Fans abuzz after National Hockey League awards its 32nd franchise to Seattle

NHL votes to give expansion franchise to Seattle

NHL votes to give expansion franchise to Seattle

After multiple unsuccessful attempts to greenlight a new venue in Seattle, the new National Hockey League team will play in renovated KeyArena, the home of the city's former NBA franchise, which moved to Oklahoma City after the 2008 season.

"I know how hard this team's outstanding ownership group has worked over the last several years to reach this point", Bettman said.

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The new team will pay a US$650 million expansion fee, which is US$150 million more than the Vegas Golden Knights paid in 2016.

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.

"A second expansion in three years could only have even been considered, and ultimately approved by our board because our league is stronger and more stable than it has ever been", Bettman said. "A team in Seattle evens the number of teams in our two conferences, brings our geographic footprint into greater equilibrium and creates instant new rivalries out west, particularly between Seattle and Vancouver".

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"Today is a dream come true for an entire city", Leiweke said after Commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement in the resort's ballroom.

"So, we're going to have to be really, really good at recruiting, but our owners are going to give us everything we need". That's when we all knew that this was the right idea.

One of the most exuberant fans there was Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, a big sports fan. "He's one of those guys who you think will keep getting better and better every single day".

Flyers goaltending prospect Carter Hart played for the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League, located 25 miles north of Seattle. Many expect the Arizona Coyotes to be moved to the Central Division in 2021 when Seattle enters the league. "This is an organization that's going to be built around our fans, and as we thought about this on behalf of our fans, we realized that perhaps we wouldn't open the season with our fans in our new building, perhaps the training center wouldn't be ready ... so waiting a little longer seemed to make a lot of sense and we ultimately agreed with the league". However, Vegas will be exempt from the Expansion Draft and will not be required to surrender a player from their roster.

Seattle's hockey history includes the Seattle Metropolitans of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association winning the 1917 Stanley Cup.

If you didn't know, Seattle did have an National Hockey League franchise back in the NHL's early years and actually won the 1917 Stanley Cup as the Seattle Metropolitans. Recent indications have suggested a return of the Seattle Sonics-assuming the hypothetical franchise revives the beloved name-might be further off than some might hope. Virtually no one will be willing to take on a player like that now knowing that they will need to protect them over other defensemen when the time comes.

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