NHL Announces Expansion to Seattle for 2021-22 Season

NHL votes to give expansion franchise to Seattle

NHL votes to give expansion franchise to Seattle

Seattle must choose a minimum of 20 players under contract for the 2021-22 regular season and those with an aggregate Expansion Draft value that is between 60-100 percent of the prior season's upper limit for the salary cap.

"The NHL is thrilled to welcome you", NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said at press conference on Tuesday.

Seattle being granted the NHL's 32nd team has been one of the worst kept secrets in sports over the last few months.

The NHL had been at 30 teams since 2000 before deciding to expand to Las Vegas in 2016. For comparison, the Vegas Golden Knights paid a fee of $500 million two years ago.

As a senior adviser for the NHL Seattle group, and one of its most recognizable faces, Dave Tippett gets the same two questions nearly every time he talks to a hockey fan.

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Seattle's original professional hockey team, the Seattle Metropolitans of the old Pacific Coast Hockey Association (no, *not* the NHL) was the first USA -based team to win the Stanley Cup back in 1917. Vegas does not get a cut of the money and is exempt from the expansion draft. "We are delighted to add David Bonderman, Tod Leiweke and the entire NHL Seattle group to the National Hockey League family".

Renovations to KeyArena, which will become the team's home, are scheduled for completion in the fall of 2020. In a geographically sensical move, the league announced Arizona will shift from the Pacific Division to the Central in order to make room for Seattle.

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

The board's nine-member executive committee recommended proceeding with the expansion application back in October after a presentation that included Bonderman, Bruckheimer and Leiweke.

In March, the Seattle ownership group launched a season-ticket drive and said it reached 25,000 deposits within the first hour.

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