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Name That Team!

NHL Seattle leadership will announce the team name "right on time" in early 2020. A look inside the process, plus bonus material on how other NHL clubs were named

by Bob Condor / @NHLSeattle_ /

SEATTLE -- Since Ron Francis was hired July 18 as NHL Seattle's first general manager, the steady flow of resumes to his email box has not stopped. Not for one single day.

Same goes for the gusher of well-wishers congratulating him on the GM announcement via texts, emails, phone calls, voice mails, in-person meetings and random encounters pretty much everywhere he goes here in Seattle or while settling affairs back in Raleigh, N.C. The congrats frequently comes with follow-up.

"The number-one question is what's the name going to be," says Francis.

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Ken-Do Attitude

Oak View Group/NHL Seattle's trusted construction executive Ken Johnsen 'sorts through a thousand voices' to assure monumental things get done for our city

by Art Thiel / @NHLSeattle_ /

SEATTLE -- On a scale of one to 10, one being, say, a backyard chicken coop and 10 being Hoover Dam, Ken Johnsen is asked where he scores the New Arena at Seattle Center for degree of difficulty.

"Nine," he says, "plus."

He is smiling. Johnsen likes working on hard things.

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Keeping It Fun

New GM Ron Francis meets with local hockey organizers to talk growth of the game with practice time as the secret ingredient

by Bob Condor / @NHLSeattle_ /

Ron Francis Meets Hockey Leaders

Ron Francis Meets Leaders in Seattle Hockey Community

Ron Francis meets with leaders of Seattle's local hockey community to answer questions and discuss growing the game

  • 00:31 •

SEATTLE -- When Seattle NHL general manager Ron Francis was three years old, his mom took him along to the rink to register young Ron's four-year-old brother for the youth hockey program in Sault St. Marie, Ontario. Another friend with a four-year-old and three-year-old accompanied Mrs. Francis to register her older boy as well.

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Professor of the Puck

75-year-old astrophysicist & longtime adult-leaguer teaches about the physics of hockey & how a puck reacts to a slapshot

by Bob Condor / @NHLSeattle_ /

SEATTLE -- As the last NHL goalie to play his position without a mask, the late Lorne "Gump" Worsley was a one-man test lab to prove out the physics of a hockey puck.

"Gump played his final seasons here with the Minnesota North Stars," says Robert Gehrz, an astrophysicist at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. "He would say he did get hit in the face with the puck, but always on the flat side [top or bottom), so it didn't hurt much."

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Sticking to It

Players from youth hockey to the pros can get better at stickhandling. Here's why stickhandling is trending up-and why having a garage matters

by Bob Condor / @NHLSeattle_ /

SEATTLE -- As a young hockey camper, Carl Clark remembers it like yesterday.

"I attended [Seattle Totems captain] Gordon Sinclair's hockey school every summer in Woodinville," says Clark, 69, who lives in Mukilteo and, like the rest of us, is eager for NHL hockey in 2021. "Guyle Fielder [Totems superstar] would set us up with puck and tell us to move the puck back and forth on our stick [blades] without looking down."

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Hockey Lexi-con

Professional player and Snohomish-native Lexi Bender talks footwork and "being part of a team" with girls youth players at local hockey clinic

by Bob Condor / @NHLSeattle_ /

The Lynnwood Ice Center was lively on Saturday morning. A couple dozen younger-age girls lugged duffel bags full of equipment and hockey sticks. Some of the girls carried the gear on their shoulders while others rolled their bags down the stairs to the dressing room at ice level.

A few girls, fully dressed in their gear, were already chatting and sitting at the rink-side team benches, roughly half an hour before a free hockey training clinic is due to start.

Professional hockey player and Snohomish-native Lexi Bender walked in, looking quite pleased with the surroundings.

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Scout's Honor

Bill Dineen Won 2 Championships with the Seattle Totems, Fathered 5 Sons with NHL Connections and Drafted Ron Francis

by Bob Condor / @NHLSeattle_ /

The scene will play out at any number of 31 NHL training camps this fall. A club official or two will sit down with a player to inform him that despite a strong preseason, the player will not make the opening night roster. They will discuss next steps, such as playing for the club's American Hockey League affiliate or maybe returning to Junior A.

But no conversation will match the one NHL Seattle GM Ron Francis experienced as an 18-year-old rookie with the Hartford Whalers in 1981. Drafted fourth overall earlier in the year, Francis was called into an office to talk with the late Head Amateur Scout Bill Dineen and GM Larry Pleau. The topic: Francis was being returned to his junior team, the Sault St. Marie Greyhounds.

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Intelligence on Ice

Seattle GM Francis looking for players with high hockey IQ

by Bob Condor / @NHLSeattle_ /

First Interview with Ron Francis

Exclusive interview with NHL Seattle GM Ron Francis

NHL Seattle sits down with Ron Francis for an exclusive interview with the franchise's first-ever General Manager

  • 33:05 •

SEATTLE -- When the NHL celebrated its centennial anniversary in 2017, the league named its top 100 players of all-time. NHL Seattle's new general manager, Ron Francis, made the list.

Bryan Trottier won four straight Stanley Cups with the 1980s New York Islanders and then two more consecutive Cups (1991 and 1992) as teammates with Francis in Pittsburgh. Trottier is a Top 100 player himself, but he says he learned something every game from Francis.

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Arena Update: Tower Power

Gigantic steel tower erected to hold up 44-million-pound iconic New Arena roof

by Bob Condor / @NHLSeattle_ /

Support Beam Installation Process

Beams Installed at New Arena to Support Historic Roof

As the construction continues at New Arena at Seattle Center, support beams are installed to hold up the building's iconic roof

  • 00:52 •

SEATTLE -- Just a few days after NHL Seattle introduced Ron Francis as the team's first general manager, the New Arena at Seattle Center was marking its own "big milestone" on July 23.


"Into the center of the roof, we erected what's called a shoring tower with four steel legs," explains Ken Johnsen, construction executive for Oak View Group and NHL Seattle. "It goes smack into the roof. We put it tight, then [the construction crew] jacks it up real tight. It allows us to now take away [demolish] the remaining 20 percent of the concrete bowl.


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Wearing the 'C'

Hockey captains are more relevant than in any other sport and we've got the evidence

by Bob Condor / @NHLSeattle_ /

SEATTLE -- When NHL Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke introduced the team's first-ever GM, Ron Francis, on July 18, he paused to savor one special category of achievement.

"A few weeks before his 22nd birthday, Ron was named team captain [of the Hartford Whalers], which is truly extraordinary," said Leiweke. "Here's perhaps my favorite statistic, he was the captain of three teams [Hartford, Pittsburgh and Carolina] during his 23 years in the NHL. Fourteen seasons across three teams, his players and coaches selected him to be captain."


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