By TIM BOOTH AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE (AP) – The day started with Hockey Hall of Fame member Cammi Granato atop the iconic Space Needle raising a deep blue flag with the “S” shaped tentacle flying over the city.
And from there, Seattle didn’t become inundated with all the Kraken again on Saturday in the home opener against Vancouver.
Planes flew over the city shooting banners. The statues of Ken Griffey Jr. outside T-Mobile Park and Rachel the Pig at Pike Place Market were delighted with the Kraken gear. It was a buzz for three years that the franchise was awarded by the NHL at the end of 2018.
Seattle’s Lower Queen Anne neighborhood, which was once packed with NBA fans on game night over a decade ago, was filled with Kraken sweaters and hours before the puck dropped. The bars were packed. The beers were popular and Emerald City was ready for the NHL debut.
“From my walk through the streets of Seattle all day today, seeing everyone dressed in Kraken gear, the buzzer that’s in the air walking around this incredible building,” the commissioner said. NHL Gary Bettman. “It’s a great night, not just for Seattle or the Kraken. It’s a great night for the NHL.
The 32nd franchise started off with five road games before its home opener under the roof of Climate Pledge Arena against rival Canucks. And ahead of the first puck, Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke announced that No.32 was being retired by the franchise in honor of the 32,000 season ticket depositors who helped make the Kraken a reality.