About John

my happy place

my happy place

I grew up in Northern California where playing or watching hockey was a foreign concept. I didn’t start watching hockey until I was 20 years old. The first time I stepped on ice with a hockey stick I was 26 when Reno, Nevada got their first hockey rink. I have been living in Seattle the last 10 years and play hockey 2 or 3 times a week. I love data and analytics which you will see weaves into several of the post I make. In addition to this site, I publish more sports general analytics at 3rdLineGrind.com

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19 thoughts on “About John

  1. Hey John. I have it from a good source that a hockey team is tied to the basketball team coming and that Seattle basketball team has in place a monority owner in place to join and run the team while they run the basketball team. But they believe it is two years away

    • Thanks Rob. That sounds realistic with everything going on right now. How recent is your info? (do you mind if I email you directly?) Don’t put your email in the comments section…I have access to it via your comment.

  2. Hi John. My brother has a website (seattlesportscentral.com) and we are trying to get the word out as much as possible about Seattle wanting an NHL franchise. Researching this idea, I’ve found you. I wanted to tell you that it is nice to find a like mind out here in the ether.

  3. John- I dont know if you read this, please contact me. I want to build you a better looking website. I’ve already been in contact will Todd (NHL Seattle) and I think this caused would be much more successful with a focused, unified front.


    • Hi Lauren,

      Can you send me your email via facebook? Like NHLtoSeattle and send me a MSG. If I send you a message in facebook without being “friends” chances are you may not see it.


  4. John,
    I was born and raised in Seattle. Fond memories of running around the Coliseum as a kid while my parents watched Totem’s games, picking Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito as my favorite players and hating the Russians for cheating by paying their players in the Olympics.
    But I don’t see any real popular base for NHL hockey in Seattle. I literally can not find any hockey equipment or even NHL player cards, nor is there an ice or roller hockey rink inside the city limits of Seattle.
    We go to games in Kent and Everett and my boy plays roller and ice hockey in the suburbs but I don’t think there is enough of a base to support an NHL team.
    Is the idea behind a team in Seattle that Canuck’s fans will come down because tickets will be available and cheap compared to Rogers arena?
    Not trying to be a troll, I just don’t see how an NHL team survives in Seattle.
    Is it just, ‘build it and they will come’, in other words put NHL quality hockey in a city and people will find it?
    What’s your take?

    • The hockey crowd will come from sounder fans. This will be the bulk of your fan base. So I have no doubt hockey will work. Grew up watching totems and sonics and would be the firts in line to buy season tickets for hockey. Talking to my non sport fan friends they would go nuts for this. Want to support this site! Lets get it going. Nothing like seeing NHL hockey in person.

  5. Hi Alan, Thanks for taking the time to share your perspective. I’ve had plenty of conversations with people that share your skepticism. I should and will put a separate blog entry that will go into a little more depth but will give you the short version here.

    I grew up in the Oakland California. Hockey was never ever discussed mentioned or brought up with friends or family. There might have been one hockey rink in the area but it was really not something I found about until I moved away from the area in 1991. The same year the Sharks came to San Jose. Since then, hockey has become hot in the bay area. More sheets are opening up and 2 years ago the first Junior San Jose Shark made it to the NHL. The sport naturally captures people once they get exposed to it.

    Seattle is much more of a hockey market than San Jose was when they expanded. 8 Rinks within 30 minutes, huge adult hockey league & when Vancouver was in the finals with Boston, Seattle cracked the top 10 US markets watching the game (#s were for NBC but people were also watching on CBC).

    From a NHL Fan demographic, this is an ideal place as “NHL fans” have a higher income and higher education than most other leagues. Those two data points parallel Seattle well. This isn’t a knock on other league fans this was just the data that was reported by Darren Rovell a year or two ago. I wish I had the actual data, I just saw his tweets on it.

    From a broader perspective, the market has a ton of potential with the 12th (soon to be 11th) biggest TV market, natural rivalry with Vancouver and a large amount of Corporations in the area.

    I don’t think we can or will rely on people coming down from Vancouver. My Blue Jays post had more to do with Canadians that live in the area as I work with a lot of Canadians, some play hockey some don’t.

    I think Hockey will work right out of the gate but the city will really embrace it when they get their first taste of a playoff run. Even a game 7 in round 1 will hook people so hard they will be fans for life. People will love it and it will thrive.

    OK…that was supposed to be short.

  6. Interesting Coyote attendance numbers, lots of promotions this year vs last year.

    You need to look at more historical data, check out icearizona.org for more.

  7. I know there is a fan base here. Some (like myself) have no desire for MLB, MLS, NFL, or NBA. The game isn’t fast enough nor is there much fan to fan interaction. Sit in any NHL arena and watch the synergy, night after night. As a former player and follower of Seattle Totems Hockey, there has not been a better time economically, demographically, or sociologically. If you want it to work from the get go, put it in Bellevue.

  8. I firmly beleive that Seattle is and will be a strong supporter of an NHL team in the Puget Sound area. I currently play in the Greater Seattle Hockey League and it has over 100 teams competing. The youth hockey programs here in the area are very strong and appear to be growing each year. The demographics/market for the new team could cover as far as Montana and as far South as San Jose. The Seahawks have a solid fanbase in Alalska and that could translate here as well.

    Like any pro franchise, your longterm overall success really comes down to “win and they will come”. (See Seattle Mariners).

    I believe that the new NHL team will have similiar if not more of a following than the new Sounders team.

    My only request is that the new team not be named the “totems”!

    Thanks for your work John,

    John O’Leary

  9. John,

    Great site and appreciate the information you provide. I like the attendance update data you put together as I think it is very relevant to the future of NHL in Seattle. One are I was thinking that might be interesting is the prospects of restructuring the lower bowl of Key arena to fit a full or nearly full size NHL sheet of ice centered in the building. If this could happen it possibly would open up the full upper bowl to view of the entire rink. My thoughts are that if the two ends of the lower bowl were reconfigured to allow for centering the rink it might be possible to get approximately 16,000 seats with unobstructed view. My guess is it would take $10 plus million for the configure, but with a decent number of unobstructed view seats, the team might be viable in Key Arena for a longer period of time. Have you heard of any major lower bowl reconfiguration discussions, beyond Hansen’s minor adjustment proposal for hockey? I would love to see what architects might be able to come up with in this regard. FInally I would note Hansen’s comments yesterday indicate to me they have no intention of allowing an NHL arena to trump the NBA first strategy he started with. I wonder if this will re-ignite the Bellevue proposal.

    Again great stuff John.


  10. Hey there. I’m trying to get a hold of some of those NhlToSeattle stickers. I’m totally willing to buy some.

    I live in west Seattle. Please lemme know.


    • Hi Rev, shoot me your address and how many you would like to John@NHLtoSeattle.com I am technically not charging but any donations will go to the next run of stickers. They cost about 60/cents per sticker to give you an idea. Thanks for your support.

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