What should the NHL Seattle team name be? 710’s voices make their picks

Jun 22, 2020, 1:37 AM | Updated: Jun 25, 2020, 2:07 pm

NHL Seattle, NHL Finals...

The NHL Seattle team will join the league in 2021-22 but is yet still unnamed. (Getty)


The NHL Seattle franchise likely will not unveil the team name until this fall at the earliest, according to The Seattle Times, but since we’ve been speculating on what the team name will be for years, why stop now?

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Everyone has an opinion on what the name should be. Should it be Kraken, which was the rumored name earlier this year? What about Sockeyes?

We decided to see what the staff here at 710 ESPN Seattle and thought the name should be whenever that time does eventually come. Here’s what the hosts, writers and more had to say about their preferences.

What do you think the NHL Seattle team name should be?

Paul Gallant – Danny and Gallant

First thing’s first: I do not want a team nicknamed after salmon. Salmon is great … to eat. Every single nickname in the NHL is capable of scarfing one down, if not outright destroying it. Bruins, Panthers, Predators, Sharks. Probably even Penguins and Ducks. You could roast them with Flames. Electrocute them with Lightning. Alliteration isn’t worth being at the bottom of the food chain. If you need it so bad, then Sasquatch is the nickname to roll with.

The name I want? Orca. After humans, they’re the most intelligent predator on the planet. And they hang out here! More importantly, can you think of one team in major professional or college sports that’s taken on that nickname?

“But PAWL, what about our neighbOURS in Vancouver, eh? Wouldn’t that be copying their hockey team?”

Don’t let that logo fool you. Orca is available! Because Vancouver? They’re the Canucks. That’s slang for… Canadian. They took the most successful team in the league’s nickname – the Montreal Canadiens – and Anglicized the spelling. So OURiginal, eh? So we’ll take Orca, and Vancouver can go back to this look.

Brock Huard – Brock and Salk

It’s Sockeye, and there’s little debate.

As an avid fisherman I have enjoyed a number of battles with Oncorhynchus Nerka (that’s the scientific name for the Sockeye) and they’re fierce, fast and full of energy – exactly what any fan wants it’s hockey team to resemble.

Go Sockeye.

Stacy Rost – Tom, Jake and Stacy

Hear me out: the Seattle Kraken is not a bad team name. For starters, it’s not already associated with an existing team, like the Cougars, Rainiers or Eagles (all of which are other rumored options). The Whales, Seals, Sockeyes, and Emeralds – all other suggestions – could also work. Of these, my favorite option might be Whales. But why wouldn’t you want to be something different? Something like – oh, I dunno – a mythical apex predator modeled after an adorable giant cephalopod! There’s no question mark there because it’s not really a question. This is the obvious answer. And it’s best you accept this fate now.

There aren’t obvious colors associated with the Kraken.

Want black jerseys? Bronze? You got it.

You want an over-the-top production involving ships and stormy seas ahead of every home game? Do I have a mascot for you.

Do you want delicious seafood options at concessions stands? Pirates and sailor costumes at games? Fried calamari on a stick that we justify eating because we’re not really eating a Kraken but smaller, weaker squid?

Do you want to be the guy who says your mascot can hypothetically beat all other mascots because “a 100-foot long giant squid that swallows ships could beat any animal mascot based on size alone and also are we really sure it’s not real I mean we’ve really only explored 5% of the ocean, oh my gosh, you guys, what if the Kraken is real, do I sound crazy right now?” Yes, you do want to be that guy!

What reason do you have to not adopt the Kraken name? If your answer comes down to it simply being “weird,” guess what? You don’t want to be like the other teams. You want to be weird if being weird means winning. You know who else was weird? Albert Einstein… probably. You don’t want to be like other teams. You don’t want to fit into a box. You want to be a Kraken.

Anyway, the Whales would be cool, too.

Dave Wyman – Bob, Dave and Moore

The Kraken.

Why? Because I’m a nerd from the 80s. I liked Rush, wanted to be tied up by Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth, and I liked hokey special effects like this one:

Or this one.

Come on NHL Seattle, release the Kraken.

D.J. Wilder – 710 ESPN Seattle board operator

This is an easy decision for me: Seattle Kraken.

Kraken is a powerful team name, right up there with the Nashville Predators, Boston Bruins, and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Also, you could use the clip from “Clash of the Titans” when Liam Neeson says “Release the Kraken” as the players skate out of the tunnel. The possibilities are endless. (Editor’s note: You can really feel the roughly 30-year age difference between Dave and D.J. from the movies they think of when Kraken comes up.)

As long as it’s not the Seattle Cougars – sorry to Jess, Kyle, Jim, Taylor, and any other Coug I might’ve offended with this.

Dave “The Groz” Grosby – 710 ESPN Seattle host emeritus

To me, there are two great choices: Sockeyes and Steelheads. Both can be thrown on the ice for hat tricks. Both lend themselves to great logos – just use your imagination. I lean towards Steelheads. It’s a great name in Seattle because it belonged to the Negro League baseball team and I like any chance for historical context. Your Seattle Steelheads! I like it.

Brandon Gustafson – writer

As anyone who has ever watched a primetime Seahawks game knows, fish are a big deal here in the Pacific Northwest, as shown through the repeated clips of the guys at Pike Place performing the heralded fish toss. I bring that up because yes, I am firmly on “Team Sockeyes” for the NHL Seattle team name. And yes, I did grow up fishing for sockeye and other similar fish throughout my life here in Washington.

I know the common complaints regarding the name: “It’s not tough” or “it gets eaten by other NHL team names” or simply “it’s a fish.” But it’s a name that has a firm connection to our region and also represents one of hockey’s great traditions: beating the snot out of each other. I think the marketing and the potential for great merchandise with Sockeyes as the team name would be fantastic. A fish with a black eye and throwing up its fists/fins as it looks for its next brawl? Sign me up.

Brent Stecker – editor

What should the NHL Seattle team’s name be? Honestly – and I’ve been saying this since day 1 – make them the Sonics. The NBA has largely been disinterested in writing the wrongest of wrongs that it allowed to happen 11 years ago, and rather than play nice in order to eventually get an expansion team from a league that keeps saying expansion isn’t in the plans, it sounds a lot more fun to me to go the revenge route.

Oh, you let our basketball team be stolen out from underneath us, and then when we tried to do the same thing to Sacramento, you suddenly realized how it’s bad to let a team get uprooted and moved to another market? Well FINE, we got hockey now, and they’re gonna have cool uniforms with that classic arched wordmark that says “SONICS” and you can’t do a single thing about it!

OK, so, actually the NBA probably could very easily do something about it – even though it doesn’t use the Sonics name for anything other than to extract money from poor suckers like me who want to rep their favorite defunct team, there’s no way the league would allow that to happen because of legal rights and such.

Luckily there’s another name I’ve been particularly fond of – the Seattle Emeralds. It’s befitting of the Emerald City and has great aesthetic possibilities when it comes to color scheme and a logo. What I really like about it has to do with my job, though, because one of the most important daily tasks I have is writing headlines. If the team was called the Emeralds, we could refer to them as the ‘Ems,’ which might be confusing if you’re actually verbalizing it because of the Mariners (aka the M’s) but would look great in written form. And honestly, I think it would be pretty fun if the question “So how about those M’s/Ems?” could have two answers.

Scott Blumenfeld, 710 ESPN Seattle promotions/hockey enthusiast

Ah, the Seattle Metropolitans. I remember it like it was yesterday, or 103 years ago. Same difference, right?

As the first American-based team to ever hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup in 1917, it’s inevitable that NHL Seattle will pay some sort of homage to the cup-winning Seattle Metropolitans. How that respect will be demonstrated is the dilemma. Do they continue the legacy by hanging a banner in the rafters on opening night, branding the entire franchise around that history, or simply start fresh with no reference to the history at all?

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman remains a bit cautious on naming a team after a division within the league, which is reasonable and could be the lone element for the franchise to overlook the name. NHL Seattle’s team-name decision rests heavily on the direction they look to take the franchise, whether it’s recognizing the history of hockey in the Pacific Northwest or going after a fresh feel and diving into completely new waters (i.e. Sockeyes, Kraken).

The name Seattle Metropolitans has a bold ring to it, a credible hockey history and drips with nickname potential like the Metros or Mets. It could be seen as a knock on the creative side to associate an expansion franchise’s name with another professional sports team that currently occupies that name, like the New York Mets. But, when has that ever dragged down the swagger of any other team names like the Kings (Sacramento/Los Angeles), Panthers (Carolina/Florida) or Cardinals (Arizona/St. Louis)?

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What should the NHL Seattle team name be? 710’s voices make their picks