Seattle Hockey Team Officially Named ‘Kraken’ After Years Of Speculation

The newest NHL franchise will enter the league as the 32nd expansion team during the 2021-22 season.

NHL logo painted on the ice of a hockey rink
Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

The newest NHL franchise will enter the league as the 32nd expansion team during the 2021-22 season.

The NHL’s newest expansion team in Seattle announced Thursday its nickname will be the Kraken, ESPN reported. The move comes after years of speculation dating back to December 2018 when the NHL Board of Governors unanimously voted to welcome Seattle into the league as the 32nd expansion team.

The announcement was delivered through a live video streamed on social media.

The Kraken is a fictitious sea creature, born in 1899 from the imagination of British poet Alfred Lord Tennyson and later popularized in various pieces of 20th century literature. A Kraken also appears in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, which was produced by the organization’s co-owner Jerry Bruckheimer.

In December 2017, the city approved plans for renovations to KeyArena in an effort to exemplify their sincerity and interest in being granted an expansion team. 10,000 season ticket deposits were made by fans just four months later.

Fans have long speculated on the name even before it was officially announced that Seattle would be getting professional hockey team for the first time since the Metropolitans folded in 1924.

The Seattle Times conducted a weeks-long reader poll in 2018 to gauge the community’s opinions on a potential moniker, and “Sockeyes” emerged victorious. Other names tossed around included the “Thunderbirds,” “Totems,” and “Orcas,” among others.

But in the end, Kraken won out.

The organization installed signage outside of their downtown Seattle office in 2018 and were greeted almost immediately by a sign on the front door that read “Release the Kraken.”

That was likely the first time that club Vice President of Marketing Heidi Dettmer heard of or thought about Kraken, she said.

“Throughout this whole process, it’s been a rallying cry for fans. We heard it everywhere. It’s what kept coming up over and over again.”

In addition to the moniker, the Kraken also debuted its logo. Two shades of blue provide the coloring while a bold and unique “S” makes up the emblem, complete with a red eye near the top of the letter to give it the feeling of being alive.

Seattle General Manager and former professional player Ron Francis offered his input, which was taken into strong consideration by the top brass.

“This needs to be a sweater, that when the players put on, they feel really proud. It needs to be iconic. It needs to be noble.”

Adidas Design Director Matty Merrill endorsed the logo and colors by saying it is “quite brilliant, almost a neon blue that looks like the ice caps on the Olympics and the white caps on the Puget Sound.”

“Then the navy is so dark, it’s almost black. We call it deep sea. The whole uniform has no white, there’s zero white, and it’s really just these complementary blues. The way they present their brand will be that way — these two blues, and no white, no surrender at all.”

As The Inquisitr previously reported, the 2019-20 season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. A newly structured playoff format is set to begin August 1.

The Seattle Kraken, however, have their sights set on October 2021, when they are slated to officially join the league and play their first games.