Though it took a little longer than expected, the Oak View Group based out of Seattle has officially filed its application for NHL expansion and given a $10MM down payment according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.
The group plans on having construction completed on their KeyArena renovation project in time to have NHL hockey start in the fall of 2020, meaning the league would need to hold another expansion draft that summer. Seattle hasn’t started on a season ticket drive yet, but has the full support of mayor Jenny Durkan as she attempts to bring both NHL and NBA franchises to the city.
An expansion team in Seattle would represent the 32nd franchise in the NHL, and would likely cause some additional division re-alignment. Currently, the Central is the only division with seven teams, and Seattle doesn’t make much sense there. Though it’s not for some time, teams will begin to prepare their rosters for an eventual expansion draft as they did for the Vegas go-round. Ultimately it didn’t matter much, as the Golden Knights have been one of the league’s best teams right from the start. Seattle will try to emulate their success, though it will certainly be a difficult task.