SEATTLE — Like the tentacles of the mythical Kraken, the line wrapped around the building that houses Simply Seattle at 1st and Pine early Saturday morning.
“We’re witnessing the birth of a franchise,” said Paul Buxton.
Buxton even wore his throwback Metropolitans jersey - a nod to Seattle's first professional ice hockey team and the first American team to win the Stanley Cup back in 1917. Buxton showed up an hour and half before the store opened o be the first inside and to get first crack at Kraken gear.
“This is the first merchandise from the Kraken I’ve actually held in my hands and that’s just a cool feeling,” Buxton added.
Since the dramatic release of the Kraken name and logo more than a week ago, Jamie Munson and his team at Simply Seattle immediately started printing t-shirts, which have been on sale for the past week. But this is among the first available that's officially licensed by the NHL.
The NHL says the Kraken has already topped the total sales record for expansion teams set by the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017.
“If you think about a brand new franchise and no one has the logo, no one’s wearing the hat, the shirt or hoodie or anything, people are dying for that and that’s kind of their first purchases,” Munson explained.
Knowing the rabid sports fans in Seattle, Munson says he went big on this first order.
“We went deep. We ordered quite a bit so we’ve got plenty of stock on hand,” Munson said.
Even though it will be another year until the puck drops at the new arena, fans, like Buxton, are looking forward to the future.
“I’m trying to soak in all the excitement because it’s just going to get bigger and more exciting,” Buxton said.
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