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Seattle’s NHL Expansion Could be Approved by the Fall

The city of Seattle could receive approval for an expansion NHL team in the fall, according to commissioner Gary Bettman.

Gary Bettman spoke on the matter at a press conference prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. He stressed that this date remains only a possibility and that there is still much to be done.

The push to bring the NHL back to Seattle is led by Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer and private equity CEO David Bonderman.

They filed an application for expansion with the NHL in February. The group hope to have an NHL team playing in Seattle for the 2020 – 2021 season.

In spite of the expansion not yet being approved, they appear confident that it will go through. The group has already made pre-purchase NHL tickets available to hockey fans in Seattle.


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“There are a number of bases we have to touch. Lots of due diligence that has to be done. A lot of interaction with the prospective ownership group, David Bonderman’s group,” Commissioner Bettman said.

“We think we’re on target and depending on how everything goes it wouldn’t surprise me that there is a possibility that in the fall, early winter at the latest that this could be addressed by the Board, but we’re not there yet and there’s still work to be done.”

An update on the Seattle expansion will be provided to the NHL board when it meets on June 20.

After the resounding success of the Vegas Golden Knights, the same favorable expansion rules would apply to a Seattle team.

A generous expansion draft allowed the Knights to select proven NHL players, including goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Other franchises may resent the fact that teams can come out of nowhere to challenge for the Stanley Cup. However, Bettman said that this isn’t the case. Bettman has received ”no pushback whatsoever” about the favorable expansion draft from the league’s other 30 owners.

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