The Pacific Division is already undergoing a rebuild. The LA Kings, Anaheim Ducks and the San Jose Sharks will be watching the 24-team NHL return from home. The division which was in danger of sending only three teams to the NHL playoffs before the pandemic pause now has a greedy rival, the Seattle Kraken.
The Seattle expansion franchise unleashed the Kraken via online video at 9 a.m. on Thursday morning after the organization teased the name drop on Wednesday afternoon.
A legend from the deep awakens.
— Seattle Kraken (@NHLSeattle_) July 23, 2020
They will play in the Pacific Division with the Sharks because Seattle bumped the Arizona Coyotes into the Central Division to make room for the NHL’s 32nd franchise.
Many observers assumed the Kraken to be a gimmicky longshot, but the name grew as did fan support across the league.
One of the early favorites, the Totems, may have also been dismissed because of its ties to Native American culture.
“Release the Kraken” has its origins in the Clash of the Titans remake from 2010, and the phrase became a cultural catchphrase. It will undoubtedly become a team rallying cry.
The new team will start play in 2021-22. The dreaded expansion draft, which fed the Vegas Golden Knights just a little too well, is on the NHL calendar next June. The team will play in Climate Pledge Arena, which is the renovated Key Arena.
The expansion draft rules will be the same for Seattle and GM Ron Francis as they were for Vegas. Teams may protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and a goalie OR they may reserve eight skaters and one goalie.
Vegas is exempt from the draft, and Seattle will select one player from each team.
Francis had a candid chat with our sister site, Pittsburgh Hockey Now, just a few weeks ago. He admitted Vegas might have spoiled the party with their strategy of demanding draft picks in exchange for selecting specific players. For example, the Pittsburgh Penguins gave Vegas a second-round pick to ensure the selection of Marc-Andre Fleury.
For now, we can watch and analyze which Sharks player may head a few hours north and which 11 players may be protected.
Until then, get used to hearing, “Release the Kraken.”
If you think Sharks VS Kraken sounds like a bad Syfy movie, you're not wrong 😆 pic.twitter.com/3w3yVg9Kqf
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) July 23, 2020
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