Things are really Kraken in Seattle this season

Seattle Kraken Winter Classic
Dec 18, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Kraken players including forward Matty Beniers (10), goalie Philipp Grubauer (31), forward Jaden Schwartz (17), defenseman Vince Dunn (29) and defenseman Adam Larsson (6) celebrate after a game against the Winnipeg Jets at Climate Pledge Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Kraken were a smashing success last year as the NHL’s 32nd franchise the moment they debuted on the ice October 12, 2021 against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Sure it wasn’t a good year from a hockey standpoint by finishing dead last with a 27-49-6 record in the Pacific Division. However, the excitement surrounding the team was palpable translating into strong attendance numbers and jersey sales.

This season, the Kraken’s fortunes on the ice have turned quickly for GM Ron Francis and head coach Dave Hakstol. They’re currently in a playoff spot with 48 points (22-12-4) and sit third in the Pacific Division.

Exciting times for Seattle Kraken

The Kraken have been a fun team to watch all year with the third highest Goals For per game average in the league at 3.66.

What’s most impressive about that stat is the team’s leading scorer, Andre Burakovsky ranks 83rd in the NHL with just 32 points in 38 games. They are simply getting contributions from everywhere and may have this year’s Calder Trophy winner to boot.

Matty Beniers is the runaway favorite to win rookie of the year honors with 30 points in 38 contests. He will also represent the Kraken at the NHL All Star Game in Sunrise, Florida on February 3-4.

“I think we’ve just become faster, which is what we wanted to do. We’ve become more skilled – I think we’re able to sort of possess the puck and create more opportunities in the offensive zone,” Francis said. “I think our our power play started off great, had a real tough spell there, but now we’re starting to get back to scoring, which is good. And I think we’re a group of guys that understand we have to come and work hard every night, and if we do that with the skill that we’ve kind of added to the lineup, that gives us a better chance to win.

“Fortunately for the guys, they’re getting some results and I think it’s exciting for our guys to do that in front of our fans.”

Seattle Sports, 710AM

The future only seems brighter with Shane Wright, the 2022 4th overall selection, waiting in the wings for his chance to shine. And while Kraken fans are hoping for playoff games this spring, they’ve already have a huge event to look forward to in 2024!

Kraken to host 2024 Winter Classic

seattle kraken
Dec 18, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Kraken goalie Philipp Grubauer (31) takes the ice before a game against the Winnipeg Jets at Climate Pledge Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL has announced that Seattle will play host to the 2024 Winter Classic, with the Kraken and Vegas Golden Knights squaring off at T-Mobile Park on New Year’s Day.

“Outdoor hockey is at the essence of our game and the way many of our players grew up playing,” Francis said. “We are thrilled to have the chance to showcase this in Seattle.”

T-Mobile Park was previously known as Safeco Field and opened in 1999 as the home of the Seattle Mariners. It has a retractable-roof with a seating capacity of 48,000.

“We are honored that the NHL has selected the Kraken, in just our second season, to host this amazing event at the home of our friends, the Mariners,” said Tod Leiweke, CEO of the Kraken. “Over 40,000 fans will witness the beauty and grace of our wonderful game in a venue that showcases the Puget Sound surrounded by the Cascade and Olympic Mountains.”

Exciting times for the Kraken and the city of Seattle indeed.

–Field Level Media contributed to this article

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