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NHL’s New Seattle Kraken Announce Name & Logos

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1 hour ago, Brian in Boston said:


There is no chance that Seattle's NHL franchise would be dubbed the Kraken if not for Liam Neeson's Zeus bellowing, "Release the Kraken!" in the 2010 film Clash of the Titans. None. 

I'm 55 years old. In addition to being a rabid sports fan and graphic design/branding enthusiast, I've loved mythology, science fiction, movies, television, and comic books since I was a child. Prior to the release of the original Clash of the Titans in 1981, even a devoted pop-culture nerd (I plead, "Guilty.") would have been hard-pressed to find more than sporadic mentions - let alone appearances - of the creature known as the kraken in American cultural life. I recall reading about the kraken in a couple of collections of myths and legends, its being mentioned in passing in the Jules Verne novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and creatures identified as krakens appearing in a handful of comic books. I also recall giant squid - identified with exactly that terminology, "giant squid" - in some movies and on television. All of that said, the notion that kraken was a familiarly "cool word and image" to a large swath of the American public throughout the 36 years of the 20th century that I drew breath... well, that just doesn't ring true to me. 

Hell, even after the release of the 1981 Clash of the Titans, it was a pretty limited subset of society that would have been likely to conjure up images of a cephalopod-like kraken and consider said creature cool. For starters, the kraken that visual effects and stop-motion animation legend Ray Harryhausen created for the film was decidedly un-squidlike. Rather, it resembled a reptilian simian with a fish's tail and four arms ending in clawed hands. Further, Harryhausen's stop-motion Dynamation technique was already beginning to feel a bit dated when compared to even the earliest of the computer-assisted special effects technologies that were beginning to debut. Finally, Sir Laurence Olivier's introduction of the kraken in the 1981 film was hardly anything to get one's blood-racing. Rather than Neeson's aggressive delivery, Olivier's order to "Release the Kraken," was delivered almost half-heartedly. It was not the sort of impassioned exhortation that would have electrified an arena full of sports fans to rise to their feet and join in... or, inspire an NHL team's ownership group to select a name.

Now, it strikes me that the first widespread notoriety that the mythical kraken achieved via 20th century pop culture was in the 2006 motion picture Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. This kraken was depicted - via CGI - as an enormous, destructive, many-tentacled cephalopod. The special effects work was impressive and the creature certainly made an impression. That said, nowhere in the film does a character utter the line, "Release the Kraken!" Rather, Davy Jones orders his men to "Wake the Kraken!" This is not the stuff that the most prevalent kraken-related memes have been made of. "Wake the Kraken!" hasn't been the rallying cry of those Seattle NHL enthusiasts who have been championing the adoption of a gigantic, mythical cephalopod as the team's namesake mascot since Seattle Hockey Partners were officially granted an expansion franchise just over 19 months ago. "Wake the Kraken!" wasn't the exhortation that introduced the identity of Seattle's NHL franchise today.  Nor was "Wake the Kraken!" the slogan plastered on the souvenir merchandise that went on sale this afternoon.

No, the meme that fueled the adoption of Seattle Kraken as the latest NHL team identity came to cinematic life - and subsequently burst forth from all manner of media platforms - thanks to Liam Neeson's gruff, gravelly 2010 command to "Release the Kraken!" The odds are that if Neeson never delivers that line, Seattle's NHL franchise is taking to the ice as the Sockeyes, Sea Lions, Emeralds, Evergreens, or any number of other identities, because Kraken would have been on the radar of precious few people.     
 

 

 

Glad they didn't go with Liam Neeson's other film and named them Seattle Taken.

 

For those who chimed in and said that the Kraken was a pop culture reference that might become dated, Seattle Karen would've been even more disappointing/disappointed...

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2 minutes ago, Ridleylash said:

Admittedly very much so, but I'd imagine any fan would get spiteful and vindictive if you endured years of a certain subgroup of people among the bigger fanbases basically calling your team worthless and counting down the days until they move because "hockey doesn't belong down there!". It feels gatekeepy in the worst way, even as a person who loves the Leafs as well.

 

Maybe I'm just bitter at having been a fan of teams that were often (and still are) prime targets in that omnipresent relocation discussion, I dunno. This post might be veering off-course, though. 😛

Exactly, Southern hockey fans are incredibly passionate (as we are about every other sport, thank you very much) it's just that we don't get a chance to show it. In my high school in rural NC (about a 30-minute drive from Uptown, very red, very farm-heavy) I saw more people wear Hurricanes gear than Hornets gear. I know several people on local hockey teams, it's not something you'd expect from the area. The problem is that several franchises (Atlanta while it existed, Florida, Carolina for the most part, Arizona) have been awful for a good while or are in awful positions for a fanbase (Florida in Sunrise, Carolina in Raleigh, 2h 30m from where they should be). Nashville, Tampa Bay, and Dallas have all been successful Sun Belt franchises because they had winning teams with accessible arenas. I don't even like the Hurricanes and I'm tired of the :censored: it gets. 

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1 hour ago, VancouverFan69 said:

Seattle was long overdue for an NHL franchise and the franchise blew it big time. Bushleague and gimmicky name and a bland navy and red colour scheme(only the seafoam adds a little distinctiveness). Only to cater to a young and radically progressive demographic instead of going with a far better and a safer choice of a name and a distinctive colour scheme(example: two shades of green) that would go over well with fan bases of all ages - from those who followed the WHL Totems to today's youth.

 

Extremely disappointing. Seattle's NHL franchise has lost all my interest. I despised the Minnesota "Wild" name from Day 1 in 2000 and 20 years later, my feelings and thoughts on the "Wild" name are no different. The same will hold true with the 🤢Kraken🤮 in 20+ years.

 

LMAO this is the kind of hyperbolic, emotional, overreaction that I get so much enjoyment from. I was waiting for you to say "screw it, I'm done  See ya later NHL, I'm out." Sooo funny.

 

I have strong ideas about what I think works and what doesn't work too, but at the end of the day you just have to accept that not everyone shares your opinions and maaaayyybbbeee you're wrong? I have experienced all too often a design for something that I was sure I would never like, only to at some point come around to it in some way. At the very least, leave that possibility open for yourself instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. 

 

Or keep doing it. I don't mind, I find it hilarious to read.

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For those who've been talking about why not a different name with the same identity, think about how the words sound. Octopus, Squid, etc, they just don't have the same oomph as a word as Kraken. 

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6 minutes ago, Ridleylash said:

Oh, I'm all for Florida going to Québec if they can't get their :censored: together and prove that they can make the market work. At this point, it's put up or shut up for them; and unlike in an Arizona, there's already a far more successful team in the state that can just take over that market if the Panthers leave.

 

They're totally and completely expendable, and I would not shed a single tear if they left...well, okay, that's a lie; I'd likely shed at least a few tears of joy for the return of the Nordiques, but that aside, it wouldn't kill me if the Panthers said they were moving to Québec the day after they get eliminated from the play-ins.

 

My bigger beef is with when people do it with the Coyotes, since that's a situation ala Atlanta or Nashville where prior ownership spent years putting out a complete trash heap of a product, made a very limp effort of marketing it in the region and...well, the bankruptcy saga and everything that unfolded from there is obvious. It's hard for me to look back at old posts from that time on places like HFboards, see people basically gleefully counting down the days until the team was moved, and not kinda get why some of the other fans of those teams are so defensive and bitter. It'd be like if a bunch of people gleefully counted down the days until the Whalers were moved; it just feels kinda dirty.

 

Maybe I'm just bitter at having been a fan of teams that were often (and still are) prime targets in that omnipresent relocation discussion, I dunno. This post might be veering off-course, though. 😛


For what it's worth, I kinda have an "anti-sunbelt" reputation myself, especially amongst my off-board friends, and admittedly I am on the "relocate the Panthers & Coyotes" bandwagons a bit so that rep is probably deserved; yet I also realise it's not as simple as them just being (irrelevant) Sunbelt teams. IMO the biggest things that would fix their problems is the same solution: get them out of the suburbs. If they actually played in downtown Miami & Phoenix respectively, I think their situations would improve immensely, and moreso when they start winning again as well. (Heck, I'd even wager that most of the Senators problems with attendance can be summed up with "nobody wants to drive all the way out to Kanata to see a miserable team owned by a curmudgeon".) I think the biggest mistake the Panthers made was not getting in on AA Arena with the Heat, because it's doomed them to forever play out in the swamp in front of half-full crowds at best every single night. 

The Coyotes of course are a bit more complicated, since Phoenix's downtown arena doesn't work for hockey, and we know because they tried to make it work for 7 years. But their time in Glendale has been an abject failure, to the point I actually start to wonder which situation was actually better for them...

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45 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

Maybe.  But that's hardly the same thing as then choosing a name specifically for its meme potential, or for cashing in on an existing meme.


As others have said, even if team ownership didn't choose the name solely and specifically for its meme potential, there's a risk in choosing a brand identity that may well have gained enough mindshare in the general populace via being a meme. The risk is that said meme plays itself out before the franchise establishes its name/identity in other ways - namely, via competitive success as a pro sports franchise.

Now, as I've said from the moment the identity was unveiled today, I think that - despite believing the name is too gimmicky - both the logos and the uniforms are very well-designed. That, in and of itself, helps to offset some of the weaknesses I perceive to be connected to the name.                                                                                                                                        

However, going forward, there's a branding tightrope to be walked here. Thus far, team management and the branding professionals that they've hired have elected to lean into restraint... to embrace the "mystery" surrounding the franchise's namesake mascot. A glimpse of a tentacle here, a hint of an eye there. There's no depiction of a monstrous, multi-limbed, stick-wielding cephalopod to be found in the brand package. It will be interesting to see whether restraint and "mystery" will be enough to satisfy the team's fans going forward. Not so much here, but on other websites and social media platforms, I've already seen some fans clamoring for more overt depictions of a creature - something befitting the "Release the Kracken!" mindset, so to speak - to be added to the team's logo package.

Bottom line? Like any sports branding package, there is the potential for an initially strong identity to be undermined bit by bit. Some identities, just based upon the nature of their theme, are more at risk than others. It is going to be interesting to see how Kraken ownership/management navigates this challenge going forward. Because, while the Kraken name may not have been chosen "specifically for its meme potential", I still contend that it gained enough mindshare with a significant percentage of the general populace because of a meme. And what drew many of said folks to the meme in question was an attraction to the over-the-top potential inherent in a brand based upon an over-the-top movie.                

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13 hours ago, monkeypower said:

kraken-jersey-lg.png

 

i have never voluntarily watched hockey in my life but i'm definitely going to buy this the moment it's available

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12 minutes ago, mcj882000 said:

The Coyotes of course are a bit more complicated, since Phoenix's downtown arena doesn't work for hockey, and we know because they tried to make it work for 7 years. But their time in Glendale has been an abject failure, to the point I actually start to wonder which situation was actually better for them...

The Coyotes need an arena in the East Valley, honestly; that's where a large majority of the fanbase is. If they could get something done there, I think things would be smoother for them. There's no chance for them to share TSRA or any arena with the Suns; because Sarver has outright said that the only way he'd share an arena with the Coyotes is if he gets all the revenue, leaving the Coyotes with even less money than the meager amount they already have, and means they'd have to pay him rent on top of all the other fees they have to go through.

 

That's obviously untenable, given the amount of baggage the team has already. So frankly, :censored: Sarver.

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I think any assertions that the team picked the name based solely on a meme are ignoring more relevant things like local context. Look at this list:

 

Seattle Sounders FC

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Dragons

Seattle Mariners

Seattle Seawolves

Seattle Kraken

Seattle Storm

OL Reign

 

Out of eight Seattle pro sports teams, five names with nautical themes. Two mythological creatures (maybe three if you count Seawolves?). One weather name and one royalty related name that's maybe also a weather pun?

 

Kraken seems to fit the theme in the market. 

 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, Corvus said:

 

I mean, sure, it's a memorable line that they'll probably use. But it's literally just three words, I doubt they're going with the whole Greek mythology references. 

The kraken isn't from Greek mythology. It was originally a giant fish from Scandinavian folkore! This is what I'm talking about people!

 

rage GIF

 

Kidding of course. Mostly.

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A national radio station just made a reference to the stadium being referred to as the "krackhouse," and the die-hards as "krackheads."  Made me laugh.

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2 minutes ago, Corvus said:

Man, the Fanatics hats for every NHL team are so awful. 

Fanatics everything is awful. Have you handled one of their replica sweaters yet? The thing feels like it's going to fall apart in your hands. Baseball replicas decreased in quality too since Fanatics started making them.

 

59 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

 

I never said that.  I wasn't addressing you, didn't direct it to you, and didn't mean it in that way that you heard it.   But I understand how things can come off on the web, I know that intention doesn't always matter much, and when it was clear that you had taken offense I tried to apologize to you.

 

If you want to reject my apology, then there's really nothing I can do.  I'm sorry about that too.

You're right. Got a bit heated. I accept your apology, and I apologize myself for my behaviour.

 

1 hour ago, DG_ThenNowForever said:

 

At a certain point, it's good to reflect on just how much you might be arguing to argue. This in response to "you can have a different view, I respect that"? Not sure what else you're looking for.

I'm just gonna grab a Snickers.

 

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26 minutes ago, Corvus said:

Out of eight Seattle pro sports teams, five names with nautical themes.

 

Kraken seems to fit the theme in the market.


Out of the 13 potential team names that the NHL Seattle ownership group initially registered for trademark protection, five would have fit a nautical theme.

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7 hours ago, FiddySicks said:

The NHL objectively has the worst logos in the major 4. I’d say MLS is worse, but not for long. 

 

NHL over NFL.  The NFL is the one that has a team whose logo is their helmet.  They lose just on that.

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2 hours ago, spartacat_12 said:

This kind of toxic attitude is exactly what's holding the sport of hockey back commercially. Establishing a grassroots connection and growing hockey in a new market should be a good thing. Who knows, in the next 10-15  years we might see a wave of kids being drafted out of Vegas minor hockey who would never have started playing if it weren't for the Knights. I could understand being upset that Quebec City didn't get awarded a team, but it's incredibly petty to actively HATE a team because they've had success in a non-traditional market.

 

We never address the converse here: how much would-be elite talent in Quebec never makes it to the pros or never picks up the game at all because the sport has left the province behind to chase McMansion Hell down south? Because if the QMJHL's anemic numbers at draft time are any indication, it's a lot. Is that a tragedy on par with Vegas-suburb kids not picking up hockey? If not, why not? When we're talking about draft picks, even with expansion it's ultimately a zero-sum game; players getting drafted out of new places necessarily means players not getting drafted out of old ones, so I don't know how we celebrate one without lamenting the other. 

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This may come across as a bit antiquated, but I’m still of the opinion that some places, like Phoenix, Arizona and even more so, Las Vegas, Nevada, probably just don’t need hockey 🤷‍♂️

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Not a fan of the name. People fool around with kraken here in Norway, never expected it to be used for a hockey franschise in Washington. Looking forward to see the unis though. The name was disappointing. 

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3 hours ago, Bayne said:

LMAO this is the kind of hyperbolic, emotional, overreaction that I get so much enjoyment from. I was waiting for you to say "screw it, I'm done  See ya later NHL, I'm out." Sooo funny.

 

Or keep doing it. I don't mind, I find it hilarious to read.

 

I'm not trying to stir the pot at any point, but I 100% agree with this at the level of ACTUAL vitriol and spittle flying around, and hang-wringing over the name of a team.  I get it that we are all here because we CARE about this stuff, but at the end of the day, it's just a logo.  It's just a name.  I don't get upset or lose any sleep over branding.  But I know some here do, and that's okay.  It's that gap that's always going to spark amusement in some of us.   I 100% enjoy the debate.  I rank it right there with "My sports team is better than your sports team!" arguments, which are just fun (but there also, people can somehow take legit personal umbrage that you don't think their team is as good as yours).   

 

When I defend my position about a logo, I'm not telling someone they are wrong for hating (or liking) it.  I'm defending my 100% subjective opinion as being just as valid as your 100% subjective opinion.  I LOVE the Kraken name and have since the first time I heard it bandied about as one of the potential names.  I get it that there are a lot of people who hate it.  But the mere fact that after a couple of years of the team kicking the tires on identities they decide to go with Kraken is just validation that my first gut reaction was correct, or at least SHARED by a huge number of people.  For all the reasons I thought "Kraken" was a great idea, those are the same emotions I heard at the unveiling today, and what I hear from everyone who loves, or has begun to love, this identity.  No matter how much historical data, or meme discussion, or disgust towards the identity that gets trotted out, those of us who love the identity are happy and validated.  I'm ready to joyously defend the Kraken against anyone who tries to tell me I'm wrong or that liking it is low-rent.  I'm glad that you hate it, because it's what makes all of this sportsing fun.  Like Seinfeld said, we're cheering for laundry.  

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5 hours ago, VancouverFan69 said:

Seattle was long overdue for an NHL franchise and the franchise blew it big time. Bushleague and gimmicky name and a bland navy and red colour scheme(only the seafoam adds a little distinctiveness). Only to cater to a young and radically progressive demographic instead of going with a far better and a safer choice of a name and a distinctive colour scheme(example: two shades of green) that would go over well with fan bases of all ages - from those who followed the WHL Totems to today's youth.

 

Extremely disappointing. Seattle's NHL franchise has lost all my interest. I despised the Minnesota "Wild" name from Day 1 in 2000 and 20 years later, my feelings and thoughts on the "Wild" name are no different. The same will hold true with the 🤢Kraken🤮 in 20+ years.

 

congratulations on pretty much being the exact strawman I brought up in my earlier post.

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