The NHL Board of Governors met today in Tampa Bay ahead of the NHL All-Star events being held at AMALIE Arena — home of the Tampa Bay Lighting. On the agenda was next years international play, discussion on the goalie interference controversies, and NHL expansion to Seattle.
It was reported earlier this week that Mayor Jenny Durkan met with commissioner Gary Bettman at the league’s offices in New York.
”Bringing the NHL to the new Seattle City Arena is an opportunity of a lifetime for Seattle,” Durkan said in her statement. “There is no doubt that Seattle is the best sports town in the country with passionate hockey fans. I’m looking forward to working with the ownership group and the NHL to help bring a team - and a Stanley Cup - back to Seattle.”
As the process has held no similarities to the Vegas expansion, we are left to speculate on what the next move will be. Some of that speculation was set to rest as TSN reporter Frank Seravalli has reported that the ownership group is expected to hand over their application, along with the $10-million application fee, to the league at some point in the next couple of weeks.
Sounds like Seattle group nearly submitted formal application to #NHL for an expansion franchise yesterday, but expects to have i’s dotted and t’s crossed this week for submission - along with $10 million application fee.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) January 27, 2018
NHL insider and TSN reporter Pierre LeBrun also announced that the league has guaranteed the same player pool to Seattle and has stated that their access in terms of building their team will not change. Somewhat controversial for NHL fans who believe that the 2017 Expansion Draft stripped teams of key role players and gave the Vegas Golden Knights an unfair advantage.
The ownership group is expected to begin a season ticket drive in the first half of next month.