Seattle did not step up to submit an expansion application when the deadline passed way back in July, but that does not mean the NHL does not have it’s eyes and ears on everything abuzz in the Emerald City.
The Pacific Northwest has long been a target location for the NHL, and the league was clearly disappointed by the fact that Seattle could not guarantee an arena for an NHL team. Just look at this backhanded diss from the initial expansion statement.
“Apparently, only Mr. Foley and Quebecor have the confidence in their ability to secure an arena and suitable ownership capability to move forward with this process.” –NHL.com
But now there appears to be some steam to a Seattle arena, and it very well may delay the decision to award a franchise here in Vegas.
Ideally, the NHL would add Seattle and Las Vegas to even out the geographically distribution of the conferences. As long as Seattle stays focused on getting their arena built, the NHL will likely keep pushing and pushing the deadlines.
“The City of Seattle continues to do its part and we are one step closer to having an arena that is ready to host NBA basketball and NHL hockey,” says Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.
Back when Kansas City and Sacramento were in the mix, Seattle was likely viewed as a better candidate than Vegas, based sheerly off of size. But now with just Vegas and Quebec still vying for a team, Seattle could actually help Vegas. The only issue is when.
Here’s what we would like to see happen. Quebec and Las Vegas are awarded franchises for 2017-18. Arizona moves to Seattle in 2017 or later.
I’m convinced the NHL believes that what The Creator has done here in Las Vegas is worth a team (plus I think Bettman wants his $500 million check), but I also know that the league wants Seattle. It gets dicey if they add Quebec now and play the “we’ll figure it out later” game with Seattle.
“I have a concern if this is going to happen before 2017,” says Murray.