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NHL Board of Governors Approve Seattle Expansion Team
04 December 2018, 09:15 | Pamela Mathis
NHL Greenlights Seattle Expansion Franchise AFP
Commissioner Gary Bettman updated the Board of Governors on those topics Monday.
The NHL will add a 32nd franchise in Seattle, the league announced Tuesday after a unanimous vote by the board of governors.
The $650-million expansion fee will be divided up between 30 National Hockey League teams.
Seattle will play in the Pacific Division, meaning the Arizona Coyotes will move to the Central Division.
The Expansion Draft for the new team will be held in June 2021 and will not include the Vegas Golden Knights (in other words, they will not be forced to lose a player in the draft), the draft will be held with the same rules as the league used for the Vegas draft in 2017 so...
Seattle has a lot going for it, including some semblance of a hockey culture as a longtime home to multiple WHL franchises in the area.
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"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", Bettman said.
Seattle is the largest US city without a major winter sports team since the NBA's SuperSonics left in 2008. Seattle can not buy out players chosen in the Expansion Draft earlier than the summer following its first season.
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.
The board's nine-member executive committee recommended proceeding with the expansion application back in October after a presentation that included Bonderman, Bruckheimer and Leiweke.
Team and city officials in Seattle have already secured more than 30,000 season-ticket deposits and received approvals from local government for arena plans.
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