Bettman to Seattle: No NBA > No New Arena > No NHL
Seattle allegedly remains a prime candidate to ice an NHL expansion team.
But, after promising reports that the NHL could make an expansion announcement this summer, the Commish just put that concept on ice for a while longer.
Apparently, the right pieces haven't fallen into place yet.
Here's the state of play:
- Seattle has a multi-millionaire who formed a consortium of local kajillionaires to try and get the NBA back in Seattle;
- That group, led by potential weasel -- current weasel, if you talk to a Sacramento Kings fan -- Chris Hansen, made a deal with Seattle's civic officials to build an NBA/NHL arena if they got a hoops franchise;
- They didn't, but the arena agreement still remains;
- There are prospective owners for an NHL expansion franchise in Seattle; but
- They don't include the local kajillionaire cabal that wants the NBA franchise, and
- The interested NHL investors have yet to show they can replace the Hansen group to fund the arena project.
Here's what truly put the damper on Bettman & Co's recent optimism: The city council doesn't see how a hockey-first scenario in the proposed arena deal is viable.
So the simplest route to a reincarnation of the Stanley Cup champions of 1917 -- the Seattle Metropolitans -- would be to have the NBA expand. Unfortunately, new hoops poobah Adam Silver says that isn't happening, either:
Until someone comes forward with enough dosh to replace Hansen et al in the arena agreement, hockey in Seattle is just skating in circles. Bettman clearly -- and correctly -- isn't excited about plopping a new team into a temporary venue like the Key Arena, first home of the old Sonics. A major overhaul of the building, situated at the foot of the Space Needle, may be an option but is only in the contemplation stage right now by one of the proposed NHL investors.
So, the Emerald City puckheads continue to cool their jets, still full of hope.