‘Our very best days could be in front of us’: Kraken CEO Tod Leiweke helps make final donation push with Save Seawolf Hockey

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 9:27 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - On his first business trip as CEO of the Seattle Kraken, Tod Leiweke headed to Alaska to drum up support for Save Seawolf Hockey as the group enters the final months to save the University of Alaska Anchorage hockey program.

The National Hockey League executive stood alongside the UAA hockey coaching staff on Wednesday in Anchorage as he emphasized the importance of corporate sponsorships for Save Seawolf Hockey to reach its $3 million fundraising deadline by August 30 to reinstate the program.

“It’s a thousand individuals because to get to this point it hasn’t been about big companies,” Leiweke said during a press conference on the UAA campus. “We need corporations and others who have the resources to step up. Let’s finish this campaign, we are close.”

During Leiweke’s visit to campus, Save Seawolf Hockey announced they have raised over $2.25 million after a recent donation from ConocoPhillips. Along with supporting the final fundraising push for UAA hockey, Leiweke has big plans for the future of the NCAA Division I hockey team.

“We talked to coach (Matt Curley) about the potential for a tournament,” Leiweke said. “There is a great tournament back east called the Beanpot. Maybe we have the crab pot and build a new tradition. When this program achieves this next goal we are going to be able to dream big.”

He explained the ultimate goal of having UAA hockey play a game at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle. In February, the Seattle Kraken donated $100,000 along with another $50,000 from private investors. Since that donation, the NHL franchise has flooded social media and other media outlets with support of the UAA hockey program.

“What’s happening here a lot of people said wasn’t possible,” Leiweke said. “Our very best days could be in front of us.”

Both Leiweke and Curley referred to the final $750,000 needed in donations as the final ascent of a mountain. It’s a trek Curley and UAA hockey have been climbing since August, but are hopeful they will summit soon.

Visit the SSH website for more information about how to support the hockey program’s reinstatement efforts. They have an upcoming fundraiser at Anchorage Golf Course on July 1, and those interested can text “UAAHOCKEY” to 41444 to donate as well.

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