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Seattle Kraken team launch Image: Seattle Kraken & OVG

Seattle Kraken is the name of the 32nd franchise in the National Hockey League (NHL). This announcement was made by Seattle Kraken CEO Tod Leiweke.

Leiweke declared the name on Thursday morning in front of a socially-distanced, nearly 300 Climate Pledge Arena construction workers all of whom were wearing masks. His enthusiastic declaration put to rest nearly 20 months of widespread speculation about the choice since Seattle was awarded an NHL expansion franchise in December 2018.

The Seattle Kraken is a professional ice hockey expansion team based in Seattle (US), and will begin play in the 2021-2022 NHL seasons. The team will compete in the NHL as a member club of the league’s Pacific Division in the Western Conference.

The National Hockey League is a professional ice hockey league in North America, currently comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and seven in Canada. The NHL is considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in the world, and one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.

“It’s only right and proper to announce the Kraken name, mark and colors here with the men and women working so hard and meeting every challenge to build our new home,” confided Leiweke moments before making the announcement and paying tribute to the construction workers.

“We were intentional every step of the way making this decision. We listened to our fans, thousands of them face-to-face and tens of thousands more on social media. We were determined to align with who we are as an organization and as a city and region. We think we got it right, the perfect fit,” Leiweke added.

Climate Pledge Arena is a multiuse arena in Seattle, Washington, United States, that is currently being reconfigured. The future arena is financed by Amazon and the Oak View Group (OVG) and it is expected to be the world’s first zero-carbon arena when it is completed in the summer of 2021.

The Kraken will face-off for the first time in the 2021-22 seasons at the Climate Pledge Arena which will be their residence.

Mortenson Construction General Superintendent Jopy Willis introduced Leiweke to the construction crew stating that “the team’s leaders wanted you to hear the name first in this bowl”.

Leiweke greeted and thanked all the workers involved in the repurposing work of Climate Pledge Arena – laborers, ironworkers, engineers, project managers and support crew – “We are forever indebted to each and every one of you. Millions of people will watch us today. It’s a moment we’ll never forget.”

Leiweke next queued up an audio track for the arena workers public-address system and a video for fans tuning into a livestream airing on NHL.com/Seattle plus simulcasts on King-5 TV news special and KJR 950-AM sports radio iHeartRadio affiliates throughout Washington.

The audio and video versions revealed that the team’s name is Kraken. As the audio and video was being played, three members of the construction crew unfurled a 50-foot-long by 30-foot wide banner to reveal the Kraken’s unique ‘S’ that will be appear on player jerseys, fan T-shirts and hats, and, well, all sorts of merchandise and swag that is now available at www.ReleaseTheKrakenStore.com with net proceeds of sales going to local nonprofit YouthCare to support homeless young adults, as well as community-based organizations serving Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) youth and families.

This first line of team apparel will feature a rally cry of ‘Release the Kraken’ with the ‘s’ in ‘Release’ replaced with the Kraken logo.

Travis Mellon operated the crane to roll down the banner while two Mortenson co-workers, Robert Clark and Kenny Knutson, each steered lower corners of the gigantic and stunning backdrop behind Leiweke and other speakers on stage. Everybody present was swooning over with what they saw which included the crowd of workers, the Kraken’s local executive ownership committee and invited team partner special guests.

Heidi Dettmer, Kraken’s Vice-President of Marketing, informed a little about the name, logo and colors, “Hockey has always been here. A sleeping giant ready to be awoken. This city deserves a hockey club as untamed as the sea herself and when we heard the rallying cry of the fans and their undeniable passion for this name, we knew this was the one.”

Dettmer’s announcement that all workers would be receiving new construction vests with the team name or ‘word mark’ during the workday, handed out in safety-conscious small groups, drew loud applause.

Workers will also be getting the all-important helmet sticker adorned with the ‘S’ logo, she revealed.

Kyle Boyd, the team’s Director of Youth and Community Development, spoke at length about the sport of hockey and specifically, his passion to share the game’s allure with everyone in the arena and watching on the livestream. He talked about his first time on skates when he was conscious of the power and glide and control-that he could move with speed and purpose.

He explained he wants kids to have the opportunity to enjoy that skill, and said adults were welcome too. Boyd promised the Kraken would always be a community-first organization while still focusing on bringing the Stanley Cup back to Seattle, repeating the feat of the 1917 Seattle Metropolitans.

The Seattle Metropolitans were a professional ice hockey team based in Seattle, Washington, which played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1915 to 1924. On March 26, 1917, the Seattle Metropolitans defeat the famed Montreal Canadiens 9-1 to win the Stanley Cup, capturing the best-of-five series in four games.

Leiweke summed up with an ode to the construction crew and by making an emotional connect between the construction crew and the future hockey team those workers are building day by day, beam by beam, concrete pour by concrete pour – “I want to thank the team here in Climate Pledge Arena. You meet every challenge, you’re ready for the next thing, and you never back down. The Kraken will never back down either. That’s a promise we will keep.”

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