‘Mr. Devil’: Seattle Breaker to New Jersey Devil

Brittany Cinderella, Columnist

When watching the Seattle Kraken, it’s important to remember the history of hockey in Seattle, Washington. On Jan. 19 the Seattle Kraken welcomed the New Jersey Devils to Seattle for their second game against each other in Climate Pledge Arena. 

After retiring with three Stanley Cup wins, Ken Daneyko, former Seattle Breaker and current New Jersey Devils color analyst for MSG+/NHL, recounted his time in the Pacific Northwest to give insight into what hockey used to be like in Washington.

“It’s got a little bit of everything. It’s a beautiful city … it’s obviously got meaning to me since this is where I was drafted from,” Daneyko said. 

Daneyko played in the Western Hockey League (WHL) for the Seattle Breakers, now known as the Seattle Thunderbirds, from 1980 to 1982. He was then scouted by the Colorado Rockies, who, in 1982 relocated and renamed to the New Jersey Devils, playing in the NHL. 

“That’s when I got the opportunity, when the Devils found me somehow 3,000 miles away or so and drafted me in [1982] to give me my opportunity to fulfill a dream,” Daneyko said. According to NHL.com, Danekyo played with the Devils from being drafted 18th in the first round in 1983 until his retirement in 2003. Throughout his career, he won three Stanley Cups with the Devils and a Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in the 1999-2000 season. 

Nicknamed “Mr. Devil,” Danekyo has always been extremely involved with the hockey world on and off the ice. After retiring in 2003, he has since joined the Devils’ color analyst team on NHL Network and MSG+, actively working alongside his co-hosts to commentate every game since 2006. Given his experience in the NHL, he’s been keeping an eye on the Seattle Kraken during their second season as an NHL team. 

“I think last year it was up and down for Seattle. Not great, but I mean you don’t expect much in your first season and then man, have they turned it around this year … I’m a firm believer, even though there’s a long way to go, that they’re a playoff team,” Daneyko said.