SEATTLE - Release the Kraken! The Seattle Kraken officially became the 32nd team in the National Hockey League on Friday.
The NHL announced that the Kraken ownership group completed its acquisition of the expansion team and officially joined the league.
"On behalf of the Board of Governors, I am delighted to officially welcome the Seattle Kraken to the NHL as our 32nd Member Club," Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "Congratulations to David Bonderman, the Bonderman Family, their partners, the entire Seattle Kraken organization, the city of Seattle and Kraken fans as the Club continues on its exciting journey towards puck drop in October."
The team wrote on Twitter: "Today marks a HUGE moment in our club’s history: we have officially completed the process of joining the National Hockey League. To our fans, ownership group, partners and the @NHL - thank you. We couldn’t have done it without you."
The Kraken will join the Pacific Division in the Western Conference starting in the 2021-22 season, along with Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, San Jose, Vancouver and Vegas. The Arizona moves to the Central Division.
The NHL first announced Seattle was approved for a new franchise in December of 2018, paying a $650-million expansion fee to join.
General manager Ron Francis has been able to talk to colleagues around the league, and he and his staff have been scouting and planning for the expansion draft July 21. The final payment by ownership allows him to make official transactions, such as signing college free agents.
The team will play at Climate Pledge Arena, formerly KeyArena, which is undergoing a major renovation. The Kraken training facility is being built at Northgate in Seattle.
MORE SEATTLE KRAKEN NEWS:
- Local hockey GMs excited about Kraken name and potential effect of NHL in Seattle market
- Commentary: Kraken reveal was more than just a name – it's about the entire package
- Seattle Kraken adds former Buffalo Sabres GM to front office
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