Though it took years of preparation, hockey has finally arrived in Seattle, and the Kraken are keen to cement themselves not only as an ally within the community but also as a force in the NHL.
With increased expectation and even more excitement, the octopuses enter their new home. If you ask team broadcaster Everett Fitzhugh whether self-confidence is a franchise stressor, he is quick to argue that the opposite is the case. In fact, it motivates the team even more to familiarize themselves with the city’s culture.
“The support and love we’ve received from the community has been top notch,” he told Yahoo Sports. “The organization obviously expected it, but we are still surprised by how much the city has really clung to the Seattle Kraken.”
Within minutes of talking to Fitzhugh, it was clear to him that sport – especially hockey – was more than just an atypical 9-5 for him. The Detroit native grew up with a love for the Red Wings, and by the time he graduated from Bowling Green State University, he knew the only career path was to be a sports caster. In 2020, Fitzhugh made history as the first black broadcaster in NHL history. With this award and responsibility, Fitzhugh announces to Yahoo Sports that it is his and the club’s mission to help fans fall in love with hockey just as it did decades ago.
Fitzhugh says one of the Kraken’s greatest pillars is community engagement. The team’s training center that Kraken Community Iceplex, is not just a training place for the players. The organization built the first three ice rinks in Seattle as a communal space to host everything from recreational games to ice skating lessons. Another cornerstone within the franchise is the continuous pursuit to end the homelessness of young people that they suffer from A roof foundation.
“We’re here to make sure that every child has a roof over their head, clean water to drink, clean air to breathe, and enough to eat. That is a great belief in our organization. “
Fitzhugh’s views were also shared by Ryan Donato. The 25-year-old wrote his own name in the Seattle history books on October 12th when he scored the first goal in franchise history. In an interview with Yahoo Sports, he praised the team for their quick philanthropic endeavors and confirmed in the same breath that he is still looking for his own tracks.
“Personally, it feels great to be part of a community that is helping,” said the Star Center. “We all have different aspects and passions and the boys are finding new ways to make this place their home. But for me I’m definitely open to what makes the most sense for me. I want to improve the community on and off the ice. “
Take inspiration from two Seattle favorites
With two expansions in four years, it’s safe to say that the NHL is interested in making hockey accessible to fans in almost every region of the United States in Canada. When you consider that Seattle is not without its share of championship-caliber teams, it’s easy to see why the league has identified Emerald City as the home of their next project. And of course, being part of a successful franchise in person is ideal. But Fitzhugh has other goals in mind, and that is to serve the nearly 725,000 locals who support Seattle professional sports.
When asked who he looks up to in the field of humanity, Fitzhugh showed nothing but love to the unofficial mayor and first lady of Seattle.
“Look at Russell Wilson and Ciara, for example. He’s one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and of my generation. But here in Seattle he’s so much more than just a soccer player. I think local people know her better for her charitable work ”than his time with the Seahawks or her work as an artist. I want to be someone who also has this interest within the community. “
Everett Fitzhugh will be the voice of the Seattle Kraken for the next 50 years, but his influence will soon be recognized outside of the Climate Pledge Arena announcement booth.