The latest word on the street is that the folks bringing a new NHL franchise to Seattle will name their team the Seattle Kraken. Hockey fans have mixed feelings, but film director Kevin Smith loves the potential name, and claims he’d become a huge fan and “Krak-head” if Seattle keeps the Kraken..
Chris Johnston from Sportsnet reported that the Seattle franchise would unveil their name before the NHL All-Star Game. That time frame already passed without an official announcement yet. However, the Sirius/XM NHL channel reported that the expansion team has chosen a name.
“From everything that I’ve heard, it looks like Seattle Kraken is going to be the name,” said John Hoven said on NHL Network Radio. “Which is quite surprising. I was a little bit in shock personally, just because we had been told several times previously that that was not the name that they were going for. It looked like they were leaning toward Sockeyes.”
The new Seattle franchise wanted to call the team the “Sockeyes,” which is both a type of salmon and the name of a series of fantasy novels. Washington state native Jami Davenport penned the Seattle Sockeyes series. Apparently, the NHL ran into copyright issues and moved away from the Sockeyes. They circled back around to the Seattle Kraken.
The NHL Seattle released a statement that did not directly address the Kraken issue. “At NHL Seattle, we are thrilled by the growing excitement about our team—and we can’t wait to share every detail with our fans. However, we will not be commenting on any rumors. Please check our social channels for more updates.”
What is the Kraken?
The Kraken is a mythical sea monster that’s essentially a giant octopus or squid. Wikipedia’s opening line says, “The Kraken is a legendary cephalopod-like sea monster of giant size in Scandinavian folklore.” Yes, those Scandis love to whip up a good Nordic horror story about a sea creature that can destroy a ship with one squeeze. The initial tales date back to the 1200s when sailors spotted giant creatures in the water in the Greenland sea.
In the 1800s, three well-known writers mentioned the Kraken in their works. Poet Alfred Tennyson penned a sonnet titled “The Kraken” in 1830. In 1851, Herman Melville published his whaling novel, “Moby Dick,” and Ishmael breifly mentions the Kraken in passing. The Kraken also influenced Jules Verne’s “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,” which also includes a scene with a giant squid.
In 1981, the film “Clash of the Titans” featured a menacing sea monster. Their version resembled more like a Godzilla type monster than a giant squid or octopus. That’s the first time the phrase, “Release the Kraken!” becomes a part of popular culture.
Get Ready for Kevin Smith Krakheads
When the Seattle Supersonics joined the NBA in the late 1960s, they were originally named after a new supersonic plane being built by Boeing. At the time, Boeing aircraft had its headquarters and production line in Seattle.
Since then, Seattle has relied on its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, via Puget Sound, as inspiration for its teams’ nicknames. Those include the Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sounders, and Seattle Reign. The Kraken is a frightening monster that emerges from the sea, so it fits within the water theme.
The NHL Seattle’s official Twitter account tweeted, “While we’re aware of some fishy rumors surrounding our team name, please rest assured we’re doing our due diligence by scouring the depths of the ocean, the tallest mountains, and the densest parts of the forest to find the right name for our great, green city.”
Filmmaker Kevin Smith, who grew up in New Jersey as a huge fan of the New Jersey Devils, tweeted his man-love for the potential Seattle Kraken name.
SEATTLE! If you name your new @NHL team the KRAKEN, so help me Zeus, I will become a big, fat Krak-Head! Release the Kraken – the most absolutely metal name for hockey team since the @NJDevils! (Also: RT #BellLetsTalk all day, whenever you can!) https://t.co/rdFeRecJCZ
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) January 29, 2020
If Kevin Smith loves the Seattle Kraken, then his legion of followers, including comic book nerds and hockey fans, will likely follow suit.
New York Yankees catcher, Gary Sanchez, has been going by the “Kraken” moniker for several years. Yankees general manager, Brian Cashman, told reporters that it was time to “release the Kraken, which is Gary Sanchez, on our roster.” At the time, Sanchez belted 20 home runs as a rookie in 2016.
NHL Expanding from 30 to 31 to 32 Teams
In 2016, the NHL approved plans to expand the Western Conference by adding two teams. Las Vegas would be the first franchise to start playing in the 2017-18 season, and another new franchise would begin operations in Seattle at the start of the 2020-21 season.
When the NHL added the Las Vegas franchise, aka the Golden Knights, that created lopsided conferences with 31 teams. At present, the Eastern Conference is comprised of 16 times, while the Western Conference has only 15.
The new team in Seattle will become the NHL’s 32nd team. The even number will finally create a balance and harmony in the league with 16 teams in each conference.
In their first season, the Vegas Knights advanced to the Stanley Cup finals. But the Golden Knights struggled since then, and fired their head coach.