The NHL is on its way to 32 teams.

While Seattle obtaining a hockey team likely is a few years away, the proposition moved in a positive direction Tuesday night, according to the Associated Press.

Per the AP, commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters “the board of governors’ executive committee recommended proceeding with Seattle’s expansion application, with an eye on voting on the league’s 32nd franchise in December.”

“The notion is have the board vote on expansion,” Bettman said. “And assuming, as I think everybody is, that it would be approved — I don’t want to be presumptuous of the board’s prerogative — but everything seems to be on track.”

Should the December vote pass, Bettman and Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan agree the goal is for the 2020-21 season to be the inaugural for the Seattle franchise.

“I’m very confident we’re going to be able to move forward and get what we need from the NHL and the team and stick to the schedule so we have hockey in 2020,” Durkan said, via the AP. “They know we want it in 2020, and (the league would) like to have it in 2020, too, if we get the team.”

The excitement for hockey in Seattle certainly is high. The city sold 10,000 season ticket deposits in 12 minutes in March, a number that has grown to 32,000.

If all goes according to plan, the people of Seattle won’t have to wait long for hockey to debut in the Emerald City.

Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images