SEATTLE – Friday’s gaming experience at the Climate Pledge Arena was spectacular in many ways. From a visitor perspective, the NHL’s 32nd team has been as entertaining as the Vegas Golden Knights since leading the expansion race in 2017.
The Seattle Kraken provides a remarkable backdrop to build upon, and if you think the Vegas experience can’t be beat with an expanding city, you’d be wrong.
After the 7-3 downfall of the Avalanche on Friday, it seems that the Kraken won’t fight for the Stanley Cup as quickly as the Golden Knights in 2018. But the infrastructure and enthusiasm around this team will make it successful in the long run do .
The renovated Climate Pledge Arena, formerly the KeyArena and Seattle Center Coliseum, opened for the World’s Fair in 1962. With NHL expansion efforts and dreams of the NBA’s return, the building was gutted in 2018 with a $ 1.15 billion redevelopment project – leaving only the unique roof, now considered a Seattle landmark, untouched.
I’ve now been to all 32 NHL cities / arenas, and right now the Seattle / Climate Pledge Arena should be named the destination for any hockey fan with travel ambitions.
Avs defender Jack Johnson, who released the team from training camp on a trial contract, was fortunate to play against the Kraken in his home in the Pacific Northwest, where hockey has always been a big deal. At 34, Johnson had to do the Avs or retire.
He’s grateful for the chance to play in Seattle.
“It’s a cool city and it’s great that we’re getting more (NHL) cities in the United States,” he said. “I think the game is as big in Canada as it could ever be, as healthy as it could be there, and I think the way this game is grown now is in the United States. You have your hockey hotbeds – the East Coast, Michigan, Minnesota – and it’s getting bigger in other areas. The more people in the US face it, the healthier this league becomes. “
Johnson has played for the Avs (8-5-1) in 13 of 14 games, reaching just 37 games out of 1,000 in the regular season. Only 55 US-born players have reached the mark of the century.
“I know what’s on the table. It’s a cool milestone, ”said Johnson, who was born in Indiana and raised in Michigan. “I know it’s one of the benchmarks for longevity. So it would be something to be proud of. It’s something that could happen, but there is still a long way to go in a gamer’s mind. “
Bednar or bust. The Avalanche’s motto is basically Stanley Cup or Bust. There is only one goal and anything but the cup win will be a disappointment.
This was helped by Avs coach Jared Bednar’s two-year contract extension, who was out of contract the next season before the club announced the extension here on the Friday before the game. The win window may not end if Bednar’s renewal ends in 2024.
“I have a feeling the best is yet to come,” said Bednar, who is just one win away from signing Bob Hartley (193) as the most successful coach of all time. “We learnt. The path to success is very rarely linear, where it just says, ‘Yes, this is where we have to get there and you just go there and win.’
“There are always ups and downs on the road. I think Joe got that. I get that. I think our team got that now … We’ll have setbacks along the way, but I think we can still make it with this group. I believe in you.”