Release the Kraken: Seattle unveils name for NHL franchise

Release the Kraken: Seattle unveils name for NHL franchise

SEATTLE — The name Seattle Kraken seems to have had an air of inevitability around it even during the earliest days of the NHL expansion franchise.

“The first time in our office, there’s only 10 of us in our office, and we put up our NHL Seattle sign on the front door. And the very next morning there was a Post-it on the door that said, ‘Release the Kraken,’” Heidi Dettmer, the franchise’s vice-president of marketing, told The Associated Press. “So it’s definitely something that we’ve heard almost as a rallying cry.”

The franchise made those early fans happy Thursday when it revealed the team would, indeed, be called the Kraken.

After starting with a list of roughly 1,200 names and suggestions — no matter how outlandish — Dettmer and Seattle’s front office whittled them down to a final group of five.

Each was placed into its own silo, as they called it, and given thoughtful and independent consideration with an eye toward what would be the best brand for the franchise.

Ultimately, Seattle opted to unleash the sea creature from Scandinavian folklore on the rest of the NHL.

“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,” Dettmer said. “I’ve totally fallen in love with this brand and I think our fans will.”

Kraken was the winner over options that may have proven safer and possibly less polarizing. From the start, Sockeyes, Steelheads — even Metropolitans in a nod to Seattle’s hockey history — were among the fan favourites. There was even a push from some for the team to try to acquire the Thunderbirds name from the local junior team.

But those fans that loved Kraken were loud and fervent.

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

Within their passion, the front office and its brand committee found an opportunity to be a bit unconventional. They opted for a name not everyone may like but one that everyone will talk about.

It was edgy, different and sounded menacing.

The time it took to arrive at Thursday’s announcement had more to do with finalizing the logo and colours, with several delays thrown in. Seattle decided on Kraken around the first of the year, Dettmer said. Then came all the ancillary pieces.

The logo was of major importance. The primary logo is a tentacle shaped into an “S” in the style of the old Seattle Metropolitans jersey and logo. The Metropolitans were the first American team to win the Stanley Cup in 1917.

“We needed a mark that was noble and (Seattle GM) Ron Francis was someone who kept hitting that home,” Nic Corbett, the director of NHL relations with Adidas, told the AP. “It has to be noble, it has to be strong.”

The primary colours are a deep dark blue — almost black — complemented by lighter shades of blue. Corbett said one of the unique aspects of the initial home jersey renderings is that all the white has been removed, allowing the bolder colours to stand out.

“As you can imagine, every train or flight back from Seattle once we knew we were getting close, there were a couple of options without talking too loud on the plane or train, you could just see everybody’s mind not able to shut off and was just going 1,000 miles an hour,” Corbett said. “How do we tie it into the heritage? How do we have it be the mark that everybody’s going to see when it hangs on the banner of the Stanley Cup championship in the arena.”

Dettmer said the franchise understand the name is likely to have its critics. But for a franchise that has the Hollywood influence of Jerry Bruckheimer, who is one of the owners, being bold and aggressive was the play.

“We wanted to make sure it was truly authentic to Seattle and being a city built by the sea — both figuratively and literally — it works really, really well,” Dettmer said. “We’ve got the Puget Sound that’s the waterfront of our city that has these deep, dark waters that are a little mysterious as well.

“So you tie in that kind of local Seattle flavour, our maritime history, with the fans’ rallying cry, is one of the ways in the discovery phase that we got to this name.”

___

For more AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Tim Booth, The Associated Press

seattle

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
City and County of Wetaskiwin reporting active cases

Both the City of Wetaskiwin and County of Wetaskiwin have active cases.

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Maskwacis reporting 37 active cases

Numbers current as of Oct. 19

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID-19: One more death in central zone

Ponoka County on province’s watchlist

Photo submitted/ Millet In Bloom
Town of Millet declared Best Blooming Community

The Town of Millet is being recognized for their efforts to meet the challenges of 2020.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.	Kenney is isolating at home after one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta premier isolating after minister tests positive for COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is isolating at home

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Alberta's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday, July 6, 2020. Advisers are reportedly recommending Alberta's kindergarten to Grade 4 arts and social studies curriculum remove all references to residential schools because it's "too sad" for young children. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Advisers suggest Alberta students not learn about residential schools before Grade 4

Documents suggest children younger than Grade 4 are too emotionally vulnerable to learn about residential schools

robbery
UPDATE: Shooting suspect arrested by Wetaskiwin/Camrose RCMP

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

File photo
RCMP’s response to online discussions about anti-racism demonstrations

Ponoka RCMP Staff Sgt.’s comments misattributed online

Shaelynn Decock and her dog Taco, who has been missing since Aug. 26. Photo Submitted
Sylvan Lake woman looking for closure for her stolen dog

Shaelynn Decock says it has been two months since she last saw her dog Taco

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

Most Read