The Seattle expansion franchise have announced few new employees including GM Ron Francis, but fans across the hockey world are waiting for another kind of announcement–the team’s name. That might be coming sooner than you think, as CEO Tod Leiweke explained on a Facebook Live broadcast yesterday (via NHL.com):
We’re working on it every day. I think it’ll be the first quarter of next year, perhaps around the All-Star Game (Jan. 24-26 in St. Louis) when there’s a reveal.
I had names a year ago that if pressed into launching in 2020, we would have been ready. But we’re so much better positioned because we’re now learning not just what we are, but what we’re not, and that’s really going to inform the name.
The team’s nickname has been a constant question from readers here at PHR, with suggestions like Kraken, Metropolitans and Sockeyes all thrown around. We’ll have to wait just a little longer to find out who will be hitting the ice in 2021 alongside the league’s other 31 teams.
- Auston Matthews is ready to take over as captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs if the team decides to offer it to him, but he’s happy if someone else is the choice. The Maple Leafs center spoke with Craig Morgan of The Athletic (subscription required) while practicing at home in Arizona and noted that there are several excellent options to be the next Toronto captain. The team has operated without one since trading away Dion Phaneuf in 2016, but now that their young core has a little more experience in the NHL it may be time to sew on the “C.” Among other things, Matthews also explains that his biggest goal for this season is staying healthy and playing in all 82 games, something he has failed to do the last two years.
- Speaking with TSN at the Hockey Night In Brampton event this week, Calgary Flames forward Sean Monahan gave his thoughts on the ongoing Matthew Tkachuk negotiations. Monahan says he’s “not too concerned” about the fact that Tkachuk is unsigned and believes that the young forward won’t want to miss any of training camp. The 21-year old Tkachuk exploded offensively last season, racking up 77 points in 80 games while still being the irritating physical presence he has become known for.