In all the kerfuffle over Chris Hansen's seemingly self-imposed delay over the EIS for the proposed Sodo arena, comes this news about a name associated with the talk of an NHL expansion team in Seattle.
The Globe and Mail's David Shoalts, in a story about the reasons for the sudden burst of NHL expansion chatter has this to say:
Now for expansion: Multiple NHL governors say this discussion is media-driven and there is practically no talk about adding teams. Indeed, Chicago businessman Don Levin said he is "tired of chasing circles," and gave up actively pursuing a team in Seattle because there was no response from the NHL.
The problem in adding two teams (with the Western Conference at 14 teams and the Eastern Conference at 16, this is the only way it will work) is splitting up all that new revenue Bettman, deputy commissioner Bill Daly and marketing man John Collins produced. A lot of owners would rather divide that annual $28-million 30 ways instead of 32, especially since the TV numbers are fixed for the next decade.
As we all know, Levin was one of three Seattle NHL suitors, the other being the Ray Bartoszek group that came close to buying the Phoenix Coyotes, and of course, Hansen/Ballmer.
Soooo, maybe that NHL express train might not be chugging down the tracks as fast as we thought, which may explain the lack of urgency with the EIS. And when would the NHL be expanding? Per Shoalts:
However, the lure of expansion money is usually too much to resist. At least some NHL governors think it will take three years for an announcement, which just happens to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the league.
Three years? That would be (does math on fingers) 2017. Why does that date sound familiar? Oh, yeah.
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