We have received quite a bit of information in the last 48 hours and for those of us who hang on every word mentioned, it has given us plenty of material to over analyze. As a whole,
the recent news over the last 48 hours should be perceived as a very very good sign. In case you have been in the dark, the week started with the report that Bettman & Daly were in town last week to meet with King County Executive Dow Constantine & Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, then sometime in the afternoon yesterday, it was reported that the mayor told Bettman and Daly that the Seattle City Council would be uninterested in reopening the executed MOU to enable an NHL first scenario. If that was not enough news to digest, a potential ownership group was identified and that same group accompanied Bettman and Daly in these meetings. (head explodes)
Here is my suggested reading list as the source for the information:
- NHL commissioners visit King County executive and Seattle mayor
- Seattle mayor tells NHL commissioners no MOU changes
- Prospective Seattle NHL owners revealed
- Major investment group trying to bring NHL to Seattle emerges
There is a lot of info in there and plenty said between the lines and additional information shared that was shared on Radio interviews and twitter accounts of both Daniels and Baker. Here are my main takeaways.
- The meeting with NHL Brass and Constantine & Murray is the “strongest sign yet” of the league’s interest in placing a team in Seattle.
- The no changes to the MOU is not as negative as it appears.Murray can’t show all his cards and needs to watch his words carefully. It is premature to direct any negative commentary to Murray or anyone on the City Council until this thing has time to breath. It could be a timing situation as well or early negotiations. Geoff Baker tweeted that Murray did not shut the door on an NHL first scenario.
- The Coleman group appears to be the lead candidate to be the potential owner of the NHL franchise in Seattle.
- According to Baker, that group has been communicating with Hansen since last October. I think it is reasonable to conclude that both Hansen and Coleman group have a good understanding on what it will take to partner on the arena deal (Number 2 below).
This is my updated diagram on what needs to happen. The order is numbered but you should not think of it as purely linear. It is fairly obvious to me that the discussions are happening in parallel for the league to get a reasonable confidence level that all stages can be completed and issues resolved.