National Hockey League expected to vote ‘yes’ on Seattle expansion for 2021-22 season

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With Seattle set to become the NHL's 32nd team after a unanimous vote of approval by the NHL Board of Governors in Sea Island, Georgia, on Tuesday morning, the other worst-kept, yearlong secret from those same meetings has the Coyotes moving from the Pacific Division to the Central Division. The amount of wealth now in the Seattle market is part of the reason Tim Leiweke, Tod's older brother and the CEO of event facilities giant Oak View Group, has regularly called the city "a brilliant marketplace" and one of the most enticing expansion opportunities in pro sports history.

The NHL's newest franchise will join Major League Baseball's Seattle Mariners and the WNBA's Seattle Storm in the city. Its economy has boomed in the past decade since the departure of the NBA's SuperSonics to Oklahoma City.

The NHL is coming to Seattle.

Moves to launch the team have already proved successful, with a drive for season tickets securing 10,000 deposits in the first 12 minutes alone and 32,000 in 31 hours.

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It will play home games at the Seattle Center Arena, formerly known as the KeyArena, which is undergoing $700 million in renovations.

"We will keep the historic roof, and everything else will be new", Leiweke said, adding that construction begins tomorrow.

Seattle will play in the Pacific Division, meaning the Arizona Coyotes will move to the Central Division. Who could've thought it would take over one-hundred years for the city to see an National Hockey League franchise.

John Barr has been the voice of the fans longing for hockey in Seattle.

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According to the AP, the ownership group could announce an official name in the first half of 2019. As for colors, it's anyone's guess.

A Seattle franchise would mean the addition of a 16th team to the Western Conference, matching the number in the East. The Central Division has seven teams and the Pacific Division has eight. That's when the new NHL Seattle team will hit the ice for its inaugural regular season. The NHL announced back in March that any potential expansion draft for Seattle would be conducted under the same rules that Vegas was given upon their entrance into the league, though Vegas will be exempt from the process.

Western Conference Finals Stanley Cup Finals (such an unprecedented accomplishment for an expansion team that my memory of how far the Knights' run went was initially incorrect because it still seems like insane talk).

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