NHL Announces Expansion to Seattle for 2021-22 Season

NHL votes to give expansion franchise to Seattle

NHL votes to give expansion franchise to Seattle

Seattle's original professional hockey team, the Seattle Metropolitans of the old Pacific Coast Hockey Association (no, *not* the NHL) was the first US -based team to win the Stanley Cup back in 1917.

The NHL Seattle group reached its goal of 10,000 deposits in 12 minutes when a season-ticket drive launched on March 1.

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.

"The league's expansion decision was only made possible because Seattle will possess the three pillars essential to the success of any franchise: terrific committed ownership, a thriving market and a state-of-the-art venue", Bettman said.

The 2021-22 season. Seattle would have loved to have its team take the ice for the 2020-21 season, but arena renovations may not be done in time and no one wants to risk it. He said simply that expansion is appropriate when it adds value to the league. "This is an organization that's going to be built around our fans, and as we thought about this on behalf of our fans, we realized that perhaps we wouldn't open the season with our fans in our new building, perhaps the training centre wouldn't be ready".

All first- and second-year professionals, as well as all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection (and will not be counted toward their club's applicable protection limits).

They may still hire a general manager as soon as this coming spring, which would give the successful candidate two seasons to prepare for a June 2021 expansion draft.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan was a big supporter of getting pro hockey back to Seattle, which was home to the 1917 Stanley Cup champions. This will cause a minor re-alignment for the league, with the Arizona Coyotes, who play most of their games in the Mountain Time Zone (the state of Arizona doesn't use Daylight Saving time), moving to the Central Division upon Seattle's arrival. The expectation is that the franchise name will be announced sometime in the first half of 2019.

National Hockey League general managers will be a little more leery about the players made available in the expansion draft after watching Vegas go all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in its first year last season. The board is also expected to be briefed on collective bargaining talks and the tentative settlement of a concussion lawsuit involving retired players. "They had nothing but good things to say about the fans, the city and the market". Nevertheless, the idea of Pacific Northwest hockey rivalry between Seattle and Vancouver is pretty cool.

The Seattle franchise will pay a $650-million expansion fee. Obviously, Seattle's a great city.

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