National Hockey League awards Seattle expansion team for 2021

National Hockey League awards Seattle expansion team for 2021

"Today is an exciting day for the National Hockey League", said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Tuesday. There was a frisson of excitement in the summer of 2015 when the National Hockey League announced that it would allow interested parties to submit expansion proposals, but a year later Bettman said that it was granting a team to just one of the applicants - Las Vegas.

Most of that delay is due to the ambitious job of turning the NBA-first Key Arena into a reimagined Seattle Center Arena, an $800-million project that is expected to take about two years. Player contracts need to be done with an expansion draft in mind, so the iffiness around the Seattle's building readiness in 2020 - including the potential for myriad problems at a site the builder does not own - prompted a pumping of the brakes.

"Today is an exciting and historic day for our league as we expand to one of North America's most innovative, handsome and fastest-growing cities", said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

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The franchise will have to pay a whopping $650 million expansion fee to join the league, or $150 more than what the Vegas Golden Knights paid. The Metropolitans played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association alongside the Vancouver Millionaires, the only team to ever bring the Stanley Cup to Vancouver.

The only winter professional sports franchise in the city, Seattle's hockey team joins a crowded landscape that includes the NFL's Seahawks, MLB's Mariners and the Sounders of Major League Soccer. Virtually no one will be willing to take on a player like that now knowing that they will need to protect them over other defensemen when the time comes. The team moved to Seattle in 1977 but has played its games in Kent since 2009. That's when we all knew that this was the right idea.

Already more than 30,000 people have made season ticket deposits.

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"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. "If it were someplace else, I wouldn't have done it". The new expansion team, now without a name, is scheduled to begin play in the 2021-2022 season as a member of the Pacific Division. More than 100 years later, they'll have that chance again. "I think about the fans". The amount of wealth now in the Seattle market is part of the reason Tim Leiweke, Tod's older brother and the CEO of event facilities giant Oak View Group, has regularly calls the city one of the most enticing expansion opportunities in pro sports history. "That's why today happened".

And unlike Quebec City, its location in the northwest of the United States allows the NHL to add balance to a league that is Eastern Conference heavy, while also providing a natural rival for the Vancouver Canucks.

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