NHL Announces Expansion Team In Seattle, Will Begin Play In 2021

The National Hockey League has granted an expansion franchise to Seattle, according to an announcement made on Tuesday, December 4. The League’s 32nd franchise, which will begin play in 2021-22, was approved in a unanimous vote by the NHL’s Board of Governors.
Ground will be broken on the team’s arena — the Seattle Center Arena — on Wednesday, December 5. According to the team’s ownership group, the team’s arena will be the only in the world that is located in a park.
In a press release, the NHL announced that the Seattle franchise will pay a $650-million expansion fee and that fee will be distributed in equal shares to 30 of the NHL’s presently existing clubs, except for Las Vegas, which entered the League with an expansion fee of $500 million in 2017-18.
Additionally, it was announced that the Seattle franchise will begin play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in 2021-22, which will result in the Arizona Coyotes moving to the Western Conference’s Central Division.

“Today is an exciting and historic day for our League as we expand to one of North America’s most innovative, beautiful and fastest-growing cities. We are delighted to add David Bonderman, Tod Leiweke and the entire NHL Seattle group to the National Hockey League family. And we are thrilled that Seattle, a city with a proud hockey history that includes being the home for the first American team ever to win the Stanley Cup, is finally joining the NHL,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.

As for the name, logo, and mascot, none of those things have been decided at this time. One of Seattle’s owners said the franchise will “listen to their fans” when it comes to naming the team.
In the Board of Governors press conference, it was stated that Seattle is the fastest growing market in NHL. Additionally, Hollywood producer and director Jerry Bruckheimer is a part of the ownership group.
At this time, the NHL said that other details regarding the expansion franchise — such as a timeline for the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, percentages for the 2021 NHL Draft Lottery and the 2021-22 schedule matrix — will be announced at a later date.

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