National Hockey League approves Seattle expansion franchise

National Hockey League approves Seattle expansion franchise

National Hockey League approves Seattle expansion franchise

"Is there a better hockey morning than this morning in Seattle?" said Mayor Jenny Durkan, who took a little of the suspense out of Bettman's announcement by revealing the outcome of the vote about 10 minutes early.

It's official. The NHL Board of Governors voted unanimously to approve Seattle as the 32nd NHL franchise for the 2021-22 season on Tuesday.

Expect the expansion draft in June 2021 to play out similarly to the Vegas Expansion Draft in 2017 where each of the 31 teams will lose a player from an unprotected list.

Long months are ahead before the as-yet-unnamed team plays its first game, but work is already underway and the effort can begin in earnest now that the NHL Board of Governors has officially awarded Seattle a franchise.

Also as part of the expansion, the coyotes will move to the central division.

Every team must expose one goaltender who is either under contract for 2021-22 or is an RFA and receives a qualifying offer before the expansion draft.

The expansion fee for the new Seattle NHL franchise is US$650 million.

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The Seattle Metropolitans, which played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association league from 1915 to 1924, were the first American team to win the Stanley Cup, lifting the title in 1917.

"I remember sharing with Gary Bettman years ago that I thought Seattle could be an incredible market for the NHL", Leiweke said. "Expanding to Seattle makes the National Hockey League more balanced, even more whole and even more vibrant".

That means Tippett will watch the rest of this season with an eye on the new team's future and he will sketch out the beginnings of a hockey operations department.

"I've been at this eight years so it's going to be another two years for 2020, another one for 2021, I can do it", Barr said.

As CEO Tod Leiweke said, "That's when we all knew that this was the right idea". Obviously, Seattle's a great city. They're doing all the right things in terms of building a new arena, or revitalizing KeyArena.

There is already a waiting list of 10,000 names for season tickets, the National Hockey League said. The league's most recent addition gives the NHL an even 16 franchises in the Eastern and Western conferences and will provide the Vancouver Canucks a natural geographic rival. "If it was someplace else, I wouldn't have done it".

According to Station Index, Seattle is the U.S.' 14th largest TV market, and it's the largest city without a winter sport. That desire only grew after the ownership group secured the rights to build a new downtown arena previous year and then sold deposits for 32,000 season tickets in a single day last March. More than 100 years later, they'll have that chance again. Houston, Quebec City and Toronto have all been touted as possible new homes someday, but they'll also have to wait.

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