NHL Board of Governors Approve Seattle Expansion Team

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That they'll do it here in Georgia, the state that was home to the NHL's last failed expansion experiment in Atlanta, is pure happenstance.

Commissioner Gary Bettman has announced the National Hockey League is expanding to Seattle beginning in the 2021-22 season.

The NHL Board of Governors is meeting to give final approval to Seattle's bid to add the league's 32nd team. "It nests very nicely with the teams that are already in the Pacific Northwest".

That will likely be answered this week.

Of course, the team has yet to decide on a name, and according co-owner Jerry Bruckheimer,"every name has a chance right now".

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan took a bit of the suspense away by making the announcement to the crowd about 10 minutes before the official word came from Commissioner Gary Bettman.

A ground-breaking ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday in downtown Seattle. Nearly nothing, except the iconic roof, will remain of the old place. But that is not the goal.

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. "If everything that's supposed to be in place is in place, we'll go in 2020". The NHL will also realign its two divisions in the West for the 2021-22 season: Seattle will play the Pacific, home to its closest geographic rivals like Vancouver, Calgary and San Jose, and the Arizona Coyotes will move to the Central Division.

The Arizona Coyotes, at long last, are on the move. The board is also expected to be briefed on collective bargaining talks and the tentative settlement of a concussion lawsuit involving retired players. Detroit-born movie producer Jerry Bruckheimer, 75, is part of the ownership group. That isn't expected to be an issue now, despite the record expansion price tag.

That's Detroit's share of the $650 million expansion fee that Texas private equity billionaire David Bonderman, 76, will pay to own the NHL's 32nd franchise.

The move will see the Coyotes moved away from their geographical rivals, with the Vegas Golden Knights, Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks being the three closest teams now.

From Sea Island, Seattle will be off the races. In 1917, the Seattle Metropolitans of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association became the first American team to win the Stanley Cup (back then, the victor of the PCHA played the victor of the NHL for the cup).

One of the next big decisions will be the team name. When you drive around, even if you're not on a reservation, you see totems there. Do you think this will impact the team's future in the desert or are you just excited to see new rivalries?