When normal People move to a new city, they comb the internet to figure out life's mundanities. Things like where to live, what to do, where to buy their groceries. When you're a hockey player in the NHL and you sign with the Seattle Kraken, you get a custom guidebook handed to you with all these things—72 spiral-bound pages, complete with divider tabs.
The Seattle Kraken family resource guide is the product of about six months of work by Sadie Klingman, executive assistant of hockey operations. It started in January, when Klingman (Kraken employee No. 13) asked other sports teams to share what they had once put together for their new players—counterparts at the 49ers, Seahawks, and Vegas Golden Knights were particularly helpful, she notes. Then came a deluge of research, company Slack threads, and internal reviews before the guidebook was released into players' hands shortly after the expansion draft.
Although Klingman declined to name specific businesses that she included (trust me, I asked), she did note the core asks were around things like neighborhoods, schools, and doctors. You know, normal life stuff.
"The guys are really focused on hockey, and that's going to be their main priority," Klingman says. "That's what I'm here for is to help with all the other details. Most of my communication as relates to relocation is with the wives and the girlfriends. They're the unsung heroes of this whole process."
So what's actually in this treatise? A lineup, if you will:
- Table of contents
- Seattle Kraken values ("We worked with our brand team to really showcase what we value as a company and organization.")
- Team history
- Tribal history of the Pacific Northwest
- Land acknowledgement agreement
- Food and beverage (categorized by neighborhood and price point: casual, middle-ground, high-end)
- Day trips
- Live music venues
- Neighborhoods ("We really focused our recommendations on Seattle to be close to Climate Pledge Arena and our training facility to make the commute as easy as possible for the guys.")
- Relocation resources
- Short-term housing
- Private schools
- Public schools
- Childcare and activities
- Health and wellness
- Spas and gyms
- Grocery stores ("This is a big one. If you're moving from the East Coast or Europe, you don't know what the common grocery stores are here.")
- Pet care
- Home care
- Continued education ("For [partners] who want to move forward with college or finish up their degree.")
- ESL interpreters
- Event planning
- Community and volunteering
- Climate Pledge Arena
- Hockey operations
- Team directory
- Sponsors and partners
While this is purposely a book of Kraken-approved recommendations, Klingman notes that she and others provide "additional color" when talking to family members and players. But she adds: "No, we didn't have a blacklist in the guide." Well, there's always next year.