The Seattle Kraken are officially in the National Hockey League as of Friday.
The league’s 32nd team is all paid up in terms of its $650 million expansion fee and can now sign and trade for players, plus they are invited to league meetings and will receive all the juicy internal NHL memos.
“On behalf of the Board of Governors, I am delighted to officially welcome the Seattle Kraken to the NHL as our 32nd Member Club,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a press release. “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.”
Bonderman is a billionaire and the founding partner of the investment firm TPG Capital and Newbridge Capital, plus he is a minority owner of the NBA’s Boston Celtics. Film and TV producer Jerry Bruckheimer is the co-founder and co-majority owner of the Kraken.
“Today is another momentous day on the journey to puck drop. I would like to thank Gary Bettman and the NHL for welcoming us to the league,” Bonderman said in a statement. “We have an incredible few months ahead of us as we prepare to welcome our inaugural players and finally take to the ice at Climate Pledge Arena.”
The next step for the Kraken is the expansion draft, which will take place on July 21. Every team but the Vegas Golden Knights will cough up a player to the new kid on the block.
Seattle was initially awarded its franchise in December of 2018 and will crank open the new season at the Climate Pledge Arena. They will play in the Pacific Division in the Western Conference.
The Kraken are the first pro hockey team to play in Seattle since the WHL’s Seattle Totems. They will be the first to challenge for the Stanley Cup since the mighty PCHA Seattle Metropolitans, who won the prize in 1917 by knocking off the National Hockey Association’s Montreal Canadiens. The Metropolitans also appeared in the Cup Final in 1919, but that was called off after five games thanks to the Spanish flu pandemic.
The Kraken boast Ron Francis as their general manager and have yet to name a head coach.