In the world of sports, expectations are often high for new teams joining established leagues. Where fans crave instant success and championships, the pressure to perform is immense. This is particularly true for the newest addition to the National Hockey League (NHL), the Seattle Kraken. With their inaugural season just a few months away, the team’s quest for playoff success is already being closely watched and analyzed.
Joining the league as the 32nd team, the Seattle Kraken have been the talk of the hockey world since their official announcement in 2018. The city of Seattle has long been known for its passion for sports, with die-hard fans supporting their teams through thick and thin. And now, with the arrival of the Seattle Kraken, the city is preparing to embrace a new hockey team with open arms.
But with great excitement, also comes great expectations. So how can the Seattle Kraken best manage the pressure to perform in their first year in the NHL? Let’s take a closer look.
Building a Strong Foundation
Every successful team in any sport has a strong foundation, and the Seattle Kraken is no exception. The team’s ownership group, led by billionaire David Bonderman and Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer, has been highly involved in the decision-making process since the team was awarded a franchise in 2018. They have made it clear that their goal is not just to create a team, but to build a successful and sustainable franchise.
This approach is crucial in managing expectations, as it sets a clear understanding that success will come with time and not overnight. It also shows a dedication to creating a culture of success rather than short-term gains. The team’s general manager, Ron Francis, also brings a wealth of experience to the table with his successful tenure as GM for the Carolina Hurricanes. His track record and knowledge of the game will be invaluable in building a strong foundation for the Seattle Kraken.
But it’s not just the front office that plays a role in managing expectations. The players themselves also have a responsibility to set the tone for the team. This is where the experienced veterans on the team, such as Jordan Eberle, J.T. Brown, and Yanni Gourde, will play a crucial role. As players who have been through the ups and downs of professional hockey, they can provide valuable leadership and guidance to the younger players on the team.
Playing to Win
Despite being a new team, the Seattle Kraken is not lacking in talent. With the expansion draft, the team was able to acquire experienced players who have proven their abilities in the NHL. Players like Brandon Tanev, Mark Giordano, and Calle Jarnkrok are all expected to make significant contributions to the team’s success.
But as with any expansion team, there will be challenges to overcome. The players will need to adjust to each other’s style of play and build chemistry on the ice. The coaching staff, led by head coach Dave Hakstol, will also play a crucial role in bringing the team together and guiding them towards victory.
One way to manage expectations in this aspect is to focus on small victories rather than setting unrealistic goals. It’s essential to remember that success does not always mean winning the Stanley Cup in the first season. As long as the team is continuously improving and showing progress, the fans and the organization will be satisfied.
Embracing the City and the Fans
The Seattle Kraken is not just a hockey team; they are a representation of the city and its people. The team must embrace the city and its culture to truly become a part of it. This means getting involved in the community, participating in charitable events, and showing a genuine interest in the city’s history and traditions.
In doing so, the team can build a strong relationship with fans, who are the backbone of any successful sports franchise. A fan base that feels connected to their team is more likely to stick with them through both the good and the bad. By involving the fans in the journey and creating a sense of belonging, the Seattle Kraken can manage expectations and create a loyal following.
Additionally, the team must also engage with fans through social media and other forms of communication. This allows for a direct line of communication and gives fans a platform to voice their opinion and provide feedback. This interaction can help to foster a sense of openness and transparency between the team and its supporters.
The Seattle Kraken is a highly anticipated addition to the NHL, with fans eagerly waiting for the team to hit the ice. But with this excitement comes the burden of expectations. By building a strong foundation, focusing on small victories, and engaging with the community and its fans, the Seattle Kraken can manage these expectations and pave the way for success. One thing is for sure; the Kraken’s quest for playoff success is a journey that hockey fans around the world will be watching closely.