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Seattle has been awarded the NHL’s 32nd team

The NHL has awarded Seattle with the league’s 32nd franchise.

Commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement on Tuesday morning, saying the franchise's inaugural season will commence in 2021-2022.

In September, Seattle city council unanimously voted in favour of a $700 million renovation of Key Arena, which will serve as home ice for future NHL team.

The ownership group, led by majority stakeholder David Bonderman, Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer and CEO Tod Leiweke, will pay a $650-million US expansion fee. For comparison, the Vegas Golden Knights paid a fee of $500 million two years ago.

<who> Photo Credit: Oak View Group.

<who> Photo Credit: Oak View Group.

Under the NHL's current Expansion Draft format, the Seattle club will have the same rules as the Vegas Golden Knights and be permitted to select one unprotected player from each of the league's 31 other franchises.

There is certainly an appetite in the city for professional hockey, proven by the 25,000 season ticket deposits sold in only an hour back in March.

For perspective, it took Vegas two days to hit 5,000 and 18 months to get to 16,000.

In February, a keen internet sleuth uncovered a list of 13 domain names registered by the Oak View Group ownership team and while nothing is confirmed, one of the registered names could very likely be used for the future team:

  • Seattle Cougars
  • Seattle Eagles
  • Seattle Emeralds
  • Seattle Evergreens
  • Seattle Firebirds
  • Seattle Kraken
  • Seattle Rainiers
  • Seattle Renegades
  • Seattle Sea Lions
  • Seattle Seals
  • Seattle Sockeyes
  • Seattle Totems
  • Seattle Whales

Today's news is especially exciting for B.C. sports fans, for starters, the Vancouver Canucks will be instant rivals with the Seattle squad, as well as offering a new potential road trip across the border to watch an NFL and NHL game in the same weekend.

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