On December 4th at the Winter NHL Board of Governors Meeting, the NHL Board of Governors is expected to vote on whether to award Seattle the 32nd franchise in the league. Although we hate assuming here, because of the unanimous recommendation out of the Executive BoG Expansion Committee in October, we should feel reasonably confident this vote from the full BoGs goes in our favor. Other than the vote itself, here are some of the other newsworthy items that we should be looking for from this meeting.
Unanimous approval is not a requirement, but I hope to see every team supporting
Bill Daly has already teased 2021-22 as the likely start of a Seattle franchise; while the NHL Seattle group has maintained that they are targeting the 2020-21 start. I doubt we
By next October, I believe both construction timelines and CBA issues will be a lot clearer for the NHL Seattle group and the NHL to make a more definitive commitment.
Expansion Draft Rules
Bettman has been saying since last December that the Expansion Draft rules will be the same for Seattle as it was for the Vegas franchise with Vegas exempt from participating in the (potential) Seattle Expansion draft. Yet, this question continues to come up when anyone from the league speaks about Seattle. Hopefully, we can put this question to bed forever as Bettman or Daly confirm that the expansion draft rules will indeed be the same for Seattle.
More engagement from the NHL Seattle team
I don’t know if I expect this to happen or if it is just wishful thinking. To date, the NHL Seattle team has been fairly quiet in their communications and engagement with the fans. This could be based on direction and guidance from the league itself, since they literally don’t have a franchise yet. Upon the awarding of a Seattle franchise increased engagement might not happen right away, but I do anticipate an increasing amount of outreach, communications, and interaction with the local fan base and season ticket depositors through the rest of this NHL season.
What not to look for