WWU hockey forum focuses on rise of Seattle Kraken, US/Canada relationship, and sport’s history

The growing role of hockey in the US/Canada relationship will be the focus of a special April 5 dialogue at Western: “Hockey Night in Cascadia: From Canada’s Game to a Kraken Future.”

The event, which takes place on Wednesday, April 5 at 5 p.m. in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room, focuses on the history of the game in the cross-border region but also the more recent impact of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken. Light refreshments will be served at the public event, which is hosted by the Center for Canadian-American Studies and the WWU Alumni Association. A Zoom broadcast will also be available.

Hockey historian Andrew Holman (Bridgewater State University) will discuss the heritage of the game in the cross-border region; hockey beat and investigative reporter Geoff Baker (The Seattle Times) will address the sport in relation to the city of Seattle and other National Hockey League teams in the U.S. and Canada; and community engagement specialist Andrew Bloom (The Seattle Kraken) will highlight the role of growing the Kraken footprint in engaging community and fostering social impact at the grassroots level in the Pacific Northwest. The discussion will be moderated by WWU Associate professor of Journalism Derek Moscato, a longtime hockey devotee and instructor of the 2022 WWU Honors Class "Icing the Kraken: Hockey’s Political Economy and Public Diplomacy."

The arrival of the Seattle Kraken to the shores of the Salish Sea represents the latest milestone for professional ice hockey in the cross-border Cascadia region. The Kraken join organizations like the Vancouver Canucks, the Western Hockey League (WHL), the American Hockey League (AHL), and the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) in promoting the sport across the region, ushering in more fan interest in conjunction with infrastructure such as the new Climate Pledge Arena.

In addition to the action on the ice, hockey has a long tradition of fostering binational relations between Canada and the United States through diplomacy, media, and economic exchange. To this end, the Hockey Night in Cascadia dialogue will explore the sport as a catalyst for cross-border engagement and a vehicle for political, social and economic impact.

Registration and more information: