There is some new news coming out from the NHL and the Seattle expansion group. On Wednesday, the Seattle expansion group announced an addition of some new investors to “Seattle Hockey Partners.”
Today, the NHL’s Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly announced that the NHL Board of Governors will not hold a formal expansion vote on October 2, which is when the Seattle investment group is going to make their formal presentation to the league on expansion.
Daly: “In a vacuum, I think everyone assumes [the Board of Governors] would be inclined to expand to Seattle. But there’s distance between here and there in terms of taking a vote.”
— Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt) September 6, 2018
It appears that the Seattle expansion process will take longer than expected. The new Seattle investment group has some tough challenges ahead. They must be able to convince the NHL’s Board of Governors that Seattle will fit as a good market, and they also must sell on the major renovations they will perform to Seattle’s KeyArena.
Another hiccup to look out for in this process is the potential of another NHL Lockout. It appears that the NHL’s Board of Governors and Seattle expansion group may agree to have Seattle’s inaugural season to be in 2021-22 instead of 2020-21. The current agreement is set to expire on September 15, 2022, but the NHL and NHLPA have the option to opt out of the agreement in September 2019.
Also on the NHL to Seattle front… Bill Daly tells me the league isn’t tethered to 2020-21 for an inaugural season. In fact, sounds like ownership group & league are open to 2021-22 instead.
— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) September 6, 2018
Between a potential league lockout, and a lot of work needed for Seattle’s KeyArena, this expansion process will likely take longer than Vegas’ expansion process. While the league seems to be very healthy financially right now, another lockout will hurt the league’s momentum and cause plenty of frustration with owners, players, and fans. If the league can avoid another potential lockout, that can certainly help Seattle’s expansion process go a bit smoother.
By: George Foussekis