Drop the gloves and vote: Should Seattle’s hockey team be called the Kraken or Sockeyes?

A look inside a future hockey setup at KeyArena in Seattle. (Oak View Group Rendering)

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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:

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