National Hockey League approves Seattle expansion team for record $650M fee


The group reportedly filed for trademarks on a whole slew of potential nicknames in January, but rumors on Tuesday focused on an old name: Metropolitans, the same name of an old Seattle team that in 1917 became the first American squad to win the Stanley Cup (10 years before the championship trophy was exclusively awarded to the National Hockey League champion).

Representatives of Seattle Hockey Partners, including majority owner David Bonderman, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and president and CEO Tod Leiweke are at the seaside Georgia resort of Sea Island. The ownership group is set to build a sprawling training center in the Northgate neighborhood that it hopes will become a hub for the growth of hockey in the region.

Deputy NHL Commissioner Bill Daly said recently that there's no magic number, even though no major North American sports league has ever grown beyond 32 teams.

The cost for league entry went up 30 percent for Seattle to $650 million, as compared to the $500 million paid by the Vegas Golden Knights to enter the NHL last season. Seattle's franchise will join the league starting with the 2021-22 season. Vegas does not get a cut of the money and is exempt from the expansion draft.

The Seattle Metropolitans? So, we'd have the Seattle Metropolitans and the New York Metropolitans?

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"At an expansion draft that will take place in June of 2021", Bettman said.

Seattle's hockey history includes the Seattle Metropolitans of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association winning the 1917 Stanley Cup. The rules for the latest expansion draft, including how many players teams will be allowed to protect, will be announced at a later date. "They had nothing but good things to say about the fans, the city and the market". This will cause a minor re-alignment for the league, with the Arizona Coyotes, who play most of their games in the Mountain Time Zone (the state of Arizona doesn't use Daylight Saving time), moving to the Central Division upon Seattle's arrival. The Penguins have four players with NMCs under contract in 2021 - Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, and Kris Letang. Nevertheless, the idea of Pacific Northwest hockey rivalry between Seattle and Vancouver is pretty cool. There has been a hole in the winter calendar there since the NBA's SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008. So a team for them that's close, I think it's great for the area.

With the expansion, the $800 million Seattle Arena expansion project will break ground on Wednesday.

"Sixteen years ago they started saying that the arena didn't work", said Leiweke.

OK, OK, let's get to what you really want to know: What is going to be the team's name and colors? And how can a world-class city like Seattle not have a world-class arena?