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Sporting News report: Bettman may or may not want the NHL to expand to Seattle sooner than later

Per the Sporting News, call me skeptical (unless the league can find two cities to expand to, anyway):

According to Mitch Levy, a talk show host for Seattle radio station KJR, Bettman is pushing for an expansion team that would begin play in the city in the 2014-15 season. Levy reported via Twitter on Tuesday that Bettman is "encouraging" the NHL's Board of Governors to grant Seattle a franchise.

Expansion, though, is far from a sure thing. There at least two big contingencies, according to Levy: finding a solid ownership group and maintaining progress on the construction of a new arena in downtown Seattle near Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field.

Which would happen...When?

Levy tweeted that the group that tried to buy the Coyotes and move them to Seattle is among the groups that would be in play for an expansion franchise, which Levy said would cost $275 million.

A team in Seattle would be a natural rival to the Vancouver Canucks and increase membership in the NHL's Western Conference to 15 teams. It would have to play at least its first few seasons at cramped KeyArena, which the NBA's SuperSonics left in 2008 to move to Oklahoma City.

Levy gave no indication whether a second expansion franchise would be awarded. Quebec City has been open about bringing back NHL hockey and is building a new arena. Las Vegas, Kansas City and the Greater Toronto Area are also seen as potentially viable expansion markets.

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Comments

SYF's avatar

Las Vegas…also seen as potentially viable expansion market[s].

Then be dearly prepared for yet another Yotes situation, bungholes.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 07/31/13 at 01:16 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

I think in the end this is the only reason that the Wings and CBJ got to move east.  Bettman has wanted this to happen.  Nothing like another bad team in another bad market.  I’m just glad the Wings won’t be the chief instrument of the NHL’s western conference welfare system anymore.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/31/13 at 08:22 AM ET

Avatar

The NHL wants to get into Seattle before the NBA to get the edge. Also it is believed the NBA will likely grant an expansion team to Seattle next spring. I suspect there was some agreement with the NHLPA to expand as part of the CBA.  With Columbus and Detroit moving east, they league wants to balance the conferences. The Canucks are pushing for a team in Seattle and there are NY investors who are interested in buying a team in Seattle, which were brought to the league by Chris Hansen, the developer of the new arena in Seattle.  Mitch Levy is no real fan of the NHL, for him to break this on KJR is interesting.

Posted by timbits on 07/31/13 at 08:24 AM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

Well, if it’s a done deal, we should really just start speculating on the name.

Seattle Starbucks?
Spaceneedles?
Skittles?
Marmadukes?

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 07/31/13 at 09:17 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Well, if it’s a done deal, we should really just start speculating on the name.

Seattle Starbucks?
Spaceneedles?
Skittles?
Marmadukes?

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 07/31/13 at 10:17 AM ET

Seattle Totems.

Interesting that it would take the West to 15 teams, but… then they need #16.  And that’s a sticky point, because Vegas is not a legit option, and while Houston is I don’t know if there is interest from parties there.  Because the futures of Quebec City, suburban Toronto, etc, are almost going to require the West to even up first.

Posted by Primis on 07/31/13 at 09:30 AM ET

henrymalredo's avatar

You got to wonder, is Seattle the real deal or is this a Kansas City redux?  Personally, I would’ve liked to see the Yotes move to Seattle.  I think having a team with some parts to build off of would be better in a new market.  Send the expansion teams to Canada where they’ll pay to see waiver wire pick-ups play NHL hockey.

Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 07/31/13 at 03:01 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

Seattle Goonies

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 07/31/13 at 03:32 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

With the Glendale saga still ongoing due to financing falling through, PHX to SEA is more likely than expansion.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 08/02/13 at 02:53 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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