Dive Deeper: Lesser-Known Facts about the Seattle Kraken

The National Hockey League (NHL) welcomed its 32nd franchise, the Seattle Kraken, in 2021, adding another chapter to the rich history of sports in the Emerald City. The team’s name, logo, and colors, reflecting the maritime culture and folklore of the Pacific Northwest, have been the talk of the town since its official launch. But there’s much more to the Seattle Kraken than what’s popularly known. Let’s delve into some lesser-known facts about this new and exciting franchise.

The Climate Pledge Arena: The home of the Seattle Kraken, the Climate Pledge Arena, is a marvel in its own right. It’s the world’s first net-zero carbon certified arena in the world, a testament to the commitment of the city and the team to fight climate change. The arena, formerly known as the KeyArena, was remodeled with the environment in mind, using reused and recycled materials and even harvesting rainwater to create the cleanest ice in the NHL.

The Kraken Name: While the mythical sea creature, the Kraken, is a fitting name for a team in a city with a strong maritime history, it’s interesting to note that the name wasn’t an immediate choice. The franchise took its time, involving fans in a public consultation process. The ‘Kraken’ was one of the 1,200 names suggested by fans, and after a thorough vetting process, it emerged as the winner, blending local folklore with a powerful and intimidating presence.

First Indigenous Land Acknowledgment: The Seattle Kraken is the first team in the NHL to open all of their home games with a land acknowledgment, respecting the indigenous peoples who first inhabited the land. This practice pays tribute to the original inhabitants of the Seattle area, the Duwamish and Suquamish Tribes.

Inaugural Draft Pick: The Kraken’s first-ever draft pick in 2021 was Matty Beniers, a talented center from the University of Michigan. While not a household name, Beniers became an integral part of the team’s initial roster, embodying the spirit of the Kraken – a fresh, relentless force rising from the depths.

The Kraken Logo: The team’s primary logo, an ‘S’-shaped tentacle, is a tribute to the Seattle Metropolitans, the city’s original professional hockey team and the first American team to win the Stanley Cup in 1917. The Metropolitans used an ‘S’ as their logo, and the Kraken’s design is a nod to this history.

The Red Eye: Another intriguing aspect of the Kraken’s logo is the red eye. In maritime folklore, a Kraken was a terrifying sight to behold, and the sighting of its eye was a telltale sign of impending doom. The red eye in the logo captures this sense of foreboding and danger associated with the mythical beast.

Diversity and Inclusion: The Seattle Kraken has made a commitment to diversity and inclusion within its organization. The team hired the NHL’s first Black team broadcaster, Everett Fitzhugh, and the league’s first female pro scout, Cammi Granato, marking significant strides in breaking down barriers within the hockey world.

Community Impact: The Kraken has made a significant commitment to impacting the local community positively. They’ve pledged to contribute to youth care services and pledged millions towards local Boys & Girls Clubs, promoting diversity and inclusivity in the sport of hockey.

The Seattle Kraken might be a new entrant in the NHL, but it’s already making waves, not just in the hockey world but in the broader community as well. Their unique blend of history, culture, environmental responsibility, and commitment to diversity and inclusion sets them apart from many other franchises in the league.

Unique Mascot: The team’s mascot, tentatively named ‘Cool Kyle,’ is a distinctive representation of the Kraken. It’s designed to be a fun, family-friendly representation of the otherwise fearsome mythological creature, helping to create a unique and engaging atmosphere at games.

Sustainable Merchandise: In line with its commitment to sustainability, the Kraken also launched a range of eco-friendly merchandise. The team partnered with local suppliers to produce items using sustainable methods and materials, ranging from organic cotton t-shirts to water bottles made from recycled materials.

Largest Expansion Fee in NHL History: When the ownership group led by David Bonderman and Jerry Bruckheimer was granted the 32nd NHL franchise, they paid an expansion fee of $650 million, the highest in the history of the league. This was a significant increase from the $500 million paid by the Vegas Golden Knights just a few years earlier.

Deep Dive – The Kraken’s Bar: Inside the Climate Pledge Arena is the ‘Kraken Bar,’ which is the longest bar in North American professional sports. It provides a unique viewpoint of the game and is quickly becoming a favorite spot for fans to gather during matches.

The Seattle Kraken is not just a hockey team; it’s a symbol of the city’s commitment to its history, folklore, environment, and community. As the team continues to grow and make its mark on the NHL, it’s clear that the Kraken is much more than just a mythological sea creature. It’s a representation of the spirit of Seattle itself: innovative, inclusive, respectful of its history, and always ready to make waves.

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