KRAKEN

Seattle Kraken welcomed by city with day long celebration

Oct 23, 2021, 7:25 AM | Updated: 9:56 pm

SEATTLE (AP) – The day started with Hockey Hall of Famer Cammi Granato on top of the iconic Space Needle raising a deep blue flag with the tentacle shaped ‘S’ flying over the city.

Photos and video: Seattle Kraken take the ice at Climate Pledge Arena

And from there, Seattle only became more awash in everything Seattle Kraken on Saturday in celebration of the home opener against Vancouver.

Planes flew over the city pulling banners. The statues of Ken Griffey Jr. outside T-Mobile Park and Rachel the Pig at Pike Place Market were glad in Kraken gear. It was a buzz three years in the making since the franchise was awarded by the NHL in late 2018.

The Lower Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle that once filled with NBA fans on game nights more than a decade ago were crammed with Kraken sweaters and hours before puck drop. Bars were packed. Beers were being enjoyed and the Emerald City was ready for the debut of the NHL.

“Based on my walking the streets of Seattle all day today, seeing everybody dressed in Kraken gear, the buzzer that’s in the air walking around this amazing building,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “This is a great night, not just for Seattle or the Kraken. It’s a great night for the NHL.”

The 32nd franchise started with five road games before its home opener under the roof of Climate Pledge Arena against the rival Canucks. And before the first puck drop, Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke announced the No. 32 was being retired by the franchise in honor of the 32,000 season ticket depositors that helped make the Kraken a reality.

It was the first time an NHL team went head-to-head against a Seattle-based club in the city since the 1919 Stanley Cup Final when Montreal faced the Seattle Metropolitans in a series cut short by the influenza epidemic.

By the time Kraken players hit the ice for pregame warmups at 6:30 p.m., the majority of fans were already in their seats getting their first look at their team in person. There were fans outside the arena looking into the building through the windows on the north end.

It was less than 12 hours earlier that Kraken players skated on the arena ice for the first time. The arena opened its doors this week with a pair of concerts that kept the ice covered up until just a handful of hours before the first puck drop.

“Tonight’s different just being at home for the first time in front of our crowd here in Seattle. I think being excited is a good thing having energy is a good thing you just have to use it in the right ways,” Seattle captain Mark Giordano said.

The pregame production to bring Seattle into the league didn’t match the spectacle of what Vegas brought to the league in 2017. But there are some decidedly Seattle aspects to the game presentation, from the use of an old Washington State Ferries horn when goals are scored to Nirvana’s track “Lithium” as the Kraken goal song, for now.

“A place like Columbus you have to prepare yourself because the cannon goes off an it scares the hell out of you,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol joked. “You use the word unique and that’s the feel to this building in every way. This is a really unique building.”

Seattle Kraken coverage from 710Sports.com

Kraken fans get chance to show Seattle is a great hockey city
Morosi: Why Kraken haven’t started strong like last new NHL team
Andy Eide: Now healthy, Gourde will give Kraken a shot of lightning
Maura Dooley: What we learned from the Kraken’s first week

Kraken

Seattle Kraken Carolina Hurricanes...
Brent Stecker

On their best stretch yet, it’s all coming together for Seattle Kraken

John Forslund, the voice of the Seattle Kraken, shared his take on the team's recent stretch of five wins over its last seven games.
2 days ago
Seattle Kraken Edmonton Oilers...
The Associated Press

Seattle Kraken take early lead, hold off Oilers in 4-3 win

Colin Blackwell and Alex Wennberg scored less than three minutes apart in the second period, and the Seattle Kraken beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on Friday night.
3 days ago
Seattle Kraken...
Andy Eide

Eide: Seattle Kraken lack stars, but depth is there and will be key the rest of the way

The Seattle Kraken have been playing well of late and doing so with their depth shining through, not because of star performances.
4 days ago
Seattle Kraken Red Wings...
The Associated Press

Seattle Kraken fall 4-3 to Detroit Red Wings in first shootout

Adam Erne scored the decisive goal in a shootout and the Detroit Red Wings won their fourth straight game by beating the Seattle Kraken 4-3 on Wednesday night.
5 days ago
Seattle Kraken Brandon Tanev...
Andy Eide

Eide: How the streaking Seattle Kraken have picked up steam

The Seattle Kraken have put their six-game losing streak behind them with four wins over their last five games. Andy Eide looks at how.
6 days ago
Seattle Kraken Mason Applelton...
The Associated Press

McCann, Appleton each score twice, Seattle Kraken beat Sabres 7-4

Jared McCann and Mason Appleton each scored two goals, and the Seattle Kraken beat the Buffalo Sabres 7-4 on Monday night.
7 days ago
Seattle Kraken welcomed by city with day long celebration