The Seattle Kraken have announced their captain and alternate captains for their inaugural season. Former Calgary Flames captain, Mark Giordano will serve as the Kraken’s first ever captain. The Kraken then selected Jordan Eberle, Jaden Schwartz, Adam Larsson and Yanni Gourde to rotate as alternate captains.
Giordano said he was honored with the responsibility of being named the captain of the group of guys they have and the new team and organization.
“I’ll try and do everything I can do to lead the group in the best way that I can and it means a lot to me to be given this responsibility for sure,” Giordano said.
Unfortunately Yanni Gourde wasn’t able to speak to the media due to being on the IR due to his shoulder.
Eberle explained what he and the other captains will bring leadership wise to the team. He explained how each guy brings different aspects to the team.
“I like to think that different guys lead in different ways and we have a mix of everything,” Eberle said.
Eberle also touched on the opportunity to create a culture in Seattle and how it’s a unique opportunity that doesn’t come around too often. He explained how as an older guy and a leader, it’s a lot put on you. However, he said they have a great group of guys who want to win and are motivated.
For Larsson, when asked how he describes himself as a leader, he simply said he’s going to continue to be himself. He explained how they’re a new team, everyone has different ways of leading and everyone will just have to come together.
“It’s going to be a good time, but I would say my leading skills is on the ice,” Larsson said.
Larsson also touched on Giordano being named captain and what he brings to the team in that role.
“While he has been a captain for a long time, and he knows what it takes, he’s been a great leader in this league for a long time,” Larsson said. “I think it’s one of those guys that a lot of young defensemen kind of looked up to, the way he plays, the way he handles himself and to see it firsthand.”
Larsson has been with the team to four weeks and said Giordano will lead them while they’ll follow and try to help them out.
For Schwartz, he said the team is gelling well so far, they have a great group of guys and that in general everybody is getting along. If social media is any indication, the Kraken will have a large portion of their fan base at their inaugural regular season game in Vegas as they take on the Golden Knights.
“Well it’s obviously really exciting for the city of Seattle, for us, it’s one of the funnest buildings to play in, they’ve put out a good show there, it’s always super loud, then obviously they’ve had a really good team since they came in,” Schwartz said.
He touched on how T-Mobile Arena in Vegas is one of the best buildings to play in, how it’s a really fun city, will be a good opening night for the team and that they’re really excited to get this thing going.
“Anyone who gets to watch their home opener and our first game is always gonna be lucky,” Schwartz said.
Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol spoke on the leadership group and being part of this team’s inaugural season. Hakstol said he hears directly from players and how they’re honored to be part of the growth of this franchise, to be there from day one and be part of the foundation and build as they go along.
“There’s no more important position than the captaincy of our hockey team from Gio, through Schwartzy, Larss, Ebs, Gourdie, these guys, they’re the group we’ll all look to for leadership as we go through the challenges of the National Hockey League season,” Hakstol said.
He called the leadership group they have outstanding human beings and great selfless teammates and proven themselves to be great leaders throughout their NHL careers so far.
With the veteran leadership group they have and mentoring the younger players, it starts off ice with their preparation and approach. Hakstol said it was about what it means to be a true professional day in and day out. That same approach goes for on ice too in their preparation with their consistency day in and day out, shift after shift, practice after practice. He touched on how those are some of the things that younger players can look towards.
Hakstol touched on the team’s work during training camp and what they built and accomplished during that time.
“We accomplished a lot of good work, good detail during training camp, we wanted to be able to build our systems and the foundation of that,” Hakstol said. “We also most importantly wanted to set the foundation in terms of our work ethic and come together as a hockey team and we’ve been able to accomplish those things.”
He explained that now the real work starts with getting into the regular season and competing for points.