Tuesday night marked the first time the Montreal Canadiens would play a professional hockey game in the city of Seattle in over a century. The last time a team from Seattle played the Canadiens was in the 1919 Stanley Cup Final, which was tragically cut short due to a flu pandemic. Two year prior, however, these two cities also competed against one another for the chance to hoist Lord Stanley’s hardware. And it was Seattle who emerged victorious.
Ahead of Tuesday’s game, which was Montreal’s first against the Seattle Kraken, the Kraken paid homage to that historic team—the first American team to win the Stanley Cup.
It was a really touching ceremony, which included descendants of the players from that first Seattle team. And while from afar it may seem odd to some at first, the team did a wonderful job of ensuring they weren’t raising a championship banner for a franchise that is only two weeks old. They were raising it for the Metropolitans, and for the city of Seattle.
Seattle, the city, has a Stanley Cup to its name. There’s no reason they shouldn’t acknowledge that in their brand new NHL arena. The banner itself isn’t there to celebrate the Kraken, it’s there to celebrate the city and honor the history of professional hockey in this town.
It was a great gesture that will do nothing but encourage Seattle fans to get invested in the current iteration of Seattle hockey as they strive to add a modern Stanley Cup championship to their resume. Oh, and the pettiness of raising this banner on a night when Montreal returned to the city? Well, that’s just a bonus.