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Ready For Excitement – Get Kraken!

It clearly doesn’t seem too ironic that the home opener for the Seattle Kraken would be against their rival’s from north of the 49th. Namely the Vancouver Canucks at the Climate Pledge Arena.

The facility which is new and state of the art came at a price tag of $1.15 billion, but strange as it seems they play under what was the KeyArena and being the original Seattle Center Coliseum.

The facility’s inaugural hockey game was an exhibition match up in the former pro Western Hockey League between the Seattle Totems and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

While we know that the Leafs last won the Stanley Cup in 1967, they were the three-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Toronto Maple Leafs September 30th, 1964.

Interestingly enough the Seattle Totems dropped their first exhibition game by a 7-1 margin to the Leafs that saw NHL stars such as Bob Baun, Johnny Bower, George Armstrong, Dave Keon, Andy Bathgate, Frank Mahovlich and Terry Sawchuk suit up.

Dave Eskenazi, a Pacific Northwest sports aficionado and memorabilia collector, attended the Coliseum when he was young, enjoying every minute of the game while taking in the atmosphere.

The area known as Seattle Center sits on 74 acres which for the most part was built for the 1962 World’s Fair , while the world famous Space Needle is a tower that stands 605 feet high, which is easily recognizable from some distance.

I’m told that the Totems hosted three additional exhibition games at the same complex, managing to defeat the Black Hawks (in those days the name had two words)  by a narrow margin of 5-4 (October 5/67 and the Leafs October 2nd, 1968.

They dropped a game 12-4 to the LA Kings October 5th, 1969in the three games came to the LA Kings in addition to hosting the Soviet Union in an exhibition match-up January 5th, 1975.

Unknown to the hockey world at that time was Russian Superstar “tender” Vladislav Tretiak which was something new for the hockey world to witness, even prior to the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.

In a move as if to compete with their newest rival league the World Hockey Association (WHA) the City or Seattle was awarded an expansion club which was slated to begin play in the 76-77 season.

The former Totems were given two seasons to begin to prepare for the NHL, but the only thing missing was a league to play in as strange as it sounds which forced them (NHL) to stop any expansion in Seattle.

A league not known to many was the Western Canada Hockey League that had the Kamloops Chiefs relocate  to Seattle in 77 and promptly changed their name to the Seattle Breakers.

The following season the WCHL changed their name to the Western Hockey League that also saw a name change for the Breakers to become the Thunderbirds in 1985.

Thus hockey continues to grow and the groundbreaking was made official December 5th, 2018 which has the 44-million pound roof standing on pillars while removing 680,000 cubic yards.

The newly build 740,000 came close to doubling the size of the old roof that allows the facility to have a capacity of 17,100 fans.

So for fans either in the lower mainland or in Seattle and the surrounding area, this is more than just exciting – it’s simply stupendous!!!!

Photo Credit on home page Kraken/NHL


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