The Winter Classic jerseys for the Vegas Golden Knights and the Seattle Kraken have been revealed. Vegas trades in their shimmering gold for a muted gold and white jersey with an ornament “V” and some old-west flair.
Seattle finds themselves trading in Kraken tentacles for a “barber strip pole” esque jersey using their familiar color scheme.
Greg Wyshynski took a look at the new jerseys in an article for ESPN and most importantly documented the challenge of designing a “retro” style jersey for the NHL’s two newest teams.
Seattle once had a professional major league team called the Seattle Metropolitans from 1915-1924. They won the Stanley Cup in 1917, the first American team to do so, yet played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association instead of the NHL.
The Seattle Kraken have a very interesting Winter Classic jersey for 2024
The Kraken pay tribute to the Seattle Metropolitans with their Winter Classic jerseys. There’s a pretty big reason they can’t use the original name and logo.
Designers at Adidas tried to blend both the old Metropolitans logo with the new Seattle Kraken jerseys.
That’s where the “barber pole” design comes in, but the red and green of the Metropolitans are traded for the navy blue and teal of the current Seattle franchise. The familiar Kraken logo appears in Metropolitan-style red with “Kraken” spelled out.
The original Metropolitan jersey had a giant “S” for the Seattle patch but since this was the early days of hockey jerseys, it was in a very generic font. The Kraken font “S” works a lot better and with a bolder look.
The original Metropolitans logo had the word “Seattle” spelled out in the S. Designers replicated the same idea by writing “Kraken” within the “S” logo. It’s also worth nothing “Kraken” fits a lot better than “Seattle” did in the old logo.
You might be wondering why the NHL didn’t go all in on a Metropolitans throwback. Apparently, they might not legally be allowed to.
The NHL owns the rights to the Metropolitans name and logo in Canada but the United States rights were reportedly held by a 26-year-old entrepreneur back in 2017.
Seattle Metropolitans Hockey LLC currently owns the wordmark and logo for a variety of merchandise sales according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
A simple Google Search for the name took us to a website selling Metropolitans merchandise. While the website includes links to news about the 2024 Winter Classic, it still needs some updating, as it almost completely ignores the fact that the Kraken exists. For example, here’s some information from their “about us” section:
"This page was created in the hopes of getting people together to revive the Seattle Metropolitans. The NHL has been voicing their intent to have an expansion team in Seattle, and we believe if we can get enough people to voice our desire to bring back the first American team to win the Stanley Cup, it can happen."
Seattle Metropolitans Hockey LLC is still listed on the Washington State Corporation database, although it’s currently listed as inactive and “delinquent”.
Paul Kim, the entrepreneur we mentioned before who owns the Metropolitans United States-based rights, is listed as an agent of the corporation.
In general, in business speak it appears as if Kim still owns the rights, although his merchandise-selling business is inactive.
Kim previously said he would be open to licensing the original logo to a new NHL team in the area. It appears any partnership between him and the NHL for new Kraken merchandise never happened.
Unlike Seattle, Vegas didn’t have a professional hockey team one hundred years ago. They do have a recent history (past forty or so years) of minor league hockey in the area that wasn’t used for Winter Classic jersey inspiration.
If any hockey fans want Seattle Metropolitans merchandise we’re sure it’s not hard to find. Then again the NHL would much rather you buy their Metropolitan “inspired” Kraken jerseys instead.