NHL Announces Expansion to Seattle for 2021-22 Season

NHL Announces Expansion to Seattle for 2021-22 Season

The NHL awarded Seattle with a franchise on Tuesday and while the team isn't going to begin play until the 2021-22 season, management is already confident it can ice a competitive team from the start. "But I did a pretty close study on (Vegas) and they did a heck of a job, you've got to give them credit and there's certainly things we can learn from that", he said. I know Vancouver's particularly excited about the possibility.

Timing is the only question.

Seattle's ownership group had expressed a desire to enter the league in 2020, but the league had reservations about whether that might rush the $700 million renovations to downtown KeyArena, and instead pushed the entry date a year later.

"Right now everything we've done is kind of geared toward 2020", Seattle Hockey Partners senior adviser Dave Tippett said.

Play is expected to begin in 2021, depending on the progress of arena renovations for Seattle's first major winter sports team since the NBA's SuperSonics left town in 2008.

It's more about when than if, given the success of the Vegas Golden Knights' expansion and the $650 million the new owners will pay to join. It's a relatively wealthy place.

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Seattle's original professional hockey team, the Seattle Metropolitans of the old Pacific Coast Hockey Association (no, *not* the NHL) was the first USA -based team to win the Stanley Cup back in 1917. And it gives us 32, which gives us the balance that you would want.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan was a big supporter of getting pro hockey back to Seattle, which was home to the 1917 Stanley Cup champions. Approval from 75 per cent of the board is required, 24 votes in this case, but Bettman likes to tout unanimity whenever possible. "We could not be more pleased to add David Bonderman, Tod Leiweke, and the entire NHL Seattle group to the National Hockey League family".

The decision was widely expected after the Seattle Hockey Partners group impressed the board's executive committee in October with a plan that had all the ingredients the NHL was looking for.

"I'm not sure how thrilled Arizona is about it ... owner Andrew Barroway declined comment when I asked him after the [NHL Board of Governors] Day 1 meeting", he tweeted. Next steps will include moving forward on arena and practice facility plans and piecing together a hockey operations department that Tippett will likely be in charge of.

Seattle is now home to a Western Hockey League team, the Seattle Thunderbirds.

The board of governors is also expected to hear reports on sports gambling, social media and player engagement, this season's global schedule and an update on next season's trips overseas.

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