The Myth of the Kraken – History of the NHL’s Newest Logo

You’re a Viking living a good life. You’ve got a farm and a nice longhouse. You’ve accidentally discovered steel in the most metal of ways, mixing the bones of your ancestors in with molten iron. You’re raiding again, sailing the endless oceans looking to plunder, and you’ve got nothing to fear from the gods, after sacrificing many animals to ensure good weather.

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Halfway to Greenland, it happens. The water bubbles and churns, small fish and then larger ones leap frantically out of the water. They seem to be fleeing something. At first, you think it’s a whale, but as it explodes out of the deep, it’s clear that’s not the case. A giant tentacle shoots up from the water, stretching higher and higher and quickly joined by others. They fold around your longship, suctioning tightly to men too foolish or afraid to jump overboard.

As captain, your ship is your life, and you bravely swing your axe, calling on your ancestors for strength or the gods for pity. Finally, you realize it’s no use trying to escape. The last thing you see is a giant eye, cresting above the waves, and then teeth and darkness. Your wife Hilda never finds out the truth of what happened. The Kraken took you, as he has many others.

The League’s Newest Team Has a Great Look

There was a great deal of fanfare with the announcement of the newest NHL franchise’s official name. With a killer logo and a great color scheme, one can forgive the name’s tenuous connection to the city of Seattle, but if Canadians can have three teams named after themselves, then mythological Nordic sea monsters are fair game. The Kraken was a mythical creature of immense size, as long as ten ships, or a mile and a half long, depending on who you believe. The creature had no superpowers, no flaming breath or lightning, just enormous size and voracious hunger.

There is no shortage of animal-themed names in the Pacific Division, the Seattle Kraken’s home, but it’s clear they’re now the apex predator. Ducks and coyotes are no threat, and sharks seem outmatched. It has nothing to fear from flames, knights, or kings, and oil and water don’t mix. It’s fitting the future rivals just north of the border have an orca on their sweater, offering perhaps the toughest challenge, but again, the smart money is on the monster.

Just Because It’s a Myth Doesn’t Mean It Isn’t True

Myths often grow from some truth, and that could be the case with the Kraken. There are huge creatures in the ocean’s depths that might be mistaken for monsters if they surfaced and attached themselves to a boat. A giant squid floating just beneath the water would terrify anyone, especially if they are a superstitious sailor. Due to its enormous size, ships were said to have mistaken the Kraken for an island, docking there only to meet their doom.

Whether the tool of a god or a terror in dark waters, what’s lurking in the unknown depths can be terrifying. H.P. Lovecraft and Jules Verne wrote of giant sea monsters in their 19th and early 20th-century works, and today, Hollywood has helped the legend of the Kraken grow. It needs no evil motive or sinister plan to put fear into us, it’s huge and we look like lunch. Maybe visiting opponents will feel a similar apprehension when entering Climate Pledge Arena.

Search as I could, there isn’t a clear link between Seattle and the legendary Kraken other than the ocean. But ask yourself this, is Minnesota really all that wild?

Related: Blackhawks’ 2014 Draft: The One That Sent Them Awry

We can forgive Seattle for going with a cool concept rather than a deeper meaning, and while the Kraken trapped unwary sailors, it might be best for the fledgling NHL team to employ a similar scheme against its foes. Where they lack skill or speed, a clever strategy may suffice; and there’s no denying the team name is clever marketing.

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