Hey you. You’re swept up in all this Seattle Kraken hype. You want to know more about hockey but don’t know where to start. Well, we want to help make these games easy and fun for you to watch.
Throughout the season, we’ll release Landlubber’s Guides designed with the new fan in mind. This includes basic need-to-know info for you to absorb before you watch Kraken games and highlights.
Let’s dive into the Carolina Hurricanes.
Are they any good?
Heck yeah. After all, Ron Francis used to be their general manager. The ‘Canes have been building momentum over the past couple years, and came out of the gates like a... tornado? Anyways they were really good, winning their first nine games and making it all the way to November before they dropped a 5-2 decision to the, at the time, also undefeated Florida Panthers. They now roll into Seattle having won 4 of their last 5, with that 1 loss coming in overtime to the San Jose Sharks.
Who Should I Look Out For?
Sebastian Aho - While there’s no Ovechkin on the Hurricanes, there is plenty of talent. Aho (#20, Centre), who was the 35th overall pick back in 2015, has made every team that passed on him regret their decision, recording 338 points in 383 NHL games since then.
Andrei Svechnikov - Svechnikov (#37, Right Wing) is a 6’2”, left-shooting, top-six forward. A stone cold lock for 20 or more goals a season, he’s good in his own zone as well, having never finished with a negative plus/minus. Second overall in the 2018 draft, Svechnikov fell into the Hurricanes lap when they moved up nine spots in the draft lottery (11th to 2nd). The addition meant a team that was already improving got a major boost, and the results since then have been stellar.
Frederick Anderson - Knowing the Hurricanes, the signing of the former Toronto Maple Leafs goalie was probably a troll job initially, but it’s one that has worked out brilliantly. Anderson (#31, Goaltender) was actually drafted by Carolina way back in 2011, but never signed with the team, instead re-entering the draft in 2012 and being selected by the Anaheim Ducks. His 11 wins is the most by any starting goalie in the league this year, but there’s a chance Seattle will see his backup, Antti Raanta (#32), instead.
Any Seattle Ties?
Nino Niederreiter (#21, Right Wing) - Niederreiter played two seasons for the Portland Winterhawks between in 2009-11 before beginning his NHL career in Long Island. A highly touted draft pick (#5 overall in 2010), he’s settled into more of a supporting role as his career has progressed. On his third career team, Neiderreiter plays responsible two way hockey, and can score.
Seth Jarvis (#24, Centre) - Another former Winterhawk, Jarvis has only 10 pro games to his name, but has four goals and six points in that short span. The luxury of a young, cheap player like Jarvis, playing behind established top guys like Aho and Svechnikov, gives head coach Rod Brind’Amour a roster advantage many other coaches would envy.
Ethan Bear (#25, Defense) - Bear played 264 career games with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL, winning the league championship with the team in 2017. He is currently 2nd all time in points for a Thunderbirds defenseman, behind Shea Theodore. Unfortunately we won’t see him make a return to Seattle tonight, as he is currently in the NHL Covid protocol.
Odds & Ends
- If there was one roster that GM Francis didn’t need help with when it came to the Expansion Draft, it was his old team in Raleigh. Selecting Morgan Geekie for the second time in the young player’s career showed that Francis sees something in the 23-year-old. He was selected over the previously mentioned Niederreiter, and another of Francis’ Hurricanes draft picks, Jake Bean.
- Carolina’s claim to fame, namely that they’re a “Bunch of Jerks” comes from an end of game tradition known as the Storm Surge. A light-hearted way of celebrating wins with the home fans, it was poo-poo’d by some crusty old guy on Hockey Night in Canada, and the new slogan was the result.
- They’ve also poked fun at the Maple Leafs, for losing to a zamboni driver, and the Montreal Canadiens with some offer sheet hijinks. Basically, off the ice, the Hurricanes are a lot of fun, but on the ice they are all business this year and the Kraken will need a great game to come away with any standings points.
- The ‘Canes won the Stanley Cup back in 2006, only two years after Francis retired as a player. They haven’t been back since, but have to be considered a favorite this season.
Tonight’s game is at Climate Pledge Arena, and will be broadcast on ROOT Sports NW for regional subscribers and ESPN+ for out-of-market fans.