The deep-sea debate about what to call Seattle’s still-to-play professional hockey team has bubbled to the surface again this week with a rumor that a mythological moniker could be slapped on the franchise.
The gloves came off on Twitter and elsewhere Wednesday afternoon when news broke that “Seattle Kraken” was the leading name choice for NHL Seattle, the group in charge of getting a team on the ice in the city by 2021. (Cast your vote for team name below.)
John Hoven of the hockey site Mayor’s Manor started the speculation when he said in a Sirius XM radio appearance that, from everything he had heard, Kraken is going to be the name, despite the fact that for a while it looked like the team was leaning toward “Seattle Sockeyes.”
NHL Seattle threw a bit of cold water on the Kraken theory and “fishy rumors” with a statement and tweet after the name started trending on Twitter.
While we’re aware of some fishy rumors surrounding our team name, please rest assured we’re doing our due diligence by scouring the depths of the ocean, the tallest mountains, and the densest parts of the forest to find the right name for our great, green city.
— NHL Seattle (@NHLSeattle_) January 29, 2020
Kraken — a giant, ship-swallowing sea creature popularized in Scandinavian folklore, literature and film — is not without a backin’ based on the reaction from hockey geeks who weighed in. Director Kevin Smith was among those who gave the name a thumbs up.
SEATTLE! If you name your new @NHL team the KRAKEN, so help me Zeus, I will become a big, fat Krak-Head! Release the Kraken – the most absolutely metal name for hockey team since the @NJDevils! (Also: RT #BellLetsTalk all day, whenever you can!) https://t.co/rdFeRecJCZ
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) January 29, 2020
Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan also jumped on the much-repeated “Release the Kraken” bandwagon with a tweet featuring the Liam Neeson phrase and meme from the 2010 “Clash of the Titans” film.
— Mayor Jenny Durkan (@MayorJenny) January 30, 2020
Other fans have been quick to draw up logos and assign team colors. Some can envision a lighthouse or the sound of a Washington State Ferry horn being incorporated into the celebration when a goal is scored.
Who wants to hear what a Washington State Ferry’s horn would sound like as a goal horn? #releasethekraken pic.twitter.com/Mj7WsSD2Bs
— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken3) January 20, 2020
Like the Knights have their Castle within the Fortress, I propose the Krakhouse (Amazon Arena) have a Light House that lights up for goals pic.twitter.com/2PnEQeStlI
— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken3) January 30, 2020
If it’s not Kraken I’m going to be so heart broken! I just feel the logo, merchandise, marketing potential, etc. are unrivaled with that name. I like some other names, hate other names, Kraken has always been one of the best options because of the marketing potential.
— JB (@Jome20) January 29, 2020
The league and team owners may end up shying from the name if only because so many people couldn’t help envisioning Kraken with a myriad of drug-related references — fans as “Krakheads” or the arena as the “Krak House.” Seattle radio personality Dori Monson complained that Seattle streets are already “awash” in crack thanks to our “out of control drug use.” Will the team’s logo be “a guy lighting up a crack pipe?” Monson wondered.
If Seattle Kraken fans aren’t called Krakheads I’m done with humanity
— Pirate Jordan (@Reagan_Jordan1) January 29, 2020
So we have the KrakHouse and the Clink? pic.twitter.com/PDutCpgzDZ
— Marielle (@marielle922) January 30, 2020
NHL Seattle said in a statement that it is “thrilled by the growing excitement about our team” and can’t wait to share more details with fans. But they’re not going to comment on any more rumors, advising fans to just watch official social channels for updates.
The rumor that started it all leans heavily on the assumption that “Sockeyes” will be ruled out because of a Seattle Sockeyes book series by Shelton, Wash., novelist Jami Davenport. She told The Seattle Times Wednesday that she’s a hockey fan, has a deposit on season tickets and is willing to work with the team. She doesn’t want people to think she’s the holdup on NHL Seattle going with that name.
Pity NHL Seattle and this age of rapid reaction / backlash. Fans of the Seattle Mariners, Seahawks, SuperSonics, Sounders, Storm, etc. didn’t have the social media crutch to lean on when it came to debating a team name for those franchises.
While this won’t settle anything, clearly, you should cast your vote below for which hockey name you prefer: