We now know the name of the newest National Hockey League expansion franchise. When the 2021-22 NHL regular season is set to commence, the Seattle Kraken will join the Pacific Division.
With the addition of the Kraken, there will be 32 NHL organizations. There will be eight teams in each conference. Starting in the 2021-22 season, the Arizona Coyotes will move from the Pacific Division to the Central Division. The Coyotes will be in the Central Division even though the state of Arizona is in the Pacific time zone from March to November.
So what is a Kraken? Well, it is is a large sea monster that has Scandinavian heritage, particularly, from Sweden, Norway, and Greenland. The logo will see the Kraken shaped in the letter S, to honor Seattle. The Kraken will also be turquoise in color with a red tongue at the top.
The Kraken will play at the newly-renovated Climate Pledge Arena. The complex was renovated in 2019 and cost $129 million. It was previously called the KeyArena, and former home of the Seattle SuperSonics of the National Basketball Association, the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League, the Washington Huskies basketball team of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the Seattle SeaDogs of the Continental Indoor Soccer League.
In addition to the Kraken, Climate Pledge Arena is also the host stadium of the Seattle University Redhawks men’s basketball team. The arena will also host the Seattle Storm of the WNBA.
There is also hope that someday the National Basketball Association will return to Seattle. For now, the NHL and specifically, the Seattle Kraken will be the primary tenant of Climate Pledge Arena. The SuperSonics moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City in 2008.
The Kraken’s general manager is Hockey Hall of Famer Ron Francis of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. As a player, Francis is second all-time in National Hockey League assists with 1249. He only trails Wayne Gretzky in that category. As an executive, Francis was the general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes from 2014 to 2018.