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The Seattle Kraken have no history of their own yet, but their name is rooted in myths that stretch back centuries.
The moniker is based on the real-life giant Pacific octopus, but legends about the kraken describe leviathan-like monsters that ruled the ocean. According to Seattle’s team website, a kraken instilled one message in all who crossed its path: “abandon all hope.”
The Kraken’s arrival in Seattle, however, is about harboring hope, especially in the team’s inaugural season starting this fall.
The Seattle Kraken are the NHL’s 32nd franchise, and given that the league has now evened out all four divisions with the same number of teams, there is a better-than-good chance that this will be the last time that the NHL expands. That means that this is a unique moment to celebrate the birth of a new hockey market and ponder what it will take for the Kraken to find a foothold in both the NHL and in Seattle itself.
One of the people who will help shape the franchise’s early history will be 31-year-old Canadian winger Jordan Eberle.
Eberle, a native of Regina, Saskatchewan, has spent his decade-plus career in the NHL between the Edmonton Oilers and New York Islanders—two franchises and cities rich with decades-old hockey history. When Eberle joined each of those teams, he became a part of a franchise that is fundamental to the fabric of hockey in North America.
Eberle and the other new Kraken players have gotten a glimpse of their new fanbase and he already has an idea of what the city’s reputation will be amongst the NHL’s other 31 teams.
“It’s going to be amazing. We had a chance to go the Mariners game, we had a chance to go to the Seahawks game, and the fans here in Seattle are passionate. I expect [from] seeing the Kraken gear around the city and the amount of tickets they have sold, how many jerseys they have sold—there’s a lot of buzz around the team. We have the responsibility of playing for them and building a franchise that they can be proud of,” Eberle said.
“I think a lot of teams are going to come in and realize how beautiful Seattle is. Truly, what they have made for us and the amount of money that they have put in the team and just the general feeling of excitement you see around the city. You see Kraken gear everywhere. It’s going to be an awesome market to play in and once teams come in here, they are going to see that.”
The Seattle Kraken are here, and what kind of team and organization they will be isn’t known yet. That is the exciting thing about establishing a brand-new franchise. It may or may not take time to build a winning hockey team in Seattle, but like their namesake, the Kraken want to rule their waters.
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