Stories about the Kraken, holiday favorites, guilty pleasures.

St Louis Blues v Seattle Kraken

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 20: (L-R) Matty Beniers #10, Yanni Gourde #37 and Will Borgen #3 of the Seattle Kraken arrive before the game against the St. Louis Blues at Climate Pledge Arena on December 20, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

ROAMING THE ROOM: Happy Holidays! 

Stories about the Seattle Kraken and their Christmas and holiday preferences, favorites, memories, and guilty pleasures

Best Christmas gift you ever received
Ryan Donato: “There’s obviously some nice ones, but from family and friends, I have to go with when I was a kid … I got the new Reebok “O Stick” and that was kind of the hot new thing.” 

Jared McCann: “Bauer Vapor 20 hockey stick. It was black, and it had the chrome, two “x’s” at the bottom.” 

Will Borgen: “I don't even know, I'm just going to go with a hunting gun.” 

Adam Larsson: “Probably when I was a kid, I got my first new hockey stick. I didn’t get a lot of new hockey sticks when my dad played. I finally got one close to the flex I needed. It was an Easton stick.” 

Oleksiak: “I got an Xbox when I was younger, and I remember that was a topper. I was super excited. It really got me into gaming and I spent a lot of hours on it. It was the original, the ‘OG’ Xbox.” 

“Halo (for gaming) was definitely up there.” 

Favorite holiday tradition: 
Donato: “Just playing pond hockey at someone’s house or at someone’s backyard rink.” 

McCann: “Chilling out by the fire.”

Borgen: “White elephant, we play with my family – cousins and stuff.”

Larsson: “Just the food in general. (Laughs) I like to get gifts sometimes, too.” 

Jamie Oleksiak: “Christmas dinner. Big fan of that. I liked having some honey glazed ham, sweet potato casserole. I’m not a big turkey guy.” 

“Turkey can get a bit dry; it’s hit or miss. But I feel like a honey glazed ham, you can’t go wrong with that.”

How early is “too early” to start decorating:  
Donato: “Early enough, right after Thanksgiving.” 

McCann: “Right after Halloween.” 

Borgen: “Before Thanksgiving.” 

Oleksiak: “I think I had literally all of my Christmas decorations by December 1. Maybe even earlier – once Thanksgiving was over, it was straight to Christmas.” 

“You can’t go wrong waking up in the morning with a Christmas tree and lights.” 

Larsson: “No such thing as too early.” 

Favorite Christmas movie:  
Donato: “Elf.” 

Larsson: “We were usually watching our Swedish Christmas movies, classics for us. We had some funny ones.” 

Oleksiak: “I watched ‘Hook’ the other night. I didn’t mind that. The whole start of that was all Christmas. It’s like ‘Die Hard.’ Is ‘Die Hard’ a Christmas movie? I’d say so. I’m pretty liberal with what’s a Christmas movie and what’s not.” 

“I just saw (Hook) the other night and thought, I had to check it out. Robin Williams, you can’t go wrong. They should do a re-make of it.” 

Borgen: “Elf.” 

McCann: “Home Alone.” 

Favorite holiday carol or song:  
McCann: “Don’t have one.” 

Borgen: “Jingle Bells.” 

Larsson: “I’m a sucker for Mariah Carey.”

Oleksiak: “Here Comes Santa Claus.” 

Donato: “Frank Sinatra – anything Frank Sinatra.” 

Are you an early shopper or last minute?  
Donato: “Last minute kind of guy here.” 

McCann: “Last minute.”

Borgen: “Last minute.” 

Larsson: “I’m usually a last minute kind of guy. But this year I was out in pretty good time. I started early. I bought my last gift just a few days ago.” 

Oleksiak: “Pretty early. I don’t like dealing with malls and crowds.” 

Most overplayed holiday song:  
Donato: “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” by Mariah Carey. 

Borgen: (Repeating himself) “Jingle Bells.” 

Larsson: “Last Christmas” by Wham. 

Oleksiak: “That Mariah Carey song, it’s a meme at this point.” 

Hardest food to resist during the holiday break:  
Donato: “It’s obviously chocolate. My fiancée made these little pretzels with chocolate and M&M’s on top, with caramel the other day. They were unbelievable. I don’t know what the name of those are.” 

McCann: “Hot chocolate is my go-to.” 

Borgen: “The cookies that are lying around.” 

Larsson: “Meatballs.” 

Oleksiak: “I’m a big chocolate guy. So, a hard rule: we can’t have chocolates in the house or else I’ll just pick at it. Until it’s gone.” 

2023 will mean ________ to me:  
Donato: “Looking for excitement, consistency, faith, having fun.” 

McCann: “Better year.” 

Larsson: “New year. New opportunities.” 

Oleksiak: “A year full of wins.” 

Go back and re-live childhood for one day. Where are you skating or sledding at?
Donato: “When I was a kid, my dad (Ted Donato) was coaching at Harvard. We had the Pittsburgh Penguins come skate at the Harvard rink. I got to get on the ice with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin when I was a little kid. That was one of the coolest things.”

McCann: “We had a house out just between Stratford and St. Mary’s (Ontario). We had a flooded area. Every time it froze it would be really great ice. It would always be really flat. We didn’t have to do any maintenance. Just kind of, go and skate. It wasn’t a lot of water so it froze pretty quickly.” 

Borgen: “Outside in my yard. My Dad had a big driveway, so he’d bring the tractor and load up a big hill of snow.” 

Larsson: “Back home, Skellefteå.” 

Oleksiak: “In the beaches – there’s a rink at the bottom of my street. When I was younger, I would go out after school until they turned the lights out, at 10pm at night. I think it was Kew Gardens Arena. It’s where I fell in love with the game. I’d love to go back there and play.” 

Teammate who would make the best Santa Claus:  
Borgen: (scans the room) “Who’s got a beard? Maybe ’Larss,’ if he dyed it.” 

Donato: “Adam Larsson.” 

McCann: (hesitates, laughs) “Burakovsky.”

Oleksiak: “Probably Larss, just a workhorse. Could probably haul a lot of gifts around.” 

Larsson: “I would say me.” 

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