NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the Seattle NHL expansion presentation (all times local):
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says the Board of Governors’ executive committee has recommended moving forward with plans to add a team in Seattle. The final vote on whether to approve the franchise could come in December.
Bettman says there is still more information to be gathered before the board next meets Dec. 3-4. At that point, there could be more clarity on whether the team would begin play in 2020 or 2021, though that decision could be made later.
The nine-owner executive committee heard from Seattle stakeholders at a meeting earlier Tuesday. Barring an unforeseen obstacle, which would most likely come from work on the downtown arena, Bettman expects the board to be ready to vote in two months.
The NHL’s full Board of Governors is meeting with the possibility that the executive committee makes a recommendation on whether to add a team in Seattle.
The 10-owner committee heard from the Seattle Hockey Partners and Mayor Jenny Durkan and was expected to provide at least an update on the proceedings. The committee must first recommend its findings to the entire board before a vote can happen about whether to award a franchise.
That vote could happen at the board’s next meeting, Dec. 3-4. Durkan says the target for a potential NHL expansion team to begin play is still the 2020-21 season.
Mayor Jenny Durkan says the target for a potential NHL expansion team in Seattle to begin play is still the 2020-21 season.
Durkan and representatives from the Seattle Hockey Partners presented their case to the Board of Governors’ executive committee Tuesday. President and CEO Tod Leiweke and majority owner David Bonderman stressed the time line wasn’t important, but the city would still like a 2020 start.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly last month began mentioned 2021 as a potential start date if the board approves a Seattle franchise. A possible impediment to a 2020 start is that the owners or players could vote in September 2019 to terminate the current collective bargaining agreement. If a new deal isn’t reached, it would expire Sept. 15, 2020.
The prospective owners of a Seattle expansion team say they expect to hear from the NHL later Tuesday about whether the Board of Governors will vote on awarding the franchise at its meeting in December.
President and CEO Tod Leiweke, majority owner David Bonderman, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and other executives were part of the group that made a presentation to the Board of Governors’ executive committee. The meeting that lasted more than two hours. Leiweke says Durkan did a phenomenal job selling the city.
Leiweke did not provide any details on whether the team, if approved, would be able to begin play in 2020 or 2021 because that was not a central topic in the meeting.
The final sales pitch for an NHL expansion team in Seattle is on.
Members of Seattle’s potential ownership group and Mayor Jenny Durkan are presenting their case to the Board of Governors’ executive committee at the league office. If the executive committee moves the process forward, the board could vote as soon as December to award the NHL’s 32nd franchise to Seattle.
Durkan says she wants to show, “Seattle’s a place you want to have hockey, and if you have hockey in Seattle, everybody’s going to do better.” Maple Leafs chairman Larry Tanenbaum says he feels good about the group the Seattle Hockey Partners put together and he’s looking forward to hearing what they have to say.
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