The NHL is on the road to Seattle.
Yesterday, the leadership group for NHL Seattle met with commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHL’s Board of Governors Executive Committee to present their bid for expanding the league to Seattle, as part of a process that has been on-going for several years. With a successful bid, the board unanimously approved to send the bid for expansion to vote at their next meeting in December.
Commissioner Bettman update on the Seattle expansion application. pic.twitter.com/lrzDB72BcJ— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) October 2, 2018
It’s likely they’ll get approval. The Seattle City Council approved redevelopment of KeyArena, to allow it to support NHL ice, and they’ve already accrued 32,000 season ticket depositors to prove a viable market.
It doesn’t hurt that Bettman has already spoken on how the team will fit into the league and how that process will go.
The Seattle team will slot into the Pacific Division and Bettman reportedly told Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic that they aren’t looking to make “major realignments.” With eight teams in the Pacific already and only seven in the Central, it seems like the Arizona will shift into the Central Division.
Bettman has also clarified that while the expansion rules for Seattle will be the same as they were for the Golden Knights, Vegas will be excluded from participating.
Of course, that means Vegas won't take a share of the $650M expansion fee, either.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 2, 2018
The goal appears to be a new franchise by 2020-21, though they’re willing to push back to 2021-22, if need be, so don’t start making your expansion draft lists just yet.
News & Notes
- Commissioner Bettman and the Executive Committee unanimously recommend expansion to Seattle.
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