For those keeping score at home there is some big hockey news coming out of Seattle. The NHL has opened up Expansion talks with Seattle most notably. They were they only City eligible to apply this season.
On December 7th an ownership group was notified that they’d be able apply. The team would likely cost upwards of $650 million dollars, and would begin playing in the 2020-21 season. This will be sad news for those residing in Quebec City, QC. Fans up there have been pushing for a Nordiques return since Atlanta relocated to Winnipeg.
Seattle is probably a lock to get in if I’m being honest. You aren’t getting approval to apply if you aren’t expected to be approved. Seattle has a hockey history that many are unaware of largely because they don’t have an NHL team. They have an arena in place as well (Key Arena).
As mentioned above there is a strong-ish hockey history in Seattle. They have the Spokane Chiefs and Seattle Thunderbirds, who play in Canada’s Western Hockey League (WHL). This league is Major Junior, where most players play to improve draft stock.
I think the market is perfect for the NHL’s next expansion team. It’s not like trying to expand into Arizona or Florida. The Seattle area is certainly a hockey hot bed, and despite what the NHL tells you, both the Florida Panthers and Arizona Coyotes are massive failures. They are failures in completely dead markets.
Hopefully, there will be news on this as we enter the new year. Generally it is a lengthy process. Vegas was 1-2 years in the making. Seattle has been granted access to step 1. Interested to see where it goes from here.
^ So far the two best jersey concepts I’ve seen for Seattle. Intriguing options to say the least.