Morgan Geekie might be the right guy for the right town.
There are obviously plenty of geeks in Seattle and we’ve even embraced a handful who play professional sports in the city. But this is the first time we’ve connected with one who’s especially, well … Geekie.
A 23-year-old hockey player from the tiny town of Strathclair, Manitoba, Geekie was selected last week by the Seattle Kraken during the NHL expansion draft. In 38 career games with the Carolina Hurricanes, Geekie had six goals and three assists. Three of those points came in his first NHL game — and his whole family joined him that night at a post-game press conference.
In a phone interview with GeekWire this week from his home in Canada, Geekie asked if we’d looked up Strathclair.
“You probably had to zoom in pretty far,” he said. “There’s not a whole lot there.”
Regardless of what’s there, we’re excited to have Geekie here. He’s familiar with Washington state, having spent time with the Western Hockey League’s Tri-City Americans in Kennewick, Wash. When that team played the Kent, Wash.-based Seattle Thunderbirds, Geekie got a gander at Seattle during a visit.
“I thought it was really cool, a lot different than where I’m from,” he said.
Geekie was part of the Charlotte Checkers American Hockey League championship team in 2019. Charlotte is a minor league affiliate of the Kraken. And he played parts of two seasons with the Hurricanes.
So what’s he think of Seattle and the Kraken, and how does Geekie geek out? Keep reading for our Q&A, which has been edited for length and clarity:
Have you heard of GeekWire? I have not. I was on Twitter the other day and I saw the profile and I saw it had a pretty big following. That’s as much as I know about it. … It’s not every day that half your name is in a worldwide technology [news site].
At GeekWire we celebrate geeks. In Seattle it’s kind of a big deal to be a nerd because you could end up being the richest person on the planet. Are you a geek? I would say yeah, if you guys celebrate them, for sure. I grew up being called one not because I was rich, but for obvious reasons with my last name.
Does that still happen? You’re a pretty big guy. I would say it still happens. It used to bug me more when I was 13. I think it’s kind of funny now.
Tell me about the name Geekie. What’s the origin? I believe it’s Scottish. I don’t know what percent or anything like that, but I do know that that was where it initially came from.
Are there a lot of Geekies in Manitoba? Well, they’re all related. But there’s not a ton of us. It’s my dad’s name, so it’s my family, my dad’s brother’s family. There’s some other cousins and relatives. I don’t know the exact number; it’s under 10 families that have that name, I would say.
Have you ever been to Seattle? When I played Seattle in junior hockey, we were there for a couple days and we went to downtown Seattle and we were at the Pike Place Market and the Starbucks and all the touristy things downtown just for a couple hours. I thought it was really cool, a lot different than where I’m from. So it was a pretty cool experience
The one thing I wanted to see was the gum wall. I thought that was like the coolest thing. I think it was right after … did they clean it up? I was depressed I didn’t get to see it at its full extent. There were still people adding to it, but it wasn’t as big.
Oh, it’s back. Nice. I’ll have to stop by again.
So tell me when you first heard Seattle was getting an NHL team and that the name was going to be the Kraken what was your reaction? I kinda liked it, honestly. I know Seattle is along the water, I don’t really know anything about the Kraken other than the mythology thing. I thought the logo was really cool, the colors they picked are really cool. I liked pretty much everything about it and then to be a part of it is pretty ironic.
To the best fans sports has to offer – thank you for making this week one we'll never forget. ???? ???? ???? pic.twitter.com/Op4bYf4WUB
— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) July 26, 2021
How’d you feel when Seattle selected you in the expansion draft? It’s awesome. It’s kind of a fresh start for me. I know some people, not necessarily from the Seattle area, but Washington state. So, I love Washington and from my time that I spent in Seattle I thought it was really cool. So to be able to be there full time will be awesome.
I’m pretty young guy and to have a fresh start like this and a new opportunity with a new organization that’s trying to prove something, and all the new technology and staff they have, it’ll be an exciting time.
You’ll be playing in Climate Pledge Arena, which is a bit of a mouthful. Do you shop on Amazon? I do, I kind of mooch off my auntie’s Amazon Prime.
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) April 29, 2021
Can you tell me about this viral quote that sort of blew up for you, when you said ‘You can’t out pizza the hut?’ I wouldn’t have thought it would get the traction it did. It was an inside joke between me and a few guys. I can’t remember how it started or how it came up, it was pretty random. They just bet me that I wouldn’t say it in an interview. I had absolutely no problem saying it in an interview because I thought it was pretty funny. I got off the ice from practice and it seemed to go viral, as you said. So, it was pretty cool.
What’s the one piece of technology you couldn’t live without? Obvious answer is my phone. I want to give you a better answer than that. … No. Probably my phone.
Are you an Android or iOS guy? iOS. I’ve never had an Android. I’ve heard nothing but good things from all the people that have them, but I couldn’t imagine having green text messages with everybody that I talked to.
Mac or PC? I was initially Mac. I do like PCs though. I was pretty big into video games, so I was big on custom-built PCs and stuff.
What is your favorite video game? Right now, probably “MLB.” All time? “Call of Duty: Black Ops 1.”
Favorite app? YouTube.
Best gadget ever? I have a thing called Oura Ring. It’s a health and wellness ring that tracks your sleep, your readiness for the day. I thought that was pretty good.
What’s your favorite piece of sports tech? They’re called Senaptec glasses. They’re like strobe light glasses. They flash periodically on a timer and make you focus, make your eyes work more. Off-ice stick handling and doing other hand-eye coordination drills with them on definitely helps.
What kind of music do you like? Folk alternative, probably? My favorite band … well, he’s a singer songwriter, his name is Gregory Alan Isakov.
Have you got a favorite movie? “National Treasure.” The first one.
Favorite superhero or sci-fi character? Oh, my brother loves Marvel. Geez. I don’t know. Probably Iron Man.
Anything that you’re looking forward to from the Seattle fan base? What do they need to know about you as a player (aside from this interview) for you to become a fan favorite? That’s a tough question, I don’t know if I’ve ever been asked that before. I try to play a 200-foot game, at both ends of the ice and I’ll definitely do my best to contribute offensively. I know the fans in Seattle are great just from what I know and what I’ve heard.
Website: Seattle Kraken roster