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For NHL Nickname, Seattle Releases The Kraken

For NHL Nickname, Seattle Releases The Kraken

Washington State hockey fans collectively rejoiced when they learned that the NHL had approved an expansion team in Seattle in December 2018.  It was a great Christmas present for them, as well as for the city of Seattle, and the group behind the team has been working tirelessly to put together the perfect combination of expertise and leadership ever since.

Welcome The Seattle Kraken!

The team will make its debut in the 2021 season, and there is still a lot of uncertainty regarding what name will be chosen.  There have been several nickname possibilities, and it seems that one has received more support than the others.  The NHL could soon be welcoming the Seattle Kraken.

Thirteen names reportedly made the final list of choices, for which input was sought from all fronts in order to find that one, single option that would strike fear in the hearts of opponents, while still being cute enough to be plastered on a mug, koozie or souvenir puck.  Kraken has apparently received the most support, including from Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.  Getting her blessing will certainly go a long way toward making things easier for the team.


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Some of the other names included the Seattle Totems or the Seattle Sockeyes.  Honestly, though, who wants to think of the team as a bunch of wooden sticks?  As far as Sockeyes, it resonates with the area, given that there’s a local salmon by the same name; however, how many “hooked the fish” or “always swimming backwards” puns could be tolerated?

The name Sockeyes also had a different problem, as it happens to coincide with a fictitious team, ironically called the Seattle Sockeyes, in a series of novels by Jami Davenport.  She has a trademark on the name and, although she has publicly stated she wouldn’t stand in the way if the real Seattle team wanted to borrow the name, it might be better to avoid it completely.

As LA Kings reporter John Hoven states it, “That just then creates one of those legal issues that the NHL tends to try to shy away from.  It’s just yet another process that complicates an already complicated situation trying to get an expansion franchise… up and running.”

What Is The Kraken?

The Kraken, though, rings loud and strong.  According to Norse tales, the cephalopod would terrorize sailors and could grow larger than 50 feet in length.  That should be enough to send shivers up the spines of Seattle opponents – at least, in theory.

There’s also the cinematic magic that one of the team’s owners can work to bring the Kraken to life in a way that would be much scarier than a Sockeye.  Among the group that owns the Seattle team is Jerry Bruckheimer, the Hollywood producer behind TV shows like CSI Miami and Without A Trace.  He also happens to be the man that has already brought the Kraken to life, a feat he accomplished when the creature was introduced to Pirates of the Caribbean.  Ultimately, Captain Jack Sparrow was eaten by the Kraken, and it wouldn’t be surprising to find something along these lines associated with the Seattle Kraken and its rivals.


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The Kraken has also been a social media sensation since Liam Neeson demanded it’s release in the 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans. “Release the Kraken!” is a potential first-ballot Hall of Fame meme.

Bruckheimer seems to recognize the ability to add a show biz feel to the NHL, as well.  He says of his involvement with the team, “To be a part of creating something, that’s what I do.  I create things, I tell stories, and this is a fabulous story.  It’s show business.  We’re entertainers, that’s what we do. That’s what the players do, they entertain an audience, a worldwide audience.”

The name was going to be presented at the recently-held NHL All-Star game, but it’s a big, complicated deal trying to find a good name for a team.  It isn’t clear exactly when an announcement will be made; however, hockey fans should most likely get ready to see a multi-tentacled beast running around skating rinks and shopping malls in the near future.

Erik is a writer and a sports nut who has had the good fortune to be able to experience a wide variety of world sports action up close and personal. He enjoys staying on top of the changing world of athletics and capitalizing on his writing skills to offer a unique take on what's going on in the ever-changing athletics ecosystem.

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