Is Seattle going to shoot at an empty net, or are we going to just skate around with our sticks in our hands?
In a blog post at The Hockey News, Ken Campbell writes that the Seattle area is virtually a slam dunk to land an expansion franchise if an application is submitted. I have no idea why he didn't use the empty net analogy. Opportunity lost.
He seems both convinced that we're getting a franchise ... and not so sure.
There is a growing sentiment that the league will expand by two teams and if Seattle can emerge with a solid ownership group and assurances that a building will be built, it will have the inside edge to get a team. but that's still a big ‘if' at the moment. As of now, there is no iron-clad plan for an arena in place, either downtown or in the suburbs. But the sense is that once that hurdle is cleared, Seattle is in. Las Vegas, which is led by billionaire Bill Foley, is thought to be a slam-dunk.
Expanding to Seattle and Las Vegas would give the league a perfect balance of 16 teams in each conference and even the geographical disparity between the east and west. It's leading some to believe that an application for Quebec City and Toronto might turn out to be wasted money. Remember, anyone who applies for an NHL franchise must put up $10 million, $2 million of which the NHL keeps. The league can also spend, at its discretion, as much of the remaining $8 million it sees fit to do market studies, feasibility studies and to cover any legal or consulting fees.
The key part of that passage is "if Seattle can emerge with a solid ownership group and assurances that a building will be built."
It's been reported that Ray Bartoszek intends to apply for the Tukwila location, and that Victor Coleman will apply for the SoDo location. There have been rumors about one or two groups applying for Bellevue. We have no reports that any of those applications have been turned in.
We don't know if Mr. Bartoszek has lined up all of his financing. We don't know if Mr. Coleman has come to some kind of NHL-first agreement with Chris Hansen, or what form that would take. We don't know anything about what is happening in Bellevue.
The initial paperwork, along with a ten million dollar check, must be turned in by Monday for our region to be considered. Paging Mr. Bartoszek! Paging Mr. Coleman! Paging whoever the crap is trying to do something in Bellevue! Is this going to happen?
The clock is ticking.