Hockey fans desperate for news amidst the Coronavirus shutdown would have been ecstatic to find out the name of the new NHL expansion team in Seattle, which had been planned for release this month. However, they will have to wait a while longer. Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke released a statement today which included that the group has decided to relay the reveal of their name and brand. Those eager to see the logo and colors of the NHL’s 2021-22 entry will have to continue to be patient.
Leiweke did not detail why the ownership group opted to push back their planned reveal, but it is easy to formulate some possibilities. The Vegas Golden Knights held a massive reveal party when their name and logo became public, which was televised and drew much attention to the rookie club. A similar event would be impossible – or at least irresponsible – right now, especially given the severity of COVID-19 cases in the state of Washington. Secondly, the Knights also had merchandise online and in sporting good stores around North America the day after their reveal, which would have been another hurdle for Seattle if they had stuck to their reveal date. With many retail and shipping companies operating under state and federal limitations, merchandise would not be as readily available and could again harm the new team’s initial exposure. Finally, it seems from Leiweke’s statement that the group also did not want to draw attention away from what is really important right now and wanted to hold off on their big day until “the right time”.
There are thought to be as many as a dozen possible names for the expansion franchise, with Kraken emerging as a fan favorite. Other possibilities include Sockeyes, Totems, Rainiers, Emeralds, Evergreens, Sea Lions, and Seals. Whatever the choice is, the group has kept it close to the chest as there has been nothing concrete to point toward any of those possible monikers nor a potential color scheme.
While fans may be disappointed in a continued wait on Seattle’s reveal, Leiweke’s statement contained numerous other reasons to be supportive of the team. Given the current state of things, both locally and globally, Leiweke announced that the team will defer payments from season ticket purchases through June to allow those fans to focus their funds toward more important means. In another generous move, the team pledged $100K toward youth homelessness in Seattle, a cause made even more important by the current health crisis. Seattle may not have an NHL team yet, or even a name or logo, but they are already winning over their city and hockey fans around the world.