I imagine that everyone has heard this already but just in case you missed it. Based on a report out of the AP yesterday, the NHL intends to award Las Vegas an NHL franchise, provided they can come up with the $500M expansion fee.
Worst kept secret
This should not come as a surprise to anyone since the rumor since September was that Vegas had the inside track and the Canadian Dollar exchange rate was going to prevent Quebec City being awarded a franchise. As I mentioned in a post last week, this was the best possible outcome for our hopes of getting a franchise in Seattle. There is no way the NHL remains a 31 team league for long and with a clear opening in the west, Seattle has a great opportunity to jump back in the picture.
Still a long long way to go…
With all of that said, Seattle has a long way to go before we can be taken seriously. The biggest obstacle right now is an arena, as in there is none. There is not even a viable option being discussed. On top of that, in the last 5 years there was either reported or rumored to be 5 different ownership groups looking at bringing an NHL franchise to Seattle. In the last 6 months we have heard one word out of any of them and we might not know if any of them are still looking at the area. The longer this drags out, the more opportunity it gives places like Portland, Kansas City, or Houston a chance to put a plan together as well.
The arena is the blocker but the owner is the key. A motivated owner can really push to figure out an arena solution. Your move Coleman, Bartozek, Sperling, Levin or (owner to be named later).