The NHL officially is headed to Seattle.
On Tuesday, the league’s board of governors unanimously voted to approve Seattle as the 32nd NHL franchise. The still-unnamed team will begin play in the 2021-22 season, while construction on their future home, the Seattle Center Arena, will begin Wednesday.
“Today is an exciting and historic day for our League as we expand to one of North America’s most innovative, beautiful and fastest-growing cities,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said during a press conference. “We are delighted to add David Bonderman, Tod Leiweke and the entire NHL Seattle group to the National Hockey League family.
“And we are thrilled that Seattle, a city with a proud hockey history that includes being the home for the first American team ever to win the Stanley Cup, is finally joining the NHL.”
The NHL also announced divisional realignment, which will go into effect once Seattle begins play.
Here’s how the divisions will look in 2021:
Of course, everyone wants to know what the team’s name will be. Washington governor Jay Inslee might have accidentally revealed the name in March, but speculation has persisted.
And while it might be a while before Seattle officially reveals anything, momentum seems to be building toward this name, according to ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski:
The Seattle Metropolitans? So, we’d have the Seattle Metropolitans and the New York Metropolitans?
Now, the “Seattle Metropolitans” hardly is a lock. In fact, the name isn’t even featured in Bovada’s early odds for what the team name will be.
Honestly, we prefer the Seattle Grunge, Seattle Sequoias, or the Seattle Drizzle.
At the end of the day, it’s hard to get jazzed up about something that’s still a few years away. Nevertheless, the idea of a Pacific Northwest hockey rivalry between Seattle and Vancouver is pretty cool.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images