Kraken captain Mark Giordano appeared on a pair of huge triangular video boards hanging over NHL ice that’s made out of collected rainwater, and said, with a smile, “Hey Seattle, it’s Gio. Welcome to opening night.”
Jordan Eberle and Jaden Schwartz and Philipp Grubauer said something, too, and it might’ve been good, but that’s anyone’s guess because you couldn’t hear a single word at that point. Captain Gio had spoken and so Kraken fans were going bananas, and for about the 100th time on Saturday night, before the puck even dropped on an historic inaugural home game for the NHL’s 32nd franchise.
Yes, the Kraken have officially been “released,” as they said over and over in pre-game hype videos and speeches, in front of a raucous crowd of 17,151, who sat in a brand spanking new Climate Pledge Arena that touts itself as “the world’s most sustainable.” It really is wildly impressive, featuring electric Zambonis tending that rain-turned-ice, more than 80,000 plants on a “living wall” in one of its concourses and, the best feature of all, the incredible windows at the north end that let in natural light, where you’d find a handful of fans catching the game for free from outside.
Most of those fans both inside and out stayed to catch the full 60 minutes on Saturday, to cheer their team on even after the Kraken delivered a disappointing 4-2 loss against their rivals from Vancouver, a result that came on account of a bad bounce and an empty-netter in the third period.