Seattle Kraken officially become 32nd NHL team after final $650m payment

  • Kraken make final payment, officially become 32nd NHL team
  • Seattle club will build roster through 21 July expansion draft

The Seattle Kraken are free to make trades and sign players after making their final expansion payment to the National Hockey League.

Seattle owners paid $650m (£470m) to become the NHL’s 32nd franchise. The Kraken begin play next season.

“On behalf of the Board of Governors, I am delighted to officially welcome the Seattle Kraken to the NHL as our 32nd member club,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said on Friday. “Congratulations to David Bonderman, the Bonderman family, their partners, the entire Seattle Kraken organization, the city of Seattle and Kraken fans as the club continues on its exciting journey towards puck drop in October.”

Signed, sealed, delivered. ✅

On what is a monumental day for hockey in the Pacific Northwest, the #SeaKraken share their thoughts on the meaning of today & what’s next for the @NHL's 32nd franchise →

— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) April 30, 2021

General manager Ron Francis has been able to talk to colleagues around the league, and he and his staff have been scouting and planning for the expansion draft 21 July. The final payment by ownership allows him to make official transactions, such as signing college free agents.

“Today is another momentous day on the journey to puck drop,” Bonderman said. “We have an incredible few months ahead of us.”

The Seattle club first unveiled its nickname in July, ending 19 months of speculation about whether the team might lean traditional or go eccentric with the name for the leagues 32nd team.

Seattle Kraken
A shirt and hats advertise the NHL’s newest franchise during the grand opening of Seattle Kraken team store in August. Photograph: Jim Bennett/Getty Images

In opting for the sea creature of Scandinavian folklore, Seattle bypassed options like Sockeyes, Evergreens or Metropolitans, the last of which would have been a nod to Seattles hockey history. There was even a push from some fans for the team to try to acquire the Thunderbirds name from the local junior team.

But Kraken was a clear favorite among fans, who rallied around the name soon after the expansion franchise was awarded in December 2018. The enthusiasm has grown since as the team built toward its debut for the 2021-22 season.

Nic Corbett, the director of NHL relations with Adidas, said the primary logo is a Kraken tentacle shaped into an S and is a nod to the Seattle Metropolitans logo.

The Metropolitans, who played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1915 to 1924, became the first American team to win the Stanley Cup in 1917.

The Kraken become the NHL’s first new team since the Vegas Golden Knights, who enjoyed improbably immediate success upon their entry to the league four years ago by reaching the Stanley Cup final in their maiden season.


Guardian sport and agencies

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
NHL season predictions: better fashion, the Kraken wakes and an NY title
There is a packed season coming up, with a new team, rising players and the small matter of a Winter Olympics tournament

Colin Horgan

12, Oct, 2021 @9:00 AM

Article image
Stanley Cup final Game 7: St Louis Blues 4-1 Boston Bruins – as it happened
As it happened: The St Louis Blues won the team’s first ever championship with a 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final

Beau Dure

13, Jun, 2019 @2:58 AM

Article image
Stanley Cup predictions: Ovechkin v Fleury – and a shock appearance from Celine Dion
The Capitals and Golden Knights are both going for their first championship. Which player will make the difference – and who will come out on top?

Colin Horgan, Sean McIndoe and Joshua Kloke

28, May, 2018 @9:00 AM

Article image
Welcome to impossible: the Golden Knights and the NHL miracle that makes no sense
Las Vegas’s new team will play for the Stanley Cup. It’s quite possibly the most surprising, unprecedented and confounding story in the history of the NHL

Sean McIndoe

22, May, 2018 @8:00 AM

Article image
Would bringing back NHL’s brawling enforcers make hockey safer?
As the Stanley Cup finals start on Monday night, it’s worth considering whether we need to rethink how the game is played

Peter Jakubowicz

28, Jun, 2021 @9:00 AM

Article image
NHL playoffs 2023: can anyone stop the record-smashing Boston Bruins?
The Bruins broke long-standing NHL records during a stunning regular-season campaign. But history shows that a Stanley Cup is hardly a given from here

Colin Horgan

17, Apr, 2023 @8:00 AM

Article image
Don Cherry offered job by Russian hockey team to 'talk whatever he thinks'
One day after the iconic Canadian hockey pundit was fired by Sportsnet for xenophobic remarks, a Russian team has publicly recruited him as a TV analyst

Guardian sport

12, Nov, 2019 @4:37 PM

Article image
Vegas or Florida? Breaking down a most unexpected Stanley Cup final
A first-time NHL champion will be crowned when the Vegas Golden Knights meet the upstart Florida Panthers starting on Saturday night

Colin Horgan

03, Jun, 2023 @8:30 AM

Article image
Stamkos strikes twice as Lightning sink Rangers and return to Stanley Cup final
Tampa Bay are headed to the Stanley Cup final for the third straight year after beating the Rangers 2-1 in Game 6 of the East finals


12, Jun, 2022 @4:11 AM

Article image
The US women's hockey team gave their employers the whipping of their lives
The US players earned a huge win for themselves and for women’s hockey, but they also showed the power athletes have in this age of social awareness

DJ Gallo

29, Mar, 2017 @9:00 AM