"Today is an exciting and historic day for our League as we expand to one of North America's most innovative, attractive and fastest-growing cities", NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. So a team for them that's close, I think it's great for the area.
The Ottawa Senators' downtown arena project is in danger of falling apart, and Arizona Coyotes owner Andrew Barroway is looking for a partner as he tries to secure a long-term home in the desert. That exceeds the goal of 10,000 deposits - which was reached in the first 12 minutes.
Players with no-movement clauses will have to be protected in the expansion draft.
It follows the introduction of the Vegas Golden Knights as the 31st franchise last season after an expansion draft in which existing teams could only protect certain players, with others made available to be picked up by the new team. The city has been home to minor league hockey clubs since then.
The announcement is a huge milestone for Seattle Hockey Partners, an ownership group that includes Tim Leiweke, David Bonderman and Jerry Bruckheimer, as well as Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy and majority Seattle Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer.
Seattle will begin play in the 2021-22 season, instead of 2020 as originally planned, to ensure arena renovations are completed in time. Its roof was given historic landmark designation, adding a complication to the construction, but it will essentially be an entirely new building built underneath the roof. "We believe it will be one of the finest arenas in the world". The Central Division has seven teams and the Pacific Division has eight. Many expect the Arizona Coyotes to be moved to the Central Division in 2021 when Seattle enters the league.
Seattle's new ownership group plans to have the team's venue and training facility built by the time of the 2021-2022 season. It creates a nice geographic rivalry with Vancouver. The team will look to build on the success of the Golden Knights, which became the first National Hockey League expansion team to reach the Stanley Cup Finals last season. A hockey franchise would provide those newcomers a team to rally around, much like what happened when the Sounders of Major League Soccer arrived in 2009 - the last team added to the city's sport landscape. So that will make the NHL Seattle team's division foes the Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, Las Vegas Golden Knights, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and the natural rival Vancouver Canucks. Four team names advanced to the final few rounds of voting, with two going head-to-head in the fourth and final round.