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Seattle Thunderbirds players weigh in on an NHL franchise in Seattle

Beat Writer Matt Sampsell spoke with fans and players concerning the potential for NHL hockey in Seattle.

Chris Mast / Sonics Rising

As the Thunderbirds close in on the playoffs, Seattle hockey fans close in on an NHL franchise.

NHL to Seattle season ticket deposits exploded on March 1st. Fans rushed the website, causing it to briefly crash, and helped smash the goal of 10,000 deposits with a head turning 33,000.

The region has become a hockey hotbed with the Thunderbirds and Everett Silvertips playing in front of sold out crowds. Their rivalry is one of the most competitive in the Western Hockey League.

Wearing a Las Vegas Golden Knights jersey while attending a T-Birds game, Jeremy Boyovich says an NHL team in Seattle is a dream come true, “Super excited. When I was a kid I always wanted an NHL team.”

Thunderbirds Center Matthew Wedman says the WHL’s success has been a natural gateway to the NHL.

“I’m not surprised. We have a great fan base here eager to see some NHL in Seattle. The game’s growing and the Pacific Northwest is hungry for some hockey. It’s exciting to be part of history.”

T-Birds fan Kris Duggan was impressed by the enormous wave of deposits, “It took them six weeks in Vegas to get to 10,000 and we did it with 25,000 in an hour. I was shocked.”

Thunderbirds winger Nolan Volcan says the success of Seattle, Everett, Spokane and Portland helped create the buzz and the fans of Northwest hockey have been heard.

“Seattle’s a great sports city. You throw any kind of sport here you’d have a great fan base. It’s nice to see the excitement.”

As far as a team nickname, Volcan reveals his leading contenders, “I think the Kraken would be cool. Kraken or the Totems are my two favorites.”