NHL approves Seattle expansion for '21-22 season

An illustration showing what Key Arena will look like after a $700-million US renovation to accommodate the new NHL team

That means Tippett will watch the rest of this season with an eye on the new team's future and he will sketch out the beginnings of a hockey operations department.

The fact that an ownership group headed by David Bonderman and Hollywood film producer Jerry Bruckheimer paid $150 million more in expansion fees than what Vegas paid two years ago also didn't hurt.

The NHL Board of Governors signed off and commissioner Gary Bettman announced after the vote that the league's 32nd franchise will enter the league in 2021-22 as a member of the Pacific Division.

"There's going to be a built-in rivalry (with Vancouver)", said Tod Leiweke, Seattle Hockey Partners president and CEO.

David Bonderman will serve as the principal owner of the new franchise, who will play their games at the Seattle Center Arena, which is now undergoing renovations.

Other possibilities being discussed by the public include the Emeralds, Sockeyes, Rainiers, Seals and Sea Lions.

Each of those names had received support on social media when tickets were being sold.

The ownership group is led by Bonderman, the co-founder and a principal owner of Texas-based TPG Capital. That opens the door for Dean Lombardi, Ron Hextall, Ron Francis, Don Maloney and Garth Snow, among others. "The amount (OVG) is paying for the arena, and the expansion fee - they're invested in Seattle".

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The team will follow the same rules used for the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017 for the 2021 expansion draft.

Each NHL team will be able to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender, or they could protect eight skaters regardless of position.

Would Seattle look to Philly for management?

Aside from the name and the construction of a new arena, there is a front-office staff to hire and an expansion draft to start planning for.

McPhee's success was aided by general managers' decisions to give up draft picks and prospects to save specific players.

"We have momentum, and this is a business of recruitment", Leiweke said. The NHL will not be competing against the National Basketball Association for attention. He learned that appeasing all the stakeholders at Seattle Center and the surrounding urban village, already inundated by newcomers and construction from Seattle's sky-rocketing economy, was going to be hard and expensive.

If we are to believe what we see on TV, then Seattlites are sleepless (probably due to that Venti Pike Place), eat tossed salad and scrambled eggs, get surgery done by a doctor by the name of McDreamy and often smell like teen spirit. They are only 2 1/2 hours apart by vehicle.

It's been a long time coming for Seattle who've been pushing for hockey in Washington again ever since the Seattle Metropolitans ceased to xist back in 1924 (okay, that might be a bit of an overstatement).

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