Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 07/31/13 at 12:41 AM ET
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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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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