Dave Tippett on new Seattle team: We think we can be competitive

05 December, 2018, 05:30 | Author: Marlene Myers
  • NHL votes to give expansion franchise to Seattle

Before considering expansion, the board opens its annual two-day December meeting Monday with updates on the state of the league's business and hockey operations.

The NHL Board of Governors unanimously voted in favour of awarding Seattle an NHL franchise on Tuesday, becoming the league's 32 team.

"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", NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.

Ownership of the Seattle franchise will principally reside with David Bonderman, with Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer and CEO and Team President Tod Leiweke also involved.

Seattle's ownership group had expressed a desire to enter the league in 2020, but the league had reservations about whether that might rush the $700 million renovations to downtown KeyArena, and instead pushed the entry date a year later. I know Vancouver's particularly excited about the possibility. Chris Bradford asked Grant about the NHL's newest franchise.

The NHL Seattle group will pay the NHL a $650 million expansion fee.

NHL votes to give expansion franchise to Seattle
NHL Announces Expansion to Seattle for 2021-22 Season

The full board followed suit on Tuesday, also approving the expansion unanimously. Your guess is as good as mine, but we shouldn't have to wait much longer to find out.

As a senior adviser for the NHL Seattle group, and one of its most recognizable faces, Dave Tippett gets the same two questions nearly every time he talks to a hockey fan.

"Today is a dream come true, really for an entire city", Leiweke said. "We have the right building plan, we have the support from the city, the fans are there". Seattle will be getting Cup Crazy in June 2022? It said the expansion fee will be apportioned equally to the rest of the league's teams except Las Vegas, which joined the NHL in the 2017-18 season.

The move will see the Arizona Coyotes moved to the Western Conference's Central Division, allowing the new Seattle team to start in the eight-team Pacific Division.

"We thought that it made the absolute most sense on a whole host of levels", Bettman said of Arizona's move to the Central. The Central Division, which now has seven teams, is the only division in the league that doesn't have eight members.

Clayton Keller will have to wait two more seasons to make a firm assessment, but the Arizona Coyotes center said Tuesday he's looking forward to the Coyotes moving to the Central Division in 2021-22, when the Seattle expansion team plays its first season in the National Hockey League. However, Vegas will be exempt from the Expansion Draft and will not be required to surrender a player from their roster.

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