National Hockey League expected to vote ‘yes’ on Seattle expansion for 2021-22 season

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The city of Seattle has been awarded an NHL expansion team, the league announced Tuesday.

Seattle Hockey Partners will pay NHL owners $650 million to join. It said the expansion fee will be apportioned equally to the rest of the league's teams except Las Vegas, which joined the NHL in the 2017-18 season.

Clayton Keller will have to wait two more seasons to make a firm assessment, but the Arizona Coyotes center said Tuesday he's looking forward to the Coyotes moving to the Central Division in 2021-22, when the Seattle expansion team plays its first season in the National Hockey League. The other 30 teams will only be able to protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and a goalie, or eight total skaters, regardless of position, plus one goalie.

More than 25,000 season-ticket deposits were made in March during a season-ticket drive in Seattle, which last had a winter sports franchise in 2008 when the NBA's SuperSonics left for Oklahoma City.

Club President and CEO Ahron Cohen made a statement, published to the team's official Twitter account, suggesting that the team is willing to work alongside the league to accommodate Seattle's entry into the league and ensure that the Coyotes' move into the Central is done so smoothly.

The Seattle Metropolitans of the PCHA and your 1917 Stanley Cup Champions
The Seattle Metropolitans of the PCHA and your 1917 Stanley Cup Champions

Dylan has been an Associate Editor of DailyFaceoff since 2018 and a co-host of the DFO Podcast since 2015.

The Arizona Coyotes are believed to be moving to the Central Division. The Golden Knights reached the Stanley Cup Finals in their first season.

What are we calling this thing?

He says he got a little emotional when league Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the NHL had approved Seattle as the 32nd franchise, even though the move seemed to be a foregone conclusion.

"And what's the name of the team?" As for colors, Leiweke indicated that the usual Seattle scheme of blue and green is likely out of the question because it's what the Canucks use, and speculation is that black and red could factor in prominently considering how much it has been used already by the NHL Seattle group. "Our game is more exciting, entertaining and competitive than ever, and the pool of talented players is deeper and wider than ever".

WATCH BELOW: Seattle Hockey Partners video on KeyArena renovations.

While there are always a few visiting fans in the stands at Rogers Arena, those in the tourism industry are hoping to see larger groups travel to Vancouver once the Seattle team gets going in 2021. The main rink will have seats for 1,000 fans, while the other two will seat 400. In his current role, he's been helping the team with hockey decisions like dressing room design and the construction of a new practice facility.

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