Seattle’s mythological sea creature is extending a friendly tentacle to Anchorage’s mythological sea creature in the hope of saving one of the only NCAA Division I hockey programs in the northwest United States.
The Seattle Kraken, the NHL’s newest franchise, is donating $100,000 to Save Seawolf Hockey, the fundraising group trying to save the UAA hockey program from elimination.
“Alaska is part of the Kraken’s NHL territory and they want to help,” Heidi Embley, the spokeswoman for Save Seawolf Hockey, said Wednesday evening by email.
“One way they will provide support is through a financial donation. Kraken ownership and staff committed to donating $100,000 and issued a challenge for 10 other businesses and/or individuals to do the same,” she said.
Kathie Bethard, chairwoman of Save Seawolf Hockey, said the Kraken have been following the story of UAA hockey and don’t want to see one of the only Division I college hockey programs in this part of the country go away. There’s also a Division I hockey team at UAF in Fairbanks.
The Seattle Kraken, who are scheduled to begin play in the 2021-22 season, are named after the gigantic, mythological sea monster that according to Scandinavian folklore lurks off-coast, where it terrorizes sailors.
The Seawolves get their name from “a striking totemic creature that appeared to be half wolf/half sea creature,” according to the university’s website.
The school’s hockey program is slated for elimination by the University of Alaska Board of Regents unless supporters can raise $3 million — enough to cover two years’ of operations — by next month.
The last official count has the fundraising effort at $1.21 million, but that doesn’t include the Kraken donation, which is $50,000 a year for two years. It also doesn’t include several other recent gains, Embley said:
• $15,000 from a split-the-pot raffle.
• Proceeds from last week’s 36-team Seapup Cup youth tournament.
• Several donations committed but not yet formally submitted.