Seattle Gains Long-Expected NHL Expansion Team In League’s Unanimous Vote

Sports News With The NHL The National Hockey League, which enjoyed such success with a new franchise in Las Vegas, kept its vision on the west on Tuesday and...

Sports News With The NHL

The National Hockey League, which enjoyed such success with a new franchise in Las Vegas, kept its vision on the west on Tuesday and named Seattle as the home of its 32nd team.

The Seattle Whatevers – they don’t have a name yet – will begin play in the 2021-22 season, giving them an appropriate amount of time to get a practice facility constructed, a staff in place and, ultimately, a team through an expansion draft.

“Seattle, the NHL is thrilled to welcome you,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said after the Board of Governors unanimously approved the city’s bid.

The Vegas Golden Knights, in their first season, reached the Stanley Cup finals. Rather than force new teams to start with limited player resources, the NHL allowed for generous rules by which the Golden Knights could stock their roster. The same will apply for Seattle.

The NHL’s arrival will help heal the wound opened when the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics, a fixture in town since 1968 and league champions in 1979, departed in 2008 for Oklahoma City when no agreement on a new arena could be reached. The hockey team will play in a renovated KeyArena, which the Sonics had fled.

There’s no timetable for picking a franchise name and the debate will be spirited. According to ESPN, the future team has registered a number of domain names and the list includes some, uh, interesting concepts: Emeralds, Kraken, Sockeyes, Totems. The actual choice could turn out to be something not on the current list.

That’s all part of the excitement ahead as Seattle joins the NHL.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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