Confirming longtime speculation, Seattle has officially named its new NHL hockey team the Kraken.
The name, logo and uniforms were revealed Thursday (watch a clip above, including a sizzle reel), ahead of the team’s debut in the 2021-22 season.
The announcement cemented one of the most offbeat names for a team in all of professional sports. It is a reference to a creature that had a cameo in the 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans and has far outlasted memories of the film itself. Clips of star Liam Neeson’s earnest baritone cry — “Release the kraken!” — lodged the phrase in the pop-culture vernacular even though the movie was hardly a smash, taking in $493.2 million at the global box office.
In Scandinavian mythology, the kraken is a gigantic, many-tentacled sea monster. Its maritime associations helped persuade team officials to take it as more than a gag as they sifted through some 1,200 potential names. Alfred Tennyson wrote a poem in 1930 called “The Kraken,” and Herman Melville referenced the beast in his classic novel, Moby-Dick.
Seattle will have the 32nd team in the NHL after a lengthy effort to land an expansion club. The city has NFL and Major League Baseball franchises in the Seahawks and Mariners and is home to a popular Major League Soccer outfit, the Sounders. But in 2008, it lost to the NBA’s SuperSonics, a major draw for many years and champions of basketball in 1979. That team moved to become the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Pacific Northwest’s largest city has not had a pro hockey team since the Metropolitans, which formed in the early 20th century.
Amazon last month won the bidding for naming rights to the downtown arena where the Kraken will play. The tech giant won’t put its own name on the building, however. Instead, it will be called Climate Pledge Arena and will feature an array of environmentally sustainable features.
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