by a mis-delivered parcel. 

Tod Leiweke hopped on KJR Sports Radio Thursday afternoon and detailed how Kraken gear nearly ended up in the wrong hands.

What would you have done if you opened a package on your doorstep and it contained a Kraken shirt?

Will we see a Metropolitan or Totems sweater afterall?

Third jerseys have long been a trend in the NHL.

With the jersey reveal Thursday it was easy to let the mind wonder to what Seattle will throw out when it came to alternative sweaters. 

The anchor patch, with the Space Needle brilliantly hidden in the negative space, on the shoulders of the main jerseys scream to be made into an alternative sweater. That is one way the team could go.

But, could we something that is more of a throwback?

Tim Leiweke hinted that we could see just such a thing.

Does ‘nods to history’ mean Metropolitans? Totems? Both?

Local players react to the Kraken

Fans outside of Seattle – and many local casual fans – may not realize some of the hockey history that Seattle already has.

After the announcement Thursday, players who either grew up here, or who played WHL hockey locally, chimed in to offer congratulations. It was a fun reminder of the tradition already baked into the Seattle hockey scene.

Gritty being Gritty

The Philadelphia Flyers mascot – also known as the greatest masot ever – couldn’t resist a chance to chime in on the Kraken.

You wouldn’t expect anything else from the Gritty one. Seattle will have a tough chore to find a mascot to rival him.

The NHL clubs react

Every other team in the league tweeted and congratulated the Kraken for their release into the NHL world Thursday.

But, perhaps the best content was the ‘group chat’ that the team shared.

Seattle is now Kraken City

As the sun set on what was a memorable and long day, the city showed its support and love for the Kraken.

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