SEATTLE - It was a reveal that only added to the excitement in the local hockey community.
“I know that I’ve had friends from Edmonton where I used to live calling me and saying ‘Hey, that’s a cool name. When can I get a T-Shirt and a jersey?’ and all that kind of stuff,” Seattle Thunderbirds GM Bil La Forge said.
La Forge wasn’t the only local general manager intrigued by the new name.
“I wasn’t sure if that was an oversized Octopus or if it was a squid but I knew it was a Seamonster,” said Everett Silvertips GM Garry Davidson. “It’s obviously a very new name and nobody else has it, so I like that aspect.”
For both Davidson and La Forge, it’s just another productive step in the growth of the game in the Pacific Northwest.
“Kids are gonna be playing hockey more. They’re gonna be seeing it more. They’re gonna be more engaged and then there’s different levels they can look at,” La Forge said.
Added Davidson: “I always see it as the cup’s half full here. I think it’s gonna be a great scenario for everybody involved in hockey. We’re gonna see more ice surfaces develop. More players develop. So I think it’s just a win-win for everybody.”
In fact, neither GM saw the Kraken as a threat to business; rather the opposite, citing the Mariners Single-A affiliate in Everett and triple-A affiliate in Tacoma as examples of developmental levels thriving in the same market as a professional club.
“There will be a different price point,” La Forge said. “Some people will be real excited to see the stars of tomorrow playing in the best developmental league in the world – the Western Hockey League. I think it’s a great opportunity for both groups and as I said I’m super excited to get it going. Can’t wait to get to my first Kraken game.”
Added Davidson: “It’s a great thing, whether it’s Carter Hart playing for Everett and eventually for Philly, who comes in to play a game in Seattle or it’s Matthew Barzel with the Islanders who was a Thunderbird, who comes in and plays as well.”