Cases of hockey fever are at an all-time high in Washington this winter, thanks to the establishment of the Seattle Kraken as the newest team in the National Hockey League. Whether they're a longtime, die-hard hockey fan, or new to the game and swept up in the excitement, someone on your list is most likely captivated by the most wintery of team sports. Maybe you're one of those people, too, in which case there are a few self-serving but not selfish ideas to consider.
STREAMING SERVICEWatching the Seattle Kraken on TV here in Spokane is pretty easy. Almost all of their games are broadcast on ROOT Sports. If your cable package doesn't include it, you've certainly got a friend who does, as does probably every bar in town. But the Kraken aren't the only team in the NHL. If the arrival of an NHL team in Washington has made a new hockey fan out of someone in your life, give them the gift of diving head first into as much hockey as they please. A subscription to ESPN+, ESPN's streaming service, provides live and on-demand access to more than 1,000 out-of-market NHL games this season. $7/month or $70/year • plus.espn.com/nhl
A NIGHT OUTIf the Kraken fan you know and love could use a few friends to root with, treat them to dinner, drinks and a show at one of Spokane's two hockey hotspots. The Hub Tavern has been serving hockey fanatics in Spokane for nearly a decade, since the days when an NHL team in Seattle was nothing more than a pipedream. A much more recent addition to the local hockey scene is Lord Stanley's, which opened earlier this year as a dedicated hockey bar. The name, honoring the Lord Stanley who gave his name to the NHL's famous Stanley Cup trophy, says it all. Both bars are part of the Anchor Alliance, the Kraken's official network of fan bars. If you want an established community of fans, consider The Hub. If a more expansive menu is what you're looking for, try Lord Stanley's. If you're going to do it right, though, treat your loved one to a game at both. Lord Stanley's • 108 N. Washington St., Suite 101 • The Hub Tavern • 2926 N. Monroe St.
CHIEFS TICKETSYou don't have to travel across the state to catch quality hockey live and in person. The Chiefs have been playing hockey here in Spokane since 1985. In that time the team has produced more than 60 future NHL players. Plus, unlike tickets to an NHL game, Chiefs tickets won't break the bank. Like all Spokane sports teams, the Chiefs have a strong and passionate following. The Chiefs consistently rank among the top 10 teams in terms of average attendance among the 60 teams in the Canadian Hockey League. $18-$30 • spokanechiefs.com
KRAKEN JERSEYClothes aren't usually the most exciting gift to receive, but jerseys are an exception to that rule. If you know someone who is a budding Kraken fan but struggling to show their true colors with the right shades of blue — ice and deep sea, to be specific — the gift of a Kraken jersey would be just what the doctor ordered. Do some digging to learn who their favorite player is, or play it safe and grab them a jersey with no name or number on the back. Replica jerseys aren't quite the real thing, but they do the trick at a lower price point. Authentic jerseys run more expensive, but they're made to the same standards of the jerseys the players wear on the ice. $130-$180 • Just Sports NorthTown Mall • 4750 N. Division St. ♦