National Hockey League approves Seattle expansion team


The Board of Governors also approved a realignment plan that will shift the Coyotes from the Pacific Division to the Central, joining the Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets, giving the National Hockey League four divisions with eight teams each; the Central now currently has seven teams. 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. There are some junior hockey games, and one concert: Bryan Adams.

There is not a shadow of a doubt that Seattle will become home to the NHL's 32nd team this week. "The league's expansion decision was only made possible because Seattle will possess the three pillars essential to the success of any franchise: terrific and committed ownership, a thriving market and a state-of-the-art venue". A season-ticket drive last spring had to be cut off at more than 30,000 deposits. They, after all, were the first American team to ever bring home the Stanley Cup. "I just think we're going to get visitors coming up here and from 2021 we'll see an incremental lift in tourism for sure". In pursuit of a team, expansion or otherwise, Péladeau spearheaded the construction of the $370-million Videotron Centre in Quebec City and promised Quebecor's sports television network, TVA Sports, would pay $125-million a year for 12 years for the French-language broadcast rights as part of the big contract Rogers Communications landed in 2013.

Seattle's hockey history includes the Seattle Metropolitans of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association winning the 1917 Stanley Cup. While the NHL Seattle group originally hoped to drop the puck in the 2020-21 season, the fact that breaking ground on the new arena under the iconic roof at Seattle Center was delayed until NHL approval of the team made that hope a long shot, and the league decided it was better to be safe than sorry by pushing the debut back one year.

The first season will be 2021-22, allowing time for renovating Key Arena for hockey. Its economy has boomed in the past decade since the departure of the NBA's SuperSonics to Oklahoma City.

"It's a great day for the city of Seattle", Tippett said.

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Seattle's ownership group led by billionaire David Bonderman and a number of minority partners, including Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer, is paying US$650 million to join the exclusive club. "Regardless of what division we are in, our goals remain the same: win on the ice against whomever they put in front of us on the schedule, build Coyotes fandom throughout the entire State of Arizona, and positively impact our Arizona community".

So with that said, here are some options that are getting a lot of attention on social media, good and bad.

What do you think Coyotes fans?

One potential benefit of delay is avoidance of a potential labor standoff with the players union that could cast a pall over a start in 2020. I woke up today thinking about the fans.

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