Seattle Is Finally Joining the NHL
Glaciers have moved faster than the time it took this expansion franchise to be awarded.
The NHL's had Seattle on its wish list since at least 1974, and now, after 44 years of bad timing -- and, on one occasion, an incredible act of skullduggery -- the city's been accepted as the league's 32nd team.
And general inevitability commenced.
This latest run at the brass ring hit the light of day in 2014, when NHL Deputy Commish Bill Daly offered what was supposed to be a confidential declaration that the league coming to Seattle would be a done deal later that year.
Excitement followed, but ultimately, nothing came of it.
So, the league dropped all pretenses, damn near telling the city to get its act together.
With a timeline that can only be measured in dog years, the powers that be finally got around to asking fans to show their interest by making down payments on season tickets.
It took 12 minutes to hit 10,000 orders. The prospective owners capped the buying spree after 33,000 commitments had been received.
So, in December, the league's Executive Committee unanimously recommended the matter be put to a vote that was all but assured to go Seattle's way.
And it did.
Vancouver's gotta be happy. The Canucks finally have a short road trip.
If history's any indication -- and Seattle's hockey annals are rich with it -- this will be the resumption of a longstanding rivalry that'll microwave in no time.
Here are the Totems and Canucks doing what they did a lot in the old Western Hockey League:
As Nux tix can often be a hard buy -- even in one of their perennial rebuilding phases -- expect Canadians to make the three-hour trip south of the border to get their hockey fix in Seattle.
That'll likely happen whether or not the 'Couve is the opponent.
Just add that fact to the rest, and it's no wonder the NHL's been salivating over Seattle all this time:
- It's a rich ticket, like most pro sports have,
- It's a rich city that's one of the continent's fastest growing, and
- It's got a reach that extends to a Canadian hockey-mad market.
Now, all they've gotta do is live up to first-year expectations set by the Vegas Golden Knights. It's a tall order, but at least they've finally got a team that's gonna have a first year.