Hockey is made for rivalries. Nothing gets the blood boiling of players or fans more than a hated team skating into the arena. The Seattle Kraken don’t have any true rivals, yet. There is the close proximity to the Vancouver Canucks that opens up the possibility for a heated divisional opponent there, but the teams will have to play the games before we truly know if there’s bad blood.
Rivals are born in the playoffs as a hotly contested series breeds dislike.
When the Vegas Golden Knights entered the league, it was assumed there would be a natural rivalry with Los Angeles, or even Arizona. But after three years of playoff matchups, disdain quickly brewed for the San Jose Sharks, and boy do those teams hate each other now.
While it’s fun to poke Vancouver leading up to October, what about the rest of the Pacific Division? Which one of those teams will clash with the Kraken? What do we really know about these teams?
We are going to take a look at the Pacific Division team by team and get to know their history, their vibe, and where they’ve been to better get to know the Seattle Kraken rivals. First up, the San Jose Sharks.
The Sharks have the potential to form a healthy, and tasty, rivalry with the Kraken. Seattle is no stranger to Bay Area hatred, just ask the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. You also have the Seattle Mariners and, well, nobody hates the Mariners so that’s not a good comparison.
Here is a first look at the San Jose Sharks, a potential Seattle Kraken rival
Nickname history: A fan vote originally suggested the name ‘Blades’ but ownership preferred the runner up ‘Sharks’
Logo tidbit: The triangle on the Sharks logo is said to represent the ‘Red Triangle,’ an area in the Pacific Ocean known for its large shark population.
First season: 1991-1992 finished with a 17-58-5 record
AHL affiliation: San Jose Barracuda
ECHL affiliation: None
2020-2021 record: 21-28-7
Stanley Cup Final appearances: One, 2016, lost to Pittsburgh Penguins
Presidents’ Trophy: One (2008-2009)
Division titles: 6
All time leading scorer: Patrick Marleau – 1,102 points
All-time leading goals: Patrick Marleau – 518
All-time leader in assists: Joe Thornton – 804
2020-2021 season leading scorer: Evander Kane – 22 goals, 27 assists, and 49 points
Cap space: $1,535,337
Highest-Paid Player: Erik Karlsson at $11.5 million through 2027
Players with No-Move Clauses: Erik Karlsson and Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Top prospect: Ryan Merkley – D, 2018 first-round pick (21st overall to San Jose). Last season with the San Jose Barracuda (1g, 10a,11pts in 31 games)
Potential Expansion Draft Targets: Dylan Gambrell, Alexander True, Martin Jones
Chance of Sharks becoming a top Seattle Kraken rival: High
I would like to add my own tidbit. SAP Center has the worst camera positions of any NHL arena.