Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

NHL Goes West, Bringing an Expansion Hockey Franchise to Seattle

NHL Goes West, Bringing an Expansion Hockey Franchise to Seattle

Team owners, meeting at a resort in Sea Island, Ga., voted 31-0 Tuesday to make Seattle their 32nd franchise, a milestone event in a sordid civic saga.

The expansion team will join North America's preeminent ice hockey league for its 2021/22 season after being approved in a unanimous vote by the NHL's board of governors.

As a refresher here were the protection rules for all other National Hockey League teams and what will likely occur this time around (Note: Vegas will not be subject to the expansion draft).

After multiple unsuccessful attempts to greenlight a new venue in Seattle, the new National Hockey League team will play in renovated KeyArena, the home of the city's former NBA franchise, which moved to Oklahoma City after the 2008 season.

Seattle will draft one player from every team's roster except for Las Vegas.

"Today is a day for celebration in a great city that adores and avidly supports its sports teams and for our 101-year-old sports league", Commissioner Gary Bettman said.

Seattle Hockey Partners will pay NHL owners $650 million to join.

"Our fans should take comfort in knowing they will continue to see us play our Pacific Division rivals multiple times a year, including squaring off with Vegas for desert bragging rights, while also getting to see new rivalries with some legacy franchises", Cohen said.

The news means that Seattle will have a representative in three of the four United States major leagues, with the Seattle NHL outfit set to join the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL) and the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball (MLB), along with the Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer (MLS).

Just one year after watching the expansion Vegas Golden Knights take the NHL by storm en route to the most unexpected Stanley Cup Final appearance in NHL history, the league is running it back with a fresh new market. I really like the usage of the Seattle Seahawks colors here.

"I was always optimistic but I didn't think it was ever a guarantee. If it was someplace else, I wouldn't have done it".

More than 30,000 fans have already paid a deposit on season tickets.

"There's obviously a lot of good teams in all the divisions, but I think it will be cool to play St. Louis a little bit more, being from there", said Keller, who grew up in Chesterfield, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, and leads the Coyotes with eight goals and 18 points. "As we went through application process and got more and more information and did our due diligence process on the Seattle market, it certainly became even more attractive". As it stands, team President Tod Leiweke said the hope is the building will open in the first quarter of 2021. 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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