The Seattle Thunderbirds are a major junior ice hockey team based in the city of Kent, south of Seattle, Washington. They are part of the U.S. Division of the Western Conference in the Western Hockey League. They play their games at home in ShoWare Center. The general manager is Russ Farwell.
|League||Western Hockey League|
|Home arena||ShoWare Center|
|Colors||Navy blue, green, white
|General manager||Russ Farwell|
|Head coach||Matt O'Dette (2017)|
In 1977 the team moved to Seattle and was renamed the Seattle Breakers. The Breakers played in the Seattle Center Ice Arena, which had a seating capacity of 4,141 for ice hockey. Through eight seasons, the Breakers finished with a record of 225–319–32 and playoff record of 11–21, although they twice played in the West Division Finals. 
In 1982 the Breakers acquired future NHL great Ken Daneyko from Spokane. They made the playoffs and lost in the Divisional final.
After the 1984–85 season, the Breakers were sold to new owners and renamed the Seattle Thunderbirds.
The 1986–87 season saw the addition of Glen Goodall, who would remain with the team through 1990. Goodall would go on to set the Western Hockey League career records for most games played (399), goals scored (262), assists (311) and points (573). He is still the Thunderbirds leader in goals, assists and points. His jersey, number 10, is the only one to be retired by the Thunderbirds.
The 1989–90 season was the best regular season in Thunderbird history, and arguably the greatest team the franchise has ever iced. Seattle finished the season at 52–17–3, which included a 44–8–3 record in their final 55 and the #1 ranking in the final Canadian Hockey League Regular Season Top Ten poll. The team finished 33–2–1 at home tying a WHL record for most home wins. Goodall won the Most Valuable Player award finishing with 76 goals and 87 assists for 163 points, and Petr Nedved won Rookie of the Year. Seattle placed 3 scorers in the top 6 in the league Glen Goodall 2nd with 163 points, Victor Gervais 3rd with 160 points and Petr Nedved 6th with 145 points. Peter Kasowski came over in a trade from Swift Current and finished 13th with 129 points. Goaltender Danny Lorenz finished his career with a WHL record most career saves and minutes played. The team was so popular that they began to play home games in the Seattle Center Coliseum, which could seat over 12,000 for hockey and was frequently sold out. The Thunderbirds defeated the Tri-City Americans 5 games to 2 in the division semifinals, before losing to the eventual Western Hockey League Champion Kamloops Blazers 5 games to 1 in the division finals.
In 1992 the Thunderbirds hosted the Canadian Hockey League championship, the Memorial Cup. In the opening game, the T-Birds beat Verdun Collège Français 5-3, thanks to a hat trick by George Zajankala. After losses to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4-3 and Kamloops 3-1, they finished third in the round-robin and faced eventual champions Kamloops again in the semi-finals. They lost by an 8-3 score.
The 1996–97 team, led by Patrick Marleau, finished the season with a record of 41–27–4. They won the Western Conference by beating the Prince George Cougars 4 games to 2. Seattle was beaten by Lethbridge 4 games to 0 in the WHL championship series.
The 2002-2003 season saw the team advance to the conference finals on the back of Brooks Laich, who was named the Western Conference MVP with 41 goals and 94 points. After convincing wins in the early rounds of the playoffs, the Thunderbirds lost to the Kelowna Rockets four games to one.
The 2015–16 season was a breakout season for the Thunderbirds, and was one of the most successful seasons in franchise history. During the season, the Thunderbirds clinched the US Division after a 4–1 win over the Spokane Chiefs on March 15, 2016. This was Seattle's third division championship in team history and first since the 2004–05 season. Seattle also finished the regular season with the second most wins in team history (45). In the quarterfinal round of the 2015-2016 WHL Playoffs, the Thunderbirds swept the Prince George Cougars, 4 games to 0, and advanced to the semifinal round against the Everett Silvertips, where the Thunderbirds dominated the Silvertips, winning the series 4 games to 1. With the win, they advanced to the Western Conference Finals against the Kelowna Rockets, the defending WHL Champions. Once again, the Thunderbirds continued their dominant playoff run, as they swept the series against the Rockets, 4 games to 0. The series clinching win came in a double overtime thriller as rookie Matt Wedman scored the game-winning goal halfway through the second overtime to give the Thunderbirds the 5–4 overtime victory, clinching the Western Conference Championship. With the win, the Thunderbirds advanced to the WHL Championship for the first time since 1996-97. The Thunderbirds faced the Brandon Wheat Kings in the Championship final and lost the series 4–1. The finals with Brandon was much closer than the end result, as the first three games were decided in overtime and all three ending with Wheat King victories.
The Thunderbirds did not have to wait long for their next shot at a league championship. Although they did not repeat as division champions the following season, Seattle finished the regular season with the second most wins in team history (46), topping their record from the previous season. In the quarterfinal round of the 2016-2017 WHL Playoffs, the Thunderbirds swept the Tri-City Americans, 4 games to 0, and advanced to the semifinal round for a rematch with Everett. The Thunderbirds continued their postseason domination of the Silvertips, sweeping the series 4 games to 0 to advance to the Western Conference Finals and yet another rematch with Kelowna. Although this series did not end in a sweep in Seattle's favor like the previous year, the Thunderbirds still prevailed over the Rockets, 4 games to 2. With the win, the Thunderbirds advanced to the WHL Championship for the second straight year, this time against the Regina Pats. Unlike their previous two league final appearances, the Thunderbirds broke through and won their first ever league championship, taking the series 4–2. The series clinching win in Game 6 at the Brandt Centre came in an overtime thriller after the Thunderbirds rallied from a late two-goal deficit to force overtime with 2:54 remaining in the third period. Alexander True scored the game-winning goal midway through the first overtime period to give the Thunderbirds the 4-3 victory, clinching the Championship and sending the team to their second Memorial Cup appearance in team history and first as WHL champions.
The Thunderbirds originally played at Mercer Arena, then split time between Mercer Arena and the Seattle Center Coliseum beginning during the 1989–90 season before moving to KeyArena upon its completion. Unfortunately for the Thunderbirds, KeyArena's post-renovation sight lines were better suited for basketball. The arena floor was just barely large enough to fit the rink. It was so far off-center that the scoreboard hung over a blue line instead of center ice. Additionally, so many seats in the lower level were obstructed that half the lower level was curtained off.
Due to growing fan and team dissatisfaction with KeyArena, in 2009, the Thunderbirds moved to ShoWare Center, 20 miles south in Kent, where they became the anchor tenant. . The Thunderbirds have a large fan base, and continually draw some of the highest attendance numbers in the WHL on a yearly basis at the ShoWare Center.
The team's logo depicts a Native American carving of a thunderbird with the word "Seattle" etched into it, framed by two hockey sticks. It is similar to the logo and colors of the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. 
Their uniforms are very similar to those of the Hartford Whalers from 1992-1997.
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties OTL = Overtime losses Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against
|1977–78||72||32||28||12||–||359||316||76||4th West||Out of playoffs - Out of Playoffs|
|1978–79||72||21||40||11||–||299||334||53||4th West||Out of playoffs - Out of Playoffs|
|1979–80||72||29||41||2||–||297||364||60||3rd West||Lost West Division final - Defeated by Victoria 4-0|
|1980–81||72||26||46||0||–||318||393||52||3rd West||Lost West Division semi-final - Defeated by Portland 4-0|
|1981–82||72||36||34||2||–||339||310||74||3rd West||Lost West Division final - Defeated by Portland 4-2|
|1982–83||72||24||47||1||–||319||418||49||4th West||Lost West Division semi-final - Defeated by Portland 4-0|
|1983–84||72||32||39||1||–||350||379||65||4th West||Lost West Division semi-final - Defeated by Kamloops 5-0|
|1984–85||72||25||44||3||–||320||416||53||5th West||Out of playoffs - Out of Playoffs|
|1985–86||72||27||43||2||–||373||413||56||4th West||Lost West Division semi-final - Defeated by Kamloops 5-0|
|1986–87||72||21||47||4||–||328||430||46||5th West||Out of playoffs - Out of Playoffs|
|1987–88||72||25||46||2||–||313||436||52||5th West||Out of playoffs - Out of Playoffs|
|1988–89||72||33||35||4||–||315||276||70||5th West||Out of playoffs - Out of Playoffs|
|1989–90||72||52||17||3||–||444||295||107||2nd West||Lost West Division final - Defeated by Kamloops 5-1|
|1990–91||72||42||26||4||–||319||317||88||3rd West||Lost West Division semi-final - Defeated by Spokane 5-1|
|1991–92||72||33||34||5||–||292||285||71||4th West||Lost West Division final - Defeated by Kamloops 4-2|
|1992–93||72||31||38||3||–||234||292||65||4th West||Lost West Division quarter-final - Defeated by Kamloops 4-1|
|1993–94||72||32||37||3||–||283||312||67||4th West||Lost West Division semi-final - Defeated by Kamloops 4-2|
|1994–95||72||42||28||2||–||319||282||86||3rd West||Eliminated in round-robin - Eliminated in round-robin 0-4|
|1995–96||72||29||36||7||–||255||281||65||5th West||Lost West Division quarter-final - Defeated by Kamloops 4-1|
|1996–97||72||41||27||4||–||311||249||86||2nd West||Lost Final - Defeated by Lethbridge 4-0|
|1997–98||72||31||35||6||–||286||278||68||6th West||Lost West Division quarter-final - Defeated by Portland 4-1|
|1998–99||72||37||24||11||–||279||236||85||3rd West||Lost West Division semi-final - Defeated by Tri-City 3-1|
|1999–00||72||34||27||8||3||250||221||79||3rd West||Lost West Division semi-final - Defeated by Prince George 3-0|
|2000–01||72||30||33||8||1||262||299||69||6th West||Lost West Division semi-final - Defeated by Spokane 3-0|
|2001–02||72||21||40||6||5||235||313||53||4th U.S.||Lost Western Conference semi-final - Defeated by Kootenay 4-0|
|2002–03||72||44||22||3||3||280||224||94||1st U.S.||Lost Western Conference final - Defeated by Kelowna 4-1|
|2003–04||72||24||31||8||9||192||198||65||5th U.S.||Out of playoffs - Out of Playoffs|
|2004–05||72||43||24||2||3||204||144||91||1st U.S.||Lost Western Conference semi-final - Defeated by Kelowna 4-3|
|2005–06||72||35||31||1||5||186||211||76||2nd U.S.||Lost Western Conference quarter-final - Defeated by Portland 4-3|
|2006–07||72||37||21||3||11||209||186||88||3rd U.S.||Lost Western Conference semi-final - Defeated by Vancouver 4-1|
|2007–08||72||42||23||5||2||241||179||91||3rd U.S.||Lost Western Conference semi-final - Defeated by Tri-City 4-1|
|2008–09||72||35||32||1||4||222||234||75||3rd U.S.||Lost Western Conference quarter-final - Defeated by Spokane 4-1|
|2009–10||72||19||41||7||5||172||255||50||5th U.S.||Out of playoffs - Out of Playoffs|
|2010–11||72||29||37||3||3||219||285||64||5th U.S.||Out of playoffs - Out of Playoffs|
|2011–12||72||25||45||1||1||173||292||52||5th U.S.||Out of playoffs - Out of Playoffs|
|2012–13||72||24||38||7||3||210||286||58||4th U.S.||Lost Western Conference quarter-final - Defeated by Kelowna 4-3|
|2013–14||72||41||25||2||4||238||249||88||2nd U.S.||Lost Western Conference semi-final - Defeated by Kelowna 4-0|
|2014–15||72||38||25||4||5||218||201||85||3rd U.S.||Lost Western Conference quarter-final - Defeated by Portland 4-2|
|2015–16||72||45||23||4||0||228||186||94||1st U.S.||Lost Final - Defeated by Brandon 4-1|
|2016–17||72||46||20||4||2||253||206||98||2nd U.S.||Won Ed Chynoweth Cup over Regina 4-2|
|Team records for a single season|
|Most goals for||444||1989–90|
|Least goals for||172||2009–10|
|Least goals against||144||2004–05|
|Most goals against||436||1987–88|
|Individual player records for a single season|
|Most goals||Glen Goodall||76||1989–90|
|Most assists||Victor Gervais||96||1989–90|
|Most points||Glen Goodall||163||1989–90|
|Most points (rookie)||Petr Nedved||145||1989–90|
|Most points (defenseman)||Craig Channell||88||1981–82|
|Most penalty minutes||Mitch Wilson||436||1981–82|
|Most shutouts (goalie)||Bryan Bridges||13||2004–05|
|Best GAA (goalie)||Bryan Bridges||1.79||2004–05|
|Goalies = minimum 1500 minutes played|
Several National Hockey League players started with the Thunderbirds: