NHL: Seattle awarded 32nd franchise from 2021-22 season


When does the puck drop?

The NHL announced Seattle will get a team in 2021.

Helin notes that the only way a Seattle franchise could play in the National Basketball Association right now is if a current team is sold and relocated, earmarking the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans as teams to watch out for.

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

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). We're weeks, even months, from anything actually going down but why not go on a trip to fantasy land and see what could a Seattle hockey team look like?

"This is an awesome day for Seattle and Seattle sports fans", said mayor Jenny Durkan in a statement.

"The league's expansion decision was only made possible because Seattle will possess the three pillars essential to the success of any franchise: terrific, committed ownership, a thriving market and a state-of-the-art venue", Bettman said. "And the certainty over the construction timeline - or the lack of certainty - led us to believe that making the start of the '20-21 season would be speculative at best and unlikely at worst".

"They've always felt that we should have a little more time to build the arena right", Bruckheimer said.

"We're going to take our time", Leiweke said of the name.

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The cost for league entry went up 30 percent for Seattle to $650 million, as compared to the $500 million paid by the Vegas Golden Knights to enter the NHL last season. I really like the usage of the Seattle Seahawks colors here. "If it was someplace else, I wouldn't have done it". Adding Seattle triggers division realignment that bumps the Arizona Coyotes to the Central Division.

The remarkable debut by Vegas in 2017, which included a run to the Stanley Cup Final, gave the league more confidence about moving forward so quickly. To the liking of the Seattle ownership group, Gary Bettman repeatedly has said that this draft will follow the same rules as the Vegas Golden Knights did just two summers ago.

The addition of Seattle will give the Western Conference a 16th team to mirror the East.

Leiweke got his start in hockey with the Minnesota Wild. Leiweke left the Lightning in 2015 to become the COO of the NFL and didn't have any interest in leaving the league office until the project in Seattle began to gain traction.

Seattle is already an important market for attracting tourists to Vancouver, Speer said, adding the new team just adds one more reason for people to visit.

On a Whitecaps game night, Seattle Sounders fans are usually quite visible, but due to the Canuck's geographic isolation from other National Hockey League teams, it's rare to see larger groups of visiting fans.

"Everything we thought and expected (about Hayton) has come true", Arizona general manager John Chayka said, according to theScore's John Matisz. "What did they feel on March 1 when they put down deposits without knowing anything?"

Judging on early graphics created by the NHL Seattle group, it appears that the new team will use red and black as its colors. More than 100 years later, they'll have that chance again.