Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Dave Tippett on new Seattle team: We think we can be competitive

Dave Tippett on new Seattle team: We think we can be competitive

Bettman and company have not only made a lot of friends on the west coast with an NHL team bound for Seattle, but he has no doubt strengthened his relationship with the league's board of governors.

The NHL Board of Governors is expected to approve expansion to Seattle, with the league's 32nd team beginning play in the 2021-22 season.

Fans of the former National Basketball Association franchise Seattle Sonics, which moved and became the Oklahoma City Thunder, show signs on June 19, 2012, at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

The to-be-named Seattle team will reside in the Pacific when it begins play in 2021, while the Coyotes will shift to the Central Division.

"Seattle's one of the fastest-growing cities in the country", NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said recently.

The team's $650 million expansion fee will be paid by Seattle's ownership group led by private equity CEO David Bonderman, the league said in a press release. The Seattle Metropolitans were the first American team to win the Stanley Cup, defeating the Montreal Canadians in 1917. "The league's expansion decision was only made possible because Seattle will possess the three pillars essential to the success of any franchise: terrific and committed ownership, a thriving market and a state-of-the-art venue".

The news means that Seattle will have a representative in three of the four USA major leagues, with the Seattle NHL outfit set to join the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL) and the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball (MLB), along with the Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer (MLS).

The Arizona Coyotes are set to move into the Central Division once the new Seattle franchise begins to play from the 2021/22 season - giving the team just over two more seasons in the Pacific. "We wanted to bring it to 2020-21 because we want to get going right away, but it's not fair to the fans or to the players to not have a 100 percent finished arena when we start".

While this is great for the people of Seattle, this move brings some baggage along with it (and not just the players who will be sent there during the expansion draft). "And we all agreed that it was better to get the building done right".

This means that should those guys still be Chicago Blackhawks during the 2021 season, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith will all have to be protected leaving only five forward spots and one defensive spot left open. "If it was someplace else, I wouldn't have done it".

Seattle must draft a player from all 30 teams (except Vegas). I promise you we will not let you down.

With the National Hockey League headed to the city, Seattle now has a franchise in three of the four major American sports. The new expansion team, now without a name, is scheduled to begin play in the 2021-2022 season as a member of the Pacific Division.

Seattle also has a junior hockey league, the Thunderbirds.

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