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. Even after Vegas made a surprising run to the Stanley Cup Final in its inaugural season, Bettman said in May that he had received "no pushback whatsoever" from other league owners about repeating the same process for Seattle. Seattle may not have the same immediate success as the Golden Knights, but with the management team in place - coach and GM still pending - don't be surprised if Seattle is successful early in its National Hockey League lifetime.
The owners will pay a $650 million expansion fee, up from the $500 million the Vegas Golden Knights paid to join the league. The Seattle franchise doesn't have a nickname yet, but it will play in the NHL's Pacific Division. He said simply that expansion is appropriate when it adds value to the league. Now, an expansion draft will be held in our building.
"Right now everything we've done is kind of geared toward 2020", Seattle Hockey Partners senior adviser Dave Tippett said.
"On top of everything else, Seattle is a city with a hockey history, that includes being the home for the first American team ever to win the Stanley Cup", Bettman said.
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. The Arizona Coyotes will move to the Western Conference's Central Division that season.
One question for the future will be how the Seattle ownership group keeps momentum and interest moving forward, especially with the start date for the team pushed back a year. Las Vegas will be exempt from the draft because of its relatively new standing in the league (it began play just last season), so Seattle will be picking players from the exact same number of teams the Golden Knights did. "They had nothing but good things to say about the fans, the city and the market". Think it's going to be big hockey market, for sure. The board is also expected to be briefed on collective bargaining talks and the tentative settlement of a concussion lawsuit involving retired players.
The league likes that it will provide a natural geographical rival for Vancouver while filling a need in a city under-served for professional sports.
Seattle, the 18th largest city in the United States, has not had a winter sports team since the NBA's SuperSonics left for Oklahoma City in 2008.
Leiweke got his start in hockey with the Minnesota Wild. Believe it or not, there are no permanent public ice rinks inside the Seattle city limits, but that will change with the training center, which will feature a grand total of three rinks.