It’s official. The Seattle Kraken will become the 32nd team in the NHL after the expansion franchise announced its deep sea-inspired moniker. The Kraken will join the NHL in the Western Conference in the 2021-22 season.
After the Las Vegas Golden Knights joined the Western Conference, the NHL had an odd number of teams, with only 15 out west, and 16 in the Eastern Conference. The addition of the Kraken creates an even 16 teams in both conferences to produce harmony and balance in the force.
By the way, we tipped you off to the name back in January when we heard a strong rumor about the Seattle Kraken moniker.
Until there’s a specific new Kraken emoji, feel free to use the “octopus” emoji on social media.
A legend from the deep awakens.
— Seattle Kraken (@NHLSeattle_) July 23, 2020
What Is a Kraken?
If you’re not familiar with the Kraken, it’s a mythical, gigantic sea monster with tentacles that terrorized Nordic sailors in the 1200s.
The team’s new name also pays homage to the Giant Pacific Octopus that lives in the depths of the Puget Sound. In German, “kraken” means octopus.
“We breathe new life into a legend,” appeared on the team’s new website. “An ancient and powerful force reawakens in the heart of the great Pacific Northwest. We will wear the ‘S’ in honor of our champion predecessors, and we will have a name that incarnates the might of the sea.”
More than 215,000 hockey fans voted on the Kraken as the new team name.
“That mystique, that intensity, and that power that people have long talked about with the Kraken is what we expect our NHL team to play with,” co-owner Andy Jassy told ESPN.
Gary Sanchez, the catcher for the New York Yankees, shares his nickname with the new Seattle NHL team. Yankees’ announcer John Sterling refers to Sanchez as “Scary Gary” because of his hitting prowess. His teammates on the Yankees nicknamed him “Kraken” because he’s a monster at the plate.
Bucking ‘S’ Tradition
Seattle teams typically started or ended with an ‘S’ in their name. Sounders. Mariners. Storm. Supersonics (RIP).
The Seattle Reign, a women’s pro basketball team in the now-defunct American Basketball League, had a clever word-play on the rainy weather in the Pacific Northwest. When the team folded and a WNBA franchise came to Seattle, the new partners selected the Storm.
“S” purists expected the new NHL Franchise would stick with tradition and select an S name, such as the Sockeyes.
Seattle’s first-ever pro hockey team was the Seattle Metropolitans, established in 1915. The Metropolitans lasted for a decade and were known for the giant ‘S’ on their sweaters. The Seattle Kraken will also have a large S on the front of their uniforms. The current logo includes sea monster features.
Seattle also had minor league hockey teams known as the Seattle Totems and the Seattle Thunderbirds.
The Totems played in the Pacific Coast Hockey League for 30 years between 1944 and 1974. The franchise started out as the Ironworkers, before trying out various other names such as the Ironmen, Bombers, and Americans.
The Seattle Thunderbirds, a Western League Hockey team, were originally known as the Seattle Breakers before being renamed the Thunderbirds in 1985.
The second incarnation of the XFL also had a team in Seattle known as the Seattle Dragons.
Kevin Smith Krak-head
In January, director and long-time New Jersey Devils fan Kevin Smith expressed his excitement over the prospects of the new Seattle NHL expansion team getting a heavy metal name like the Kraken. He claimed that if the Kraken rumor came true, he’d become a self-professed “Krak-head” and fan of the new Seattle NHL team.
Smith tweeted his latest thoughts about the release of the Kraken.
FINALLY! A tiny bit of good news in 2020! The @NHL releases the KRAKEN in SEATTLE! The most metal sounding name in Hockey since the @NJDevils! The Devils and the Kraken clashing sounds almost Lovecraftian! https://t.co/iae54quLaw
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) July 23, 2020