The NHL Board of Governors have still not officially voted to allow expansion to the city of Seattle, but as Pierre LeBrun notes on TSN’s latest Insider Trading segment, they’ve already worked out a realignment plan. A proposal has already been “vetted and adopted” by the board’s Executive Committee, the small selection of owners that first decides if things are even brought before the whole group. The realignment plan is now just waiting to see if Seattle will in fact be brought in as the league’s 32nd team, a vote that is expected to take place in early December.
Though he can’t guarantee it, LeBrun—and his fellow panelists Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie apparently—feels as though the realignment would consist of the Arizona Coyotes moving to the Central Division, with Seattle taking their place in the Pacific Division. That’s the most obvious option, given the Central currently consists of just seven teams and putting a team from Seattle there doesn’t make much sense. The league also wouldn’t want to break up the rivalry of Calgary/Edmonton, or move the Vegas Golden Knights so soon after establishing them in the division.
If Seattle does end up in the Pacific, there’s a natural rivalry ready to take off with the city of Vancouver.