Seattle expected to land National Hockey League franchise

Virginia Santiago
December 5, 2018

Judging on early graphics created by the NHL Seattle group, it appears that the new team will use red and black as its colors.

The team will follow the same rules used for the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017 for the 2021 expansion draft. The other 30 teams will only be able to protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and a goalie, or eight total skaters, regardless of position, plus one goalie.

Seattle will begin play in the 2021-22 season, instead of 2020 as originally planned, to ensure arena renovations are completed in time.

The new team will play in the Pacific Division of the NHL's Western Conference.

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The following two tabs change content below. The Golden Knights began play a year ago and made a surprising run to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural 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", NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.

NHL Seattle met the NHL's required 10,000 season ticket deposit goal in just 12 minutes and has already met its cap of 32,000 depositors for season tickets.

The NHL's newest franchise will join Major League Baseball's Seattle Mariners and the WNBA's Seattle Storm in the city.

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Seattle will draft one player from every team's roster except for Las Vegas. 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).

A team in Seattle balances the Eastern and Western Conferences at 16 teams apiece, but also requires realignment to even out the Central and Pacific Divisions. NHL Seattle CEO and president Tod Leiweke told 710 ESPN Seattle's Danny, Dave and Moore in October that the name (and presumably colors, logos and merchandise) will probably be unveiled in the spring. 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.

A lot about Seattle is different from 2008, when the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City. Next steps will include moving forward on arena and practice facility plans and piecing together a hockey operations department that Tippett will likely be in charge of.

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