There’s A Kraken The Ice!

Welcome to Jet City Ice — your source for news and commentary for the newest NHL franchise (and your favorite team) the Seattle Kraken!

Perhaps this is your first visit, but when you look around you’ll notice we’ve been here for a year already, covering the team and the goings-on around the league. Now that Seattle is officially the Kraken it’s time to put the hammer down, because things are going to start to get exciting here pretty quick.

Speaking of exciting…

Love It Or Hate It

Seattle fans were divided into two camps when it came to the name of the team: Kraken, and Oh God, Please, Anything But Kraken. So I realize that there are many of us who really, really didn’t want the name to be Kraken. 

I was one of them for a while. 

I watched the announcement live, and as the video presentation unveiled the team identity, the exact words out of my mouth were, “Oh… no, they did not…” The decision to go with Kraken looks like a short-term play to rake in huge merchandising revenue, with the full knowledge that the name becomes a burden when the team is in a slump. 

It had all the warning signs of a pump-and-dump scheme, with the Oak View Group keeping the arena and saddling the next owner (or the league itself) with the problem of a team that has become a punchline. It sounds like the name of a AA baseball team in Stamford, CT, just down the road from the Hartford Yard Goats. Plus, the arena being nicknamed the “Krak House,” fans being labeled “Krak-heads”, neither of those ideas thrilled me.

But then I took a look at the logo.

Triple Overtime Win

If NHL Seattle was going to go with Kraken as the name, and was committed to building a franchise they could sustain for the long haul, then the brand identity had to be flawless. It had to be serious, but with just the right amount of whimsy. It had to be menacing without being cartoonish. It had to reflect the city, the team, the league, and the sport in a professional manner. And it had to be cool. Like, really effin’ cool. Especially after taking so… friggin’… long… to announce it!

The Kraken primary and secondary logos are all of those things and more. The tentacle embedded in the ‘S’; the creature’s eye nestled in the upper loop; the colors reflecting a nod to Seattle sports history while still forming a unique palette among all professional sports teams; and the Space Needle silhouette adorning the top of the anchor in the secondary logo.

Seattle’s team branding is genius, pure and simple, and it turns what could have been a disastrous, myopic decision into a huge boost for the team and its fans. Yes, they are already making a mint on shirts and water bottles — Seattle Kraken merchandise is among the top 5 best selling teams in all of professional sports in the last 14 days. But any idea that the Seattle Kraken ownership group was a short-term player is now dead and buried. This was a triple overtime win for the NHL’s newest franchise, and hopefully a sign of more victories to come.

Hot And Heavy

Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis has been busy as hell the last few weeks, team branding aside. The team announced the hiring of Dave Baseggio as Assistant General Manager and Director of Pro Scouting. He has been in the Ducks’ front office for the last twelve years acting in a similar capacity, with minor league coaching stints further back in his resume also.

Baseggio will be the guy who will have the biggest influence on who Seattle chooses at the expansion draft, so this announcement is very big news. The Kraken also added three more names to their scouting ranks, and you can bet that their eyes are already keenly trained on the NHL playoffs. It’s likely that Francis now has the team of scouts that he needs in order to be fully prepared for the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.

After the Cup has been awarded (in an arena without fans, which could wind up being the weirdest thing we witness in our lifetimes) the Seattle Kraken news is going to start coming hot and heavy. The way the team will be formed is mainly through the expansion draft, and the list of protected and exposed players will be the focus of our attention in the coming months.

The other teams in the league will soon be in a frenzy to sign their own players to contract extensions, grab new blood in the free agent market, and flesh out their lineups for next season through trades. Once the ink is dry on those deals, the list of each team’s exposed players will come into much clearer focus. And that’s when the fun really starts for us.

We invite you to check back with us here at Jet City Ice to get the latest on what’s going on around the league, and how those events will affect the Seattle Kraken in the 14 months until (currently scheduled) puck drop at the newly-renamed Climate Pledge Arena. Catch us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our RSS feed to get the latest from us the minute it happens.

Enjoy the playoffs, stay safe, and we’ll see you back here soon!

Author: Tim Currell

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