Today the Kraken and the Greater Seattle Hockey League (GSHL) announced the formation of the Kraken Hockey League, the product of a partnership between the two. While the Kraken and GSHL originally announced their partnership in February, the Kraken Hockey League will provide a new unified brand for the Kraken’s adult recreational hockey league going forward.
The GSHL was founded in 2001 by Andy Cole, who wanted to help people find organized hockey in an area that was a more underdeveloped hockey market than it is today. The GSHL has since grown to be the largest adult ice hockey league in the Pacific Northwest, with more than 100 teams and 2,000 registered players. Its games and programs operate at a network of rinks as far north as Everett and as far south as Tacoma. Through his 20 years of experience with the GSHL, Cole knows the Seattle adult hockey landscape inside and out.
With the Kraken’s arrival in Seattle, the opportunity arose for an exciting partnership. In an interview on the Kraken’s website, Cole said, “it just seemed silly to not embrace the Kraken. This franchise is more than a hockey team, it’s a movement that has swept the people of this region. I felt like we could continue our mission to grow and celebrate the game under one roof, one brand and that’s how the Kraken Hockey League came to be.”
In addition to the Kraken’s clout and promotional resources as an NHL franchise, the Kraken Hockey League will also be able to take advantage of the Kraken’s soon to be completed Northgate Ice Centre practice facility, which will house three ice rinks, a hockey-themed bar & grill, and numerous other amenities to serve adult hockey players. The Northgate facility is also expected to greatly improve the ease of travel for adult league games. With its main league playing games from Kent in the south to Everett in the north (about an hour drive between them), travel can sometimes be difficult. While the league will continue to play in all the rinks it currently does, the Northgate facility can act as hub where players who live in the north and south can meet in the middle.
The GSHL is a great league, and the league’s success starts at the top. I can speak from personal experience. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Andy Cole in my time as a player and team captain in the GSHL. He helped me transition to a new league after moving to Seattle and walked me through the process of being an adult league team captain for the first time. Andy is one of the most friendly and approachable guys you’ll ever meet, and the league he built has the same type of friendly atmosphere. Going to the rink is always a fun experience and an opportunity to bond with people over a shared love of the sport. I’m sure that atmosphere will carry over to the Kraken Hockey League.
If you’re interested in joining the Kraken Hockey League, the league is hosting Adult Learn To Play classes over the summer and registration for the fall season starts this July.
If you’ve never played hockey before and are considering starting, do it! I can’t recommend it highly enough. No matter your skill level, the Kraken Hockey League will have a division that’s right for you. It’s a friendly, supportive atmosphere and all about having fun.
GSHL / Kraken Hockey League Links: