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Bettman and company have not only made a lot of friends on the west coast with an NHL team bound for Seattle, but he has no doubt strengthened his relationship with the league's board of governors.

About 10 minutes before NHL commissioner Gary Bettman stepped up to the podium and announced on live television that the league's board of governors had voted unanimously to accept Seattle as the league's 32nd franchise, a teleprompter blew the surprise by flashing his prepared speech for all to see.

"I have business cards I'm going to have to toss out that say Seattle 2020", joked team president and CEO Tod Leiweke, who said he expects the venue open in March or April 2021.

Seattle pushed to begin play in 2020-21, but the National Hockey League rejected the proposal based on trepidation about the $700 million renovation to downtown KeyArena being completed on that schedule.

The Seattle team will join the Western Conference's Pacific Division with the Arizona Coyotes being bumped over to the Central Division for the 2021/22 campaign. "The incentive to keep more than seven forwards or more than three defensmen - depending on the team - would result in the penalty of exposing more players to the expansion draft".

The owners will pay a $650 million expansion fee, up from the $500 million the Vegas Golden Knights paid to join the league just two years ago. Seattle was the first USA city to win the Stanley Cup back in 1917.

A three-quarters vote of the current 31 owners is needed to confirm Seattle as the league's newest franchise.

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Just one year after watching the expansion Vegas Golden Knights take the NHL by storm en route to the most unexpected Stanley Cup Final appearance in NHL history, the league is running it back with a fresh new market.

"We have momentum, and this is a business of recruitment", Leiweke said. Its economy has boomed in the past decade since the departure of the NBA's SuperSonics to Oklahoma City.

When Canadians think of Seattle, much of what we know comes from media and entertainment.

National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver didn't seem bullish on the return of a Seattle franchise in an October interview either, shortly after the city hosted a preseason matchup.

On its own, OVG added a $70 million training facility on the grounds of Northgate Mall, which needs to be ready in the summer ahead of when the team begins to train. "If it were someplace else, I wouldn't have done it".

According to Station Index, Seattle is the U.S.' 14th largest TV market, and it's the largest city without a winter sport. More than 100 years later, they'll have that chance again. "I actually think it was at the end of the day the simplest, most logical, least disruptive option we had available to us and I think it will work well for the Coyotes". The city has been home to minor league hockey clubs since then.