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The NHL’s New Seattle Kraken Is (Are?) Awesome

After two years of anticipation, the 32nd NHL franchise based in Seattle announced their name and mascot yesterday.

It was announced in 2018 that Seattle would be awarded an NHL franchise. And until yesterday, no one knew what the branding of the franchise would look like.

And boy, did their marketing department get it right.

Recently, new professional sports franchises have played it too safe or just missed the mark, entirely. New MLS teams have just tacked on some variation of “FC” to their home city or state and called it quits. The Vegas Golden Knights went with their name to pay homage. . .to a service academy in New York? Hell, even the newest NFL team, the Houston Texans, is safe and boring.

The Kraken, on the other hand, is unique. I can’t think of a team at any level of competition in any sport in the United States that goes by this moniker. Most fans just want their team to be unique from other teams in their league or region, and the Kraken is certainly that.

Make no mistake, they probably considered trying to revive the Seattle Totems from the mid-20th Century. First off, re-branding a team from the ’70s would have been boring. Second off, it probably would have been considered cultural appropriation in today’s sports world. So on the same day Washington announced they would be called the “Washington Football Team” as they dig themselves out of the Redskins hole, Seattle’s hockey team decided to go in a different direction. Good for them.

The name also pays homage to the maritime culture of Seattle, much like the Mariners and Seahawks they share the town with. Encapsulating a part of local culture into one word is going to be a hit with the local fans. Just look at how many people in Cleveland love the Browns because of how well their branding encapsulates their brown, terrible city.

It also looks like, from the early pictures being posted online, that the Kraken are going with an offshoot of the two-tone blue colorway. Similar to what the Seahawks and Mariners currently use. Any Titans fan will tell you that the two-tone blue is the best colorway there is. And they would be right.

Now the question is: are they one cohesive unit forming a singular Kraken? Or are they multiple Kraken forming a school of Kraken, and the plural form of Kraken is just Kraken. Kind of like Moose. English is a weird language, and we need sports back.

Welcome to the NHL, Seattle.

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