Otto Rogers playfully holds up a sticker against the proposed name “Kraken” and one in support of “Totems” following the announcement that NHL expansion team has been awarded to Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Otto Rogers playfully holds up a sticker against the proposed name “Kraken” and one in support of “Totems” following the announcement that NHL expansion team has been awarded to Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Questions and answers about Seattle’s new hockey team

Why did the NHL choose Seattle? When will the puck drop? What will the team be called?

Tim Booth / Associated Press

SEATTLE — The NHL on Tuesday made the Emerald City home for its 32nd franchise when Seattle’s expansion bid was approved by the league’s Board of Governors. The move gives Seattle the major winter sports franchise it currently lacks and puts hockey in a market where the NHL believes it will thrive. A rundown of things to know about the decision:

WHY SEATTLE?

Seattle is the biggest U.S. market that doesn’t have either an NBA or NHL team. Its economy has boomed in the past decade since the departure of the NBA’s SuperSonics to Oklahoma City in 2008. It’s a city with disposable income and the itch to spend it on a new team. A season-ticket drive last spring had to be cut off at more than 30,000 deposits.

WHERE WILL THE TEAM PLAY?

The arena at Seattle Center is undergoing a $700 million privately financed renovation. The building started out as the Seattle Center Coliseum for the 1962 World’s Fair and has been the home for the NBA, minor-league hockey and thousands of concerts and events. Its roof was given historic landmark designation, adding a complication to the construction, but it will essentially be an entirely new building built underneath the roof. The arena will hold 17,400 for hockey and is being designed with the idea of having the NBA return someday.

WHEN DOES THE PUCK DROP?

The 2021-22 season. Seattle would have loved to have its team take the ice for the 2020-21 season, but arena renovations may not be done in time. Preliminary work has been underway on the arena since an agreement between Oak View Group and the city of Seattle was finalized in late September, but the heavy work can now get started. The construction requires a significant amount of digging to create the space needed for a modern building under that roof.

Labor uncertainty also hovers over all things NHL because owners or players can vote in September 2019 to opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement one year later — right before the beginning of the 2020 season.

NAME? COLORS? LOGO?

Good luck getting any info from the ownership group about a potential name. They have given no hints while the public has taken to online suggestions that include everything from the Metropolitans, Totems and Breakers (tributes to Seattle’s hockey history) to the Pilots, Steelheads, Sockeyes and even the Kraken. The expectation is that the franchise name will be announced sometime in the first half of 2019. As for colors, it’s anyone’s guess. Seattle franchises almost all have a shade of green included, so don’t be surprised if that’s part of the scheme.

SWEET 16?

The addition of Seattle will give the NHL’s Western Conference a 16th team to mirror the East. The Central Division has seven teams and the Pacific Division eight. Seattle will be placed in the same division with Vancouver, the closest team by geography. Arizona will be moved out of the Pacific and into Central starting with the 2021 season.

VEGAS, PART TWO?

NHL general managers will be a little more leery about the players made available in the expansion draft after watching Vegas go all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in its first year last season. Seattle may not have the same immediate success as the Golden Knights, but with the management team in place — coach and GM still pending — don’t be surprised if Seattle is successful early in its NHL lifetime.

Talk to us

More in Sports

‘Let Russ Cook?’ Seahawks QB would be fine with that

Like many fans, Russell Wilson would love it if Seattle opened up its offense more early in games.

Moore turning into ‘absolute stud’ for Mariners

The utilityman is off to a hot start after adjusting his approach and adding muscle in the offseason.

Pac-12 leaders cancel fall sports, including football

The league shuts down all athletic competitions until at least Jan. 1 due to the ongoing pandemic.

Community sports roundup: Perkins wins ARCA race in Monroe

Plus, Miranda Granger’s fight is called off, a local track athlete is headed to EWU and more.

Carroll thrilled to see Adams in Seahawks uniform

The newly acquired safety hit the field for the first time with his teammates Wednesday.

Emerald Sound Conference opts to start play during Season 2

The 14-team league will make its debut in Season 2 with basketball and wrestling.

Silvertips’ season delayed further due to pandemic

The WHL announced Thursday that the target start date for the 2020-21 season is now. Dec. 4.

Storm rout Dream for 6th straight win

Jewell Loyd and Sami Whitcomb star as streaking Seattle rolls to a 100-63 victory.

Mariners melt down late in loss to Rangers

Seattle’s bullpen blows a two-run lead in the eighth inning and the M’s lose to Texas 7-4.

Most Read