Everyone is ready to get Kraken on the season, it appears.
Coming from Boston, preparing for a season in which Seattle will pursue the Stanley Cup for the first time in nearly 100 years has been different. A lot of you want to know answers from the most basic hockey info to broad franchise information. It makes this year’s Kraken fan base unique.
There are many questions that can’t be answered yet. What is the mascot going to look like? What will the goal song be? All the fun stuff like that. Hopefully, as training camp opens, those are the important things we learn in haste.
I feel really grateful to help guide Seattle hockey fans along in what for some is your first season as a hockey fan, and for everyone their first season as a Kraken fan.
On to some Twitter mailbag questions.
Question: @grantsales asked: What is Jaden Schwartz’s ceiling for you? 1st line W? Attacking mainstay? or possible trade bait?
Answer: I think, out of all the current Kraken forwards, Schwartz has possibly the highest ceiling. He’s one of a few guys on the roster who has been to and won a Cup Final, where he led the Blues in goals during that run. He scored only eight goals in the shortened season a year ago but has scored 20-plus goals four times, and he hit 19 one time.
It’s no secret the Kraken lacks a bit in the goal-scoring department, and if it doesn’t add anyone else before the season — and especially because Yanni Gourde will be out until November — Schwartz is going to be the guy they rely on for the bulk of the early scoring.
Q: @brevitty_ii asked: What is the zodiac makeup of the Kraken? Do their signs lead you to believe they will perform cohesively as a squadron?
A: The Kraken has more Sagittarius players than any other sign, with five: Yanni Gourde, Jamie Oleksiak, Riley Sheahan, Philipp Grubauer and Nathan Bastian. It also has four Aries, four Taurus and three Libras. What makes a cohesive team in astrology terms? Well, the Lightning just won back-to-back Cup Finals as a primary Gemini team, so we’ll find out how the Kraken fare.
Q: @bclem2 asked: who would win in a fight; the Loch Ness monster, the Hydra of Lerna, or a Kraken?
A: So I picked this question mostly because I enjoy playing the game of which mascot wins in a fight. Hockey is kind of boring with this, because when you have a team called the Stars, well, obviously a giant ball of flaming gas wins that. Also, there’s teams called the Lightning and Hurricanes. But a Kraken is a mythical creature, so it ranks pretty up there in most ferocious team names, mascot-fighting wise. My top five with the Kraken now is:
Q: @jhirschland asked: As someone who has tuned out of hockey for the past 15 years since leaving Detroit, what are the three things I should be focused on over the next month to get ready for the season?
A: The month before training camp is a drag, and then preseason itself can feel like forever before the games actually mean something. For a new team, though, some of the more mundane activity is a bit more exciting.
Though figuring out the lines day in and day out can feel tedious, we’ve never seen any of these guys together before, so that element of newness inevitably feels more thrilling. That’s, to me, one of the most interesting things out of camp — how do these guys play together?
That should be a primary focus for new fans — who is playing with who. The other thing is, and though preseason results should be taken with a grain of salt, where does scoring come from? Again, they’re all new together, so it’s not like we can look to last season to predict results. Whoever is producing in the preseason is the closest hint we’ll get.
Finally, the goaltending. Philipp Grubauer seems on pace to be the 1A guy in net with Chris Driedger backing up, even if he gets a few more games than a traditional backup. We should find out at some point this month when games begin how big of a role Driedger really will have.