Last week, the league announced that a new Seattle franchise will be added to the NHL after a unanimous vote took place between the boards of governors. This will be the 32nd team in the NHL which will play under the Pacific division and is considered the first winter sports franchise in Seattle since the Super Sonic’s from the NBA departed to Oklahoma City during 2008. Let’s take a look at a few important factors for the new NHL team.
When Will The New NHL Team Play?
The new NHL franchise from Seattle will participate in the league during the 2021/22 season. The ownership group in Seattle initially wanted to start playing in 2020. However, the league had several reservations regarding the rush in renovation to the Key Arena and therefore decided to enter at a later stage.
It’s undeniably a smart decision if you consider the major success the Vegas Golden Knights had during their inaugural season. The NHL fully understands that first impressions are extremely important and therefore want Seattle to start off on the right foot. The addition of another year will definitely ensure that the arena is in perfect condition when the season gets underway and it gives them enough time to get the practice facility in operation. The ownership group settled on a location situated near the North Gate Mall.
The renovation budget is around $800 million, and the ownership group will break ground on Wednesday. The WNBA’s Seattle Storm is currently a tenant in the building but will relocate temporarily during the 2019 season.
Possible Team Names
All we can do it wait and see. “We are certainly going to take as much time as possible to come up with a suitable name with no added pressure,” Victor de Bonis told reporters last week. “It’s like most things. If you put in the time, listen closely to your fans, and think things properly through, the right name will be picked. It might not feel 100% normal when the team name is initially presented, but it will certainly evolve over time and become a household favorite once the puck is dropped for the start of a brand-new season.”
Earlier this year, the Oak View Group counsel, interlinked with the ownership group in Seattle, applies for domains to represent potential names for the team, including Seattle Whales, Seattle Totems, Seattle Sockeyes, Seattle Seals, Seattle Sea Lions, Seattle Renegades, Seattle Rainiers, Seattle Kraken, Seattle Firebirds, Seattle Evergreens, Seattle Emeralds, Seattle Eagles, and Seattle Cougars.
It might not feature the future name for the team, but it certainly created more questions than answers. Is the Seattle NHL Team Going to Use the Same Expansion Draft Rules as the Vegas Golden Knights? Gary Bettman, the NHL commissioner, stated numerous times that the Seattle NHL franchise will use the same expansion draft rules as the Vegas Golden Knights. Now, we merely need to wait until the 2021/22 NHL season to see the new Seattle franchise in action.