A Seattle ownership group has been authorized to file an application for an NHL expansion team, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday from Manalapan, Fla., where the league's board of governors are meeting.
Bettman went on to say that Seattle is the only city now being considered for expansion. Bettman also said that Seattle is the only place being considered for an expansion team at this time.
There's no guarantee that Seattle will land a professional hockey team, but it's now up to sports fans in the rapidly growing city to demonstrate that they'd be willing to support a team - beyond the Seahawks or the Mariners - with their season-ticket dollars.
The process will likely be similar to the Vegas Golden Knights expansion.
The announcement comes the same week the City Council approved and Mayor Jenny Durkan signed a $600 million agreement with the Los Angeles-based Oak View Group to renovate KeyArena.
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When the sale is finalized and the league has approved the deal, Dundon would take control of all team operations.
Seattle lost the NBA SuperSonics to Oklahoma City following the 2007-08 season.
The Eastern Conference has one more team than the Western Conference. The move marks the latest step toward the end of Karmanos lengthy attempt to sell the team he moved from Hartford, Conn., to North Carolina two decades ago.
Although Seattle has never had an NHL team, the Seattle Metropolitans, who played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1915-24, won the Stanley Cup in 1917, defeating the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in a best-of-5 series, the NHL said.