Seattle arena going up — city’s chances of gaining an NHL team, not so much

Seattle is going to build a new arena without an anchor tenant. Good idea?

Sure it is. It’s worked well for us, so far. The fact that we don’t have an NHL or NBA team is just a minor annoyance, especially for someone like me who NEVER thought one would EVER play in the arena. For those of you who bought the flim-flam, sorry.

What I find interesting about this PuckDaddy post, is that Chicago Wolves owner Don Levin says no more NHL franchises will be moving (after Atlanta bolted for Winnipeg).

“I can tell you there are not teams for sale that are available to move,” Levin told ESPN the Magazine on Wednesday.

Not the Coyotes? Or maybe one day the Islanders? “My understanding is that the Phoenix deal, [Greg Jamison] has come up with the money,” Levin said. “The answer to the Islanders moving is never. They’re not moving out of that market. No chance that’s going to happen.”

How is this different than three years ago or five years ago or, hell, 10 years ago? It’s not. The Islanders were never moving. Neither were the Penguins. Ten years ago, we didn’t know Atlanta Spirit, LLC was the worst ownership group in the history of the NHL (though, I’m sure there were some that had an inkling).

Now, here is the truly interesting thing. Levin, who seems to be in Exalted Rule and Commissioner-for-Life Gary Bettman’s good graces thinks expansion is near.

Instead, Levin’s plan centers on expansion. And he’s optimistic it won’t be long after the CBA is settled that the NHL will turn to expansion as the next phase in growing the league. “I would think three years,” he said.

The NHL’s realignment plan, which was agreed upon during last December’s board of governors meeting, certainly made it easy to plug in two more franchises. Levin thinks Seattle would be considered one of the front-runners to land a new team. “There’s Quebec and Las Vegas that are also in there,” he said.

Seattle, Quebec, Hamilton and a second team in Toronto. It seems to me those are the front runners. I just can’t see expansion to 32 team without an 8th team North of the Border.

As for a team in Las Vegas, there’s no chance of that happening. Professional sporting events happen at 7 p.m. A great majority of Las Vegas’ workforce IS AT WORK at 7 p.m (or asleep because they are going to work). A friend of mine was a Vegas resident and simply said the NBA or NHL will never, ever work in Vegas. And, considering it has been one of the worst housing markets in the last five years, I’d venture a guess that Vegas has already been ruled out.

Where does that leave Kansas City? Oh, about the same place as ever — with no owner. Maybe since Don Levin, and the other potential expansion owner Matthew Hulsizer, are both Chicago guys, KC would have a shot. Or, maybe not.

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Just a guy in KC who loves hockey. KC is a hockey town. We just don't know it, yet.
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One Response to Seattle arena going up — city’s chances of gaining an NHL team, not so much

  1. I’m just not convinced expansion is going to come as a result of the (potential) new CBA – lol, new CBA. You already see an argument over the amount of money the players are getting, so imagine two more teams full of 20+ players…that divides the pie even more. Maybe, just maybe, that is something the owners are trying to build into a new CBA but just one look at the Coyotes situation, and the Atlanta situation, etc., yeah, the NHL has a bad track record in recent years.

    I hate to discount what Levin says a pure bull, but even saying Las Vegas is an option is something of a joke, and Seattle seems to be the new KC in that they are a metro area building an arena. As much as Greg Wyshynski et al. want a team in Seattle doesn’t mean the city wants it, which they really have never come out and say “yes, we want it!” because really, they only want an NBA team (Sacramento and Seattle are fairly close…). Plus, it’s all good and wonderful Jamison has the money for the Coyotes or whatever, but the city is reworking that deal to such an extent who knows what is going on.

    Plus, there is no NHL right now so…yeah…

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