National Hockey League approves Seattle expansion team

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The NHL Board of Governors is meeting to give final approval to Seattle's bid to add the league's 32nd team. 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.

David Bonderman will serve as the principal owner of the new franchise, who will play their games at the Seattle Center Arena, which is now undergoing renovations.

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.

"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 Gary Bettman.

Seattle's ownership group led by billionaire David Bonderman and a number of minority partners, including Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer, will pay an expansion fee of US$650 million. According to the NHL, the Seattle Metropolitans, who played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association, won the cup in 1917.

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The NHL is coming to Seattle.

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. Some GMs have said privately they would be more inclined this time to lose one desirable player rather than give up multiple assets to save one. The team moved to Seattle in 1977 but has played its games in Kent since 2009.

As CEO Tod Leiweke said, "That's when we all knew that this was the right idea". The team will begin playing in the 2021-2022 season.

Translation: If Adam Boqvist, Nicolas Beaudin, Ian Mitchell or anyone else makes their National Hockey League debut ( 9+ National Hockey League games) any time not this season, they will be automatically safe without having to be one of those players listed as "protected". "Seattle is one of my favorite cities and it's a pleasure to be here".

A team in Seattle balances the Eastern and Western Conferences at 16 teams apiece, but also requires realignment to even out the Central and Pacific Divisions. "I actually think it was at the end of the day the simplest, most logical, least disruptive option we had available to us and I think it will work well for the Coyotes". "If it were someplace else, I wouldn't have done it". They're doing all the right things in terms of building a new arena, or revitalizing KeyArena. "Seattle is one of North American's great sports towns, and we're about to become one of its great hockey towns".