The Newest Expansion Team That Would Make The NHL Better

Seattle might be getting a new pro team and why this is a positive for both Seattle and the NHL

Lonzo
December 12, 2017 - 12:18 pm

Winter is in the air and that means that hockey is getting into the forefront of sports. So what could I possibly talk about in this edition of Icing? Could I talk about how Crosby is still better than Ovechkin, or maybe if the Golden Knights are a real deal in the Western Conference? Those I will address in future editions, but for now, I want to focus on a brand new expansion team.

Now I know we just got an expansion team this year in the Las Vegas Golden Knights, but NHL is already in talks for another expansion team. This would take the teams in the NHL from 31 to 32 and potentially get an even bigger shake-up into the league. Now I know you must be thinking about where would they put another NHL team. Sorry to all the people that want the Atlanta Thrashers back, but you are going to have to continue to wait for that to ever become a possibility again. The real place that the NHL is interested in is Seattle, Washington. For me, not only a hockey fan but an overall sports fan, this location makes complete sense for the NHL to expand into.

The first thing that you have to think of when having an expansion team is that you need the backers to do so and that you need to have an arena in mind for the NHL to see what is there to offer. Well, we may have gotten both of those things answered for us recently. It has been reported for months that David Bonderman and Jerry Bruckheimer were going to take ownership of the possible expansion team. Only time will tell if this report is accurate or not, but for right now this is the information that we are receiving. 

The only other question is going to be the arena, and a lot of sports fans are going to be happy with where they going to be potentially playing at. Seattle expansion team will play at the Key Arena, the former home of the Seattle Supersonics, currently known as the Oklahoma City Thunder. Not only that, but the Seattle City Council approved of a $600 million renovation of the Key Arena 7-1 in hopes of drawing the NHL in. This could be the thing that gets the NHL in the door to talk seriously about doing another expansion.

Now that we got the technicalities out of the way, let us talk about why this is a good thing for everyone involved. First, the location of a Seattle team automatically puts them into the Western Conference side of the NHL. With the addition of the Golden Knights earlier this year, it moved the total to 15 teams in the Western Conference. With the addition of a Seattle team, it will be 16 teams in the Western Conference and 16 teams in the Eastern Conference for a completely even league. 

Also, a new expansion team would give us another great year of hockey. Think about it, when was the last time that the NHL has felt that this could be anyone's year to win the cup. Look at the Metropolitan Division, from the first place team to the last place, there is a 9 point difference between them as of writing this. Also, the Blackhawks are 10 points back of their Division leader, which is surprising because they were talked about as Stanley Cup favorites. Now I am not going to sit here and say that another expansion draft is going to make everything as close as it is now, but having another team in the mix will defiantly shake somethings up.

One last point and this is kind of a personal point, but how cool would it be if we had a winter classic in Seattle at CenturyLink Field. That gives me a smile just thinking about it, because we have set attendance records for a hockey game before during the Winter Classic, but to have Seattle set the record for loudest crowd at a Winter Classic would be one of those things I can only dream of. Think about New Years Day, Seattle and Vegas playing against each other in a Winter Classic to see which is the better of the two expansion teams. Sign me up right now for that. 

Now is the NHL going to do this, I believe so but it won't be until 2020 at the earliest that this happens. There were rumors that the NHL wanted the current expansion team in Seattle over Vegas, however, Vegas had the funds for a new stadium before Seattle. So now that the stadium renovation is set in place can we please get the Seattle Sonics, this is my name for the team not an actual team name for them, into the NHL and have an even league for all. Hockey is a sport that is growing in popularity and a new team into the Northwest market of things is the next and best step the NHL should take. 

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