Published: Tue, December 04, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

NHL Announces Expansion to Seattle for 2021-22 Season

NHL Announces Expansion to Seattle for 2021-22 Season

"Today is an exciting and historic day for our League as we expand to one of North America's most innovative, handsome and fastest-growing cities", said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said during a press conference.

The 2021 NHL Expansion Draft will be under the same rules for Seattle as the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017.

As part of the expansion, Seattle's ownership group will be required to pay a $650-million expansion fee that will be divided equally amongst the league's 31 teams, slightly higher than what Vegas paid for its expansion fee.

"On top of everything else, Seattle is a city with a hockey history, that includes being the home for the first American team ever to win the Stanley Cup", Bettman said.

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. The franchise will be in the Pacific Division with the Arizona Coyotes moving to the Central Division.

"That might be the one night I walk into the locker room and say to the boys 'give it a little more tonight"'. Seattle can not buy out players chosen in the Expansion Draft earlier than the summer following its first season.

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However, uncertainty over completing KeyArena renovations in time means Seattle will have to wait another year for the return of a major winter sports team.

The nine-member executive committee that heard Seattle's presentation in October voted unanimously to move the matter to the full board, which is meeting in Georgia.

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

Team and city officials in Seattle have already secured more than 30,000 season-ticket deposits and received approvals from local government for arena plans.

The $650-million expansion fee will be divided up between 30 National Hockey League teams.

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