Walking into the Kent Valley Ice Centre for a hockey lesson, Christa Bashinski jumps on a video call. Not out of the ordinary for her, but the voices and images were far from the usual. She is about to be the first fan to meet the first signed Kraken player.
The first voice is Kraken team broadcaster Everett Fitzhugh checking in with Bashinski, a long-time youth player for the Washington Wild Female Hockey Association. "Great to meet you!" says Bashinski.
After some banter not to be missed on the video accompanying this story, Luke Henman joins the call. As the Kraken's first player to sign a professional contract, Henman was happy and smiling to meet his "Symetra First Shift" counterpart of sorts in Bashinski.
Bashinski's first question via Fitzhugh: As someone who prides herself as a defender, what does Henman recommend for improving for the fall season ahead?
"Good question," says Henman. "Just competing hard and being a good teammate. Do those two things and good things will happen."
Bashinski wanted to know, "what Henman is most looking forward to as the season approaches?"
"Seeing the city and meeting everyone," says Henman. "I know everyone is really excited about the team coming."
Bashinski was nodding and grinning: "On behalf of Seattle, welcome!"