SEATTLE – The NHL’s newest expansion team finally has a name: the Seattle Kraken.
The NHL franchise unveiled its long-awaited team name on Thursday from outside the Seattle Centre arena which is undergoing renovations and will be known as Climate Pledge Arena.
As part of the announcement, the Kraken revealed two logos, a wordmark and uniforms. The primary logo features a green tentacle shaped like an ‘S’, while the secondary logo puts the iconic Space Needle inside an anchor.
First class unveiling from the NHL's 32nd franchise. pic.twitter.com/u2U5JUU0ME
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 23, 2020
“Today, you’ll see a jersey, and our players are going to proudly wear that jersey because it connects us to our fans but also it connects us to our hockey history,” Kraken CEO and President Tod Leiweke said on Thursday. “It connects us to our maritime heritage, and it also connects us to the mystery and the great mystery of the sea.”
The home uniforms feature four different colours of blue — deep sea, ice, shadow and boundless — as well as a red stripe along the edge. The road uniforms feature the same coloured trims while swapping the deep sea blue for white.
A legend from the deep awakens.
— Seattle Kraken (@NHLSeattle_) July 23, 2020
Seattle will play in the Pacific Division, meaning the Arizona Coyotes will move to the Central. The league’s most recent addition gives the NHL an even 16 franchises in the Eastern and Western conferences.
The Oak View Group, which includes sports executive Tim Leiweke, billionaire David Bonderman and filmmaker Jerry Bruckheimer, was granted the franchise on Dec. 4, 2018 paying a US$650 million expansion fee.
As part of the application, the ownership group is financing a $660-million arena renovation, with the goal being to have the building ready for the team to join the NHL for the 2021-22 season.
The NHL’s 32nd franchise received unanimous support from the Board of Governors, league Commissioner Gary Bettman said at the time.
Having an NHL team in Seattle gives the NHL a footprint in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, and also provides the Vancouver Canucks — and its fans — with a close rival.
The drive between the two cities is only about two hours.
“There’s going to be a built in rivalry,” Leiweke said in 2018. “I don’t want to stoke the flames here, because those guys are my friends, but bring it on. We can’t wait, that’s going to be an intense rivalry and that might be the one night I walk in the locker room and say to the boys ‘give it a little more tonight guys, lets go.”
Just days after the expansion was announced, a survey conducted by Insights West found there was overwhelming excitement on both sides of the border about the I-5 rivalry to come.