The NHL unveiled the name of its 32nd team, the Seattle Kraken. (Seattle Kraken)

Release the Kraken: Seattle unveils name for NHL franchise

Team will play out of Seattle

The NHL’s newest team finally has its name: the Seattle Kraken.

The expansion franchise unveiled its nickname Thursday, ending 19 months of speculation about whether the team might lean traditional or go eccentric with the name for the league’s 32nd team.

“The Kraken is a name born of the fans. It was suggested and championed by the fans,” Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke said.

In opting for the sea creature of Scandinavian folklore, Seattle bypassed options like Sockeyes, Evergreens or Metropolitans, the last of which would have been a nod to Seattle’s hockey history. There was even a push from some fans for the team to try to acquire the Thunderbirds name from the local junior team.

But Kraken was a clear favourite among fans, who rallied around the name soon after the expansion franchise was awarded in December 2018. The enthusiasm has grown since as the team built toward its debut for the 2021-22 season.

It’s edgy and sounds menacing. And it gave the franchise a clear brand going forward.

“I think that we felt like this is so authentic and noble, and we hit all the main things that we really wanted that we feel really strongly that this is the right choice,” Heidi Dettmer, Seattle’s vice-president of marketing, told The Associated Press. “I’ve totally fallen in love with this brand and I think our fans will.”

Seattle also unveiled its primary colours, which will be a deep dark blue — almost black — and a lighter shade of blue as a complement.

___

Tim Booth, The Associated Press

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