NHL unanimously approves Seattle expansion

NHL votes to give expansion franchise to Seattle

NHL approves Seattle expansion franchise, set to begin play in 2021 nearby Amazon campus

Seattle is expected to join the league for the 2021-2022 season.

Seattle was officially awarded the NHL's 32nd franchise on Tuesday thanks to unanimous vote of the approval from the league's Board of Governors.

LeBrun said he has the "sense" that the Coyotes have known for some time that they're the likely team to move to the Central Division when the Seattle expansion franchise begins play.

Seattle's original professional hockey team, the Seattle Metropolitans of the old Pacific Coast Hockey Association (no, *not* the NHL) was the first USA -based team to win the Stanley Cup back in 1917.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan was a big supporter of getting pro hockey back to Seattle, which was home to the 1917 Stanley Cup champions.

The 2021 NHL Expansion Draft will be under the same rules for Seattle as the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017.

Tippett could feel the excitement building when he was back in Arizona over the Thanksgiving holiday, noting that people told him on the golf course they hoped Seattle would get a team.

The decision was widely expected after the Seattle Hockey Partners group impressed the board's executive committee in October with a plan that had all the ingredients the NHL was looking for.

Leiweke got his start in hockey with the Minnesota Wild. Leiweke left the Lightning in 2015 to become the COO of the NFL and didn't have any interest in leaving the league office until the project in Seattle began to gain traction.

The NHL also announced divisional realignment, which will go into effect once Seattle begins play. They eventually capped deposits at 32,000, and now have a waiting list. The ownership group, the plans for the arena - it's all of the above.

"Today is an exciting and historic day for our League as we expand to one of North America's most innovative, attractive and fastest-growing cities", Bettman said.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman pointing out that a Seattle team gives the NHL a footprint in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and provides the nearby Vancouver Canucks with a natural rival. "Our fans are at the core of this movement to bring an National Hockey League team to Seattle, and today we celebrate in honor of them".

Before considering expansion, the board opens its annual two-day December meeting Monday with updates on the state of the league's business and hockey operations. Houston, Quebec City and Toronto have all been touted as possible new homes someday.

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