Published: Tue, December 04, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

NHL Board of Governors Approve Seattle Expansion Team

NHL Board of Governors Approve Seattle Expansion Team

A ground-breaking ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday in downtown Seattle. They officially applied for a team three days later.

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. The group led by majority owner David Bonderman, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and president and CEO Tod Leiweke had been hoping for play to begin in 2020, but uncertainty over completing arena renovations in time means Seattle will have to wait another year for the return of a major winter sports team.

As the 32 team, the arrival of Seattle allows the NHL to finally balance out the league's four divisions. That exceeds the goal of 10,000 deposits - which was reached in the first 12 minutes.

"A team in Seattle evens the number of teams in our two conferences, brings our geographic footprint into greater equilibrium, and creates instant new rivalries out west, particularly between Seattle and Vancouver", Bettman said.

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For perspective, it took Vegas two days to hit 5,000 and 18 months to get to 16,000. If a team elects to make a restricted free agent goalie available to meet this requirement, that goalie must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the team's protected list. The NHL announced back in March that any potential expansion draft for Seattle would be conducted under the same rules that Vegas was given upon their entrance into the league, though Vegas will be exempt from the process.

Seattle has a lot going for it, including some semblance of a hockey culture as a longtime home to multiple WHL franchises in the area.

The NHL had been at 30 teams since 2000 before deciding to expand to Las Vegas in 2016.

"And what's the name of the team?" A fast-growing city that's thriving economically, they're the frontrunner to get the next National Basketball Association team up for grabs too.

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