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Seattle Kraken named 32nd NHL franchise, will play in 2021-22

The Golden Knights are no longer the new kids on the block.

The Vegas Golden Knights are no longer the newbies in the National Hockey League.

The Seattle Kraken were officially unveiled as the 32nd NHL franchise during a livestream on Thursday. The Kraken will begin play in the 2021-22 season as a member of the Pacific Division.

They will take the place of the Arizona Coyotes, moving to the Central.

Seattle teased a video Wednesday involving a lonely fishing boat corralling a goal siren from the depths of the water. Such a tease did not scream “Kraken,” but the official unveiling video didn’t disappoint.

Logo

There’s so much to like about this logo, starting with the primary ‘S’ that pays homage to the Seattle Metropolitans, the first American team to win the Stanley Cup.

“Seattle is a city built by the sea. Our forebearers’ hands cracked in the cold, salty air as they reeled in their lines and wrought their ships,” per the Kraken’s website. “The clean bevel of a freshly carved vessel is a reminder of where we come from. A noble city built on the water by bold and hardened adventurers.”

Struck through the middle is a single tentacle that is “hidden in the shadows.” Perched to the right of the tentacle is the “eye of the beast,” noting that the “Kraken has been affixed on its prey for some time. Its strike will be swift and devastating. Its opposition overwhelmed and unwary. It will all be over soon.”

Jerseys

The home sweater color is deep sea blue, which is the darkest color Adidas could do without going to black. The icy blue accents on the sleeves compliment it very well. The shoulder carries the alternate logo, an anchor with the space needle subtly making appearance down the middle.

Clean, crisp and just awesome.

What does it mean for the Golden Knights?

The Golden Knights are no longer the new kids on the block, which means it’ll be easier for fans to hate them and love Seattle more. That’s the rules of expansion, I didn’t make them up.

“I think it’s a great name. I like it,” Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer said Thursday. “I like the names that have some type of reference either to the area or the people who own the team. It’s unique. Maybe a little unexpected when I heard it, but as it settled in, I’m a big fan. I think it’s great that we have another franchise. From a player perspective, it’s another 20 plus jobs in the NHL level and 50 contracts throughout hockey. Same at the coaching level and management level. Great city, I think a long time coming.”

But with the Kraken joining the Pacific Division, it’s going to provide some entertaining hockey. The atmosphere in Seattle should be as electric as Golden Knights games at T-Mobile Arena with a touch we haven’t seen before.

“Unique game presentation will dimension the Kraken brand from dueling scoreboards to a distinctive live organ,” per the Kraken’s website. “On ice imaging will transition elegance to mayhem. Our music will be crafted by KEXP, and ocean fog will flow through the tunnels as our players take the ice. The sounds of our city and epic tales of the sea will bring the legend of the Kraken to life.”

Asking for a friend: How does a golden knight battle a kraken? It was easy with the shark, but this foe might be a tad more difficult to destroy.

As for the on-ice product, we won’t know if Seattle will strike with the same success as Vegas did in the expansion draft. One thing we know is that the Golden Knights are exempt from this draft, so the other 30 teams have from now until next June (supposedly) to figure out who stays and who is left unprotected.

“It’ll be interesting to see how [other GM’s] react this time around [since Vegas],” said Kraken general manager Ron Francis via the team’s livestream. “It’ll help us with the cap being flat. We’ve gone through rehearsal drafts, but it’s so early.”

The hockey should be exciting, as should the presentation and everything that encompasses it. I look forward to October 2021 when the Golden Knights visit Climate Pledge Arena on opening night.

And if that isn’t already in the cards, make it happen.