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  1. #1
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    Is Seattle ready to become a hockey town?

    SEATTLE — In eight months, Seattle will welcome its newest professional sports team to town—the Seattle Kraken.
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    The Kraken will become the 32nd team in the National Hockey League, re-introducing the sport to the Emerald City.

    “Never in my wildest dreams when I opened this place, did I think a professional team was going to arrive in Seattle,” said Tim Pipes, the owner of The Angry Beaver hockey bar in Seattle.
    https://komonews.com/sports/seattle-...-a-hockey-town
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  2. #2




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    Why not? More of a hockey town than a few existing franchises.

  3. #3
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    I think Seattle and their new Kraken fans will be a welcome addition to the NHL - just like Vegas. They might not be as big a success to start, but I still feel the fan base overall will be pretty passionate.


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    I mean I don't see why not... The real question is can Seattle flip Canucks fans living in Seattle?

    When it came to Vegas I had absolutely no doubt they were going to be successful just considering it's a growing city and a city full of transplants from around the country, so most of the city have roots outside of Vegas many of which are hockey fans - at least casual.. I also predicted that Vegas was going to be a very successful team right off the bat considering how favorable the expansion draft rules were for Vegas compared to previous expansions. With that said I think that Seattle has the opportunity to be just as successful as Vegas right off the bat because the expansion rules are just as favorable..

    A lot of teams are going to leave their better bottom 6 and #4-5 guys exposed so they can protect their youngsters, not to mention if they have players with NMC's they're automatically slotted in unless they waive their NMC before the expansion draft..... So yea there will be a lot of borderline 2nd, 3rd and 4th line guys exposed, so Seattle has a really good opportunity to build a really solid 2-way team - much like Vegas did.. Of course the only issue is going to be finding guys for their top line and a couple of top pairing defensemen - so it will be interesting to see what they do. Do they take absurd contracts to fill those roles or just bite the bullet and plan to tank for the first few/couple of seasons and draft their top 6 and top pairing defensemen??

    But yea, as far as a fan base Seattle really needs to focus on flipping Nuck fans living in the Seattle area, because I bet there is a ton but it's easier said than done... I mean as a Blackhawks can I couldn't imagine rooting for any other team but the Hawks.. Don't get me wrong I do like the Oilers, and if I had a "2nd team" it would be the Oilers but I only "like" the Oilers, but I'm in love with the Blackhawks, lol... So I don't know how life long Canuck fans from the Seattle area are going to react to and NHL team in Seattle?... I think over time Seattle will slowly build a fan base and will be a financially stable team... I mean look - the fans are there, the brass, management and public relations just need to promote the team and hope curious individuals not familiar with hockey show up for at least the experience and without question many will get hooked on hockey... Way back in the day when I was in high school I "won" (it was more like a reward) some glass seat Chicago Wolves tickets right next to the Wolves bench and me and a couple of my teachers went to the game and after that one of my teachers that didn't know much about hockey and admittedly never even watched more than a few seconds of a game got hooked immediately - he turned into a hockey nut over night, lol - outside of class that's all he would talk about, at first he was a Wolves fan and eventually became a Hawks fan but yea - I guess my point is that the sport of hockey can really instantly hook someone that has never experienced it live or even bothered to sit down and give it a shot... And my former teacher that got hooked on hockey was a former top pick of the Padres and minor league baseball player and he was profoundly impressed by everything the game had to offer and this is coming from a former professional athlete who was once one of the top baseball prospects in the country and now he's a hockey nut, he even started playing himself, I suppose better late then never..... So yea if Seattle can initially get people in the door I think a lot of them will return... We'll know soon enough tho...

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    When I think of a hockey town, it is not always just the franchise itself for me. I do not know the answers to these questions but just ideas I think of. What percentage of children are playing youth hockey in the area? Do they have a lot of rinks in the suburbs? How popular are the junior teams in the area? Are the college teams a draw for people? I still think the NHL is making a mistake having two teams in Florida, despite their current standings. I look at the fans in the stands in Carolina and wish they were in a hockey market.

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    When I think of a hockey town, it is not always just the franchise itself for me. I do not know the answers to these questions but just ideas I think of. What percentage of children are playing youth hockey in the area? Do they have a lot of rinks in the suburbs? How popular are the junior teams in the area? Are the college teams a draw for people? I still think the NHL is making a mistake having two teams in Florida, despite their current standings. I look at the fans in the stands in Carolina and wish they were in a hockey market.

    I think you may be looking at it from the wrong angle er perspective.. What comes first, the chicken or the egg? I guess my point with that is what inspires kids or individuals in general to play hockey? I mean I was inspired to play when I was a kid because I was and obviously still am a Hawks fan and Denis Savard was one of my hockey idols growing up, and I can honestly say that if there was no Chicago Blackhawks I wouldn't be involved in hockey and probably not in hockey cards...

    I guess I'm saying that a city needs a team which in-turn creates fans whom are then inspired to play the sport.

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    I can say with some certainty that without Bobby Orr I would not have played youth hockey. The impact he and the other members of the early 70's Bruins had led to the construction of many more rinks in the suburbs of Massachusetts (even if I never saw them play). Does this model work in all markets no. One frustration I have with the NHL is their desire to keep expanding to markets that really do not care about hockey in the hopes it catches on. I am not referring to Seattle here, manly sunbelt states. The team needs to be completive to attract and retain new fans in an area rather than assuming you could convert Canucks or Sharks fans. I also do not know how popular the Thunderbirds, Silvertips, Winterhawks, Chiefs, or Americans are and if that would carry over to an NHL team. I am interested to see where this Seattle experiment goes. It should be a lot better than Atlanta version 2.0. I also think you need a marketable player for a new franchise especially for newer fans. Marc Andre-Fleury did a great job with Vegas.

    The reason I am interested in hockey cards is because I used to buy them at rinks in the early 90's after games. I started collecting a few years ago but it started with that time period.

  8. #8
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    I think you may be looking at it from the wrong angle er perspective.. What comes first, the chicken or the egg? I guess my point with that is what inspires kids or individuals in general to play hockey? I mean I was inspired to play when I was a kid because I was and obviously still am a Hawks fan and Denis Savard was one of my hockey idols growing up, and I can honestly say that if there was no Chicago Blackhawks I wouldn't be involved in hockey and probably not in hockey cards...

    I guess I'm saying that a city needs a team which in-turn creates fans whom are then inspired to play the sport.

    Well remember Seattle has a long history of hockey. They beat Montreal for the first U.S. Stanley Cup. They had tons of hockey over the years from so not sure your analogy is right. Also, before the team even took root their hockey grassroots was in the rise:


    Washington State has increased USA Hockey player participation at a higher rate than the nationwide average in 8 of the last 10 years and 5 out of the last 5 years.

    These stats should only go up once a NHL team hits the ice. In addition ad Seattle population grows more transplant much like Vegas.

    Don

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    It's an area that has plenty of junior hockey, and good participation numbers. I think the big thing will be their ability to sell the brand to fans though. Vegas did an excellent job of this, but getting all the way to the finals in their first year had a big part to play in that.

    I don't think anyone should expect Seattle to be as good as Vegas was, out the gate. They won't get some of the deals that Vegas got - teams will be smarter this time. GMs should have learned from their mistakes.

    Think about this.....

    Columbus agrees to take William Karlsson (who was a good, young, roster player) instead of Josh Anderson or Jonas Korpisalo (those were the players that CLB was mostly worried about losing) - in exchange for David Clarkson (helped them reach the cap floor), a 1st round pick, and a 2nd round pick.

    The 1st was then traded to Winnipeg, allowing the Knights to move up 11 spots in the draft - In exchange, the Knights also got a 3rd round pick, and agreed to draft Chris Thorburn.

    The 1st rounder becomes Nick Suzuki (who was traded for Pacioretty). The other picks I mentioned became trade chips.


    I think teams are going to hesitate to make deals like that again. Columbus would have been much better off letting Josh Anderson be selected. Winnipeg would have been better off letting someone else be selected (Granted, as an Oilers fan, I hope they offer up some kind of sweetener to get Seattle to take James Neal).


    So long as Seattle doesn't turn into the Atlanta Thrashers, where they're run horribly for an extended period of time - they should be okay. The shine will be on them for a few years, simply for being a new team. If they're still a terrible team in 2025 - It might start to become a harder sell though.

    Vegas also had the luxury of being the only game in town. Vegas had it's "own" team. They've got the Raiders now, but the Knights were able to take the city by storm, with nobody to really compete with. The Krakens will have the Seahawks.... though it looks like the Seahawks may not be as good as they've been over the last number of years (that might work out really well for them). There's no NBA team to compete with yet, but I think one is coming?

    That will be the big test, IMO. If the NBA comes back - it's a direct competition for fans. Can they pack the place, if basketball is also an opion?

  10. #10




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    Don't forget that other team, the Mariners.

    I grew up not playing hockey, couldn't afford it, but was a passionate hockey fan. I rooted for the Canadiens and Ken Dryden was my idol. Fast forward a few years, my kids all play/played ice sports and having a local team (Flames) does go a long way towards building that passion.

    I hope Seattle does well, it won't be the easy path for the Knights, as I agree other GMs will have learned their lessons, but salary caps will burden some teams and there will be deals to be made.

    It will be great to have another "local" west coast team for rivalry and something different.

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