Seattle NHL franchise responds to rumors about selecting 'Kraken' as team name

The new NHL franchise in Seattle has still yet to decide on a team name, or at least they what they would like to have you believe. After a report surfaced on Wednesday claiming that the Seattle expansion franchise would call itself the Seattle Kraken, the team has pushed back against those rumors. 

Adrian Hanauer, Jerry Bruckheimer, Gary Bettman, Tod Leiweke posing for a photo © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.

The still-officially-unnamed team's official Twitter account pushed back against the rumors, saying the process of selecting the name is still ongoing and fans should beware of the "fishy rumors" (get it?) floating around. 

That being said, they didn't outright deny that would be called the Kraken.

The team's statement came after popular hockey blog Russian Machine Never Breaks relayed a report from John Hoven on Sirius XM's NHL Network on Wednesday.

"From everything that I've heard, it looks like Seattle Kraken is going to be the name," Hoven said on the broadcast. "Which is quite surprising, actually, when I was given that information just a couple of days ago. I was a little bit in shock personally, just because we had been told several times previously that that was not the name that they were going for. It looked like they were leaning toward Sockeyes. 

 "Now I guess it's come out that that was a name that's been used in a book by an author. Maybe it was a fantasy novel, I'm not exactly sure, I haven't done the research on what the book series was about. But it's been out there I guess now for about five years or so. That just then creates one of those legal issues that the NHL tends to try to shy away from, trying to secure the rights and that sort of stuff."

The headache around the Sockeyes interest apparently surrounds Jami Davenport's best-selling series of romance novels, titled Seattle Sockeyes, about a hockey team of the same name. Davenport, who lives in Washington state, said she chose the Sockeyes name because of the popular regional fish and "because hockey players fight." 

She spoke to a Seattle radio show a year ago about the possible complications if the NHL team were to choose the nickname. 

"I'd love for Seattle to get an NHL team … and I have built this brand around the Seattle Sockeyes over the last three or four years," Jami Davenport said to ESPN 710 AM Seattle in January 2018. "I got a logo, t-shirts, jerseys. I make a good amount of money off it, and I know how closely the NHL guards its own brand and its trademarks… I'm not trying to profit off this or stop anybody from using that name, I'm just trying to protect my business."

During his radio appearance on Wednesday, Hoven also said that the team has decided on a primary color scheme of red, "a lighter teal-ish color" and black. That color scheme seems to line up with the colors currently displayed on the banner of the team's NHL website.

Back in November, it was reported that the Seattle franchise, which will become the NHL's 32nd team and join play in 2021, was finalizing their decision on a name and planned to announce the decision prior to the All-Star break. That didn't happen, as the All-Star Game was played in St. Louis last week. 

It seems safe to assume that an announcement will likely be coming soon, whether it's Kraken or something else.

In 2018, the Seattle Times polled fans over the course of a month asking what their vote would be regarding the team name. Over 140,000 votes were cast and a number of popular options emerged, but the Seattle Sockeyes won the vote with over 37,500 total votes.

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