The Seattle Kraken, a new team in the NHL, are about to make history, being the first expansion team since the Vegas Golden Knights. If the Kraken accomplished half of what the Golden Knights did in their first season, people would still consider it a success.
In their first season, the Golden Knights made it to the Stanley Cup Final, but unfortunately they lost to the Washington Capitals. Setting the stage for the Seattle Kraken, they drafted an expansion team and went to the finals all in the span of 12 months. Although they haven’t been back to the finals since 2018, they are still known to be serious contenders in the Western Conference.
The Kraken are hoping for a similar story this season. Although they don’t necessarily have any star players, they still have a lot of good role players that want to win hockey games. Like Vegas, the Kraken are also joining the NHL through the Western Conference. It’s going to be interesting to see how they compete against those tough Western Conference teams, including Vegas.
The expansion draft is something that was introduced to the NHL in 2017 for the Vegas Knights. Essentially, each team gets to “protect” a certain number of players that the expansion team cannot draft. Most of the time this leads to the expansion team not having such a strong roster, but sometimes there are teams who are willing to give up better players due to reasons like age, too high of a salary, etc. This negotiation decides the roster for the expansion team.
Expansion teams offer great opportunities to typical ‘role players’ on normal teams to come together and try to lead a new organization. An example of this would be Mark Stone, hockey player for the Vegas Golden Knights. Before the Golden Knights, he was considered a good role player, but now he is known as one of the best players in the NHL. Seattle is hoping for a star just like Mark Stone to appear out of nowhere.
This is the first time ever that the city of Seattle will have a hockey team, and fans from the area are enthusiastic to have a local team to root for. The Kraken played their first preseason game on September 26th, and they beat the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 5-3. The fans were a big factor in the game. Excited and very loud, they gave the Kraken an extra bit of energy to win their first matchup. Similar to Vegas, Seattle hockey fans have been waiting their entire lives to have a team from their city, and they finally have one.
There are so many questions that hockey fans have about this new team that will only be answered during the season. They are being brought into the Pacific Division featuring some great players like Connor Mcdavid (Oilers), Leon Draisaitl (Oilers), John Gaudreau (Flames), and many others. If this new team can garner momentum in the beginning of the season, it has the potential to make it to the playoffs and make history once again. What’s more, players coming from the expansion draft always tend to have an extra chip on their shoulders to prove their old team wrong.
The Seattle Kraken aren’t just joining the NHL in a traditional manner, but they are coming in style. Their team colors are deep sea blue, ice blue, boundless blue, shadow blue, and red alert. Their home jersey is deep sea blue and ice blue with a big snake on the front. The snake is in the shape of an S (to represent Seattle). Without a doubt, they have one of the coolest jerseys in the entire NHL.
Just because the Vegas Golden Knights were successful, doesn’t mean it is easy for an expansion team to be successful. In reality, they have a very high chance to end the season without making the playoffs, possibly even in last place in the division. However, no matter how many wins and losses they get this year, it will be very interesting to watch the franchise develop into a potential Stanley Cup threat one day. Watch out NHL fans, here comes the Kraken.