While many expect that Seattle will eventually be awarded an expansion franchise, an important date in the process has now been set. Tod Leiweke, the president and CEO of the potential team, told 950 KJR (audio link) that his group will be meeting with the executive committee of the Board of Governors in early October (likely the 2nd) and assuming all goes well, they will then be granted an audience to the full membership after that. The prospective franchise has already been told what their fee to enter the league would be ($650MM) while their season ticket drive received over 25,000 deposits in less than a half an hour when the process opened up back in March. With that in mind, it’s hard to imagine that they won’t eventually be awarded a team unless something goes seriously awry in this meeting.
Other notes from around the hockey world:
- Winger Joel Ward finds himself without a contract but despite the fact he’s unsigned just a couple of weeks before training camp, he hasn’t given any thought to going overseas, reports John Matisz of The Score. The 37-year-old is only a couple of years removed from a 43-point last season but he struggled in 2017-18, notching just a dozen points in 52 games while spending time as a healthy scratch. If he wants to be at training camp, he will likely have to settle for a PTO at this point.
- Veteran defenseman Zbynek Michalek has not yet decided if he will play this upcoming season or retire, notes Arizona Sports’ Craig Morgan. The 35-year-old has been taking part in informal skates in Arizona but if he does decide to play in 2018-19, it wouldn’t be with the Coyotes. He spent last season with Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga and could look to return there. If Michalek does retire, he’ll finish up with 784 career NHL games under his belt, including 612 with the Coyotes.