SEATTLE – Ever since the NHL awarded a 32nd franchise to Seattle in December 2018, fans and media have been speculating what the new club will be called.
On Wednesday, fresh rumours sparked a renewed debate about the name, but the team says it has nothing to reveal yet.
John Hoven — who covers the Los Angeles Kings for the Mayor’s Manor website — said in an interview on NHL Network Radio that he had a source tell him the team’s name will be the Seattle Kraken. Hoven also said — citing a source — that the team’s colours will be red, light teal and black.
“In situations like this I’m always a little bit reluctant if there’s somebody who is trying to do the ultimate swerve and miss-leak information,” Hoven said. “I was told by a source that is very close to the situation that it is the Kraken. I believe it’s the Kraken.”
After Hoven’s report went viral, the team issued a statement to Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times that didn’t deny the report but also didn’t shed any light on what the name will be.
“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,” the statement said. “However, we will not be commenting on any rumors. Please check our social channels for more updates.”
The team then put out a more cryptic message on its Twitter account that references multiple names that have been in consideration.
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.
— NHL Seattle (@NHLSeattle_) January 29, 2020
Kraken is one of several names that’s been debated by fans and media over the last year. In January 2019, The Seattle Times polled it’s readers on potential names and Kraken came in fifth place with 7,608 votes. Sockeyes received the most votes while Totems, Metropolitans, Steelheads, Sasquatch, Freeze, Emeralds, Pilots, Cascades, Grunge and Fightin’ Geoducks were also considered.
Though Sockeyes was the most popular, there was some debate over whether the club could use that name due to the fact that Seattle Sockeyes is also the name of a romance novel series. Author Jami Davenport told Baker at the Times that her lawyer had reached out to the team to let them know she was willing to work with them but said, “We haven’t heard a thing.”
“I don’t like people thinking I’m the holdup here because I’m not,” Davenport said, adding she’s also a hockey fan who has bought a season ticket deposit for the new club.
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In November, Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reported on Hockey Night in Canada that the club was getting close to deciding on a name and that there were plans for an announcement at the NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis. However, Baker at the Times reported earlier this month that an announcement is now expected in late February or early March.
The NHL’s Seattle team won’t begin play until the 2021-22 season due to a large renovation project currently underway at the former KeyArena. With so much time remaining before the team hits the ice, ownership has said in the past that it doesn’t want to rush into a decision on the name.
“When we realized 2020 wasn’t in the cards, it bought us additional time, not only to research the name but to better understand who we are and what we stand for,” Tod Leiweke, NHL Seattle’s CEO, said in August. “We have become better listeners. A great name not only speaks of who you are but also speaks to what you’re not.”