The National Hockey League otherwise referred to as the NHL has undergone tones of expansion and other organizational changes since its inception spanning over 100 years. It is made of 31 teams currently: twenty-four from the United States and seven from Canada. The league is currently in the middle of plans for a two-team expansion which has seen the addition of Vegas Golden Knights in 2017 and now the just announced the city of Seattle as the latest NHL team which will debut and begin play in 2021 season.
The NHL Board of Governors accepted the application of the Seattle franchise to determine if there should be an addition to the current 31 teams during the 2015 offseason. Two application was submitted by two prospective teams in Quebec City and Las Vegas. The geographic distribution was not put in place during the consideration for expansion. On June 22, 2016, the NHL approved an expansion which saw Vegas Golden Knights starting the 2017-2018 season. In December 2017, the league’s board of directors opened yet another window to allow an ownership group from the city of Seattle to place a bid to join the league.
The bid from Seattle city was approved by the NHL on the 4th of December, 2018 with an approval to start to play in 2021. The league will receive an expansion fee of $650 million, which will be split among every other team, except the Vegas Golden Knights. The Golden Knights paid an expansion fee of $500 million in 2016.
Commissioner Gary Bettman said after the vote that the new franchise had the “three pillars” for success in the league: “Terrific and committed ownership, a thriving market and a state of the art venue.”
Seattle adds another team to the Western Conference, which will now have the same number of clubs — 16 — as the Eastern Conference. Seattle’s team also will have an instant rivalry with the Vancouver Canucks, who play about three hours by car to the north. To make room for Seattle, the Arizona Coyotes will move from the Pacific Division to the Central Division.
HISTORY OF SEATTLE NHL TEAM
The city of Seattle had a professional ice hockey team referred to as the Seattle Metropolitans, founded by Frank and Lester Patrick. The team is based in Seattle, Washington and they played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association between 1915 – 1924 and they won the Stanley Cup in the year 1917 by becoming the first American team to win the trophy, the Metropolitans beat the Montreal Canadiens in a best-of-five series. The Seattle Metropolitan has their home arena at the Seattle Ice Arena. The Metropolitans again played for the Cup in 1919 and 1920 before folding in 1924.
The Patrick’s offered players from the Toronto Blueshirts of the National Hockey Association a lucrative salary as a means to stock up the new team and this made the Seattle team a very competitive squad. The name Seattle Metropolitans was derived from the Metropolitan Building Company who owned the land and built the Arena where the team plays all their home games.
Seattle was awarded an NHL franchise in 1974, but the offer was rescinded because the ownership group ran into financial troubles. Another bid fell through in 1990.
SEATTLE’S FUTURE NHL NAME POSSIBILITIES
The city of Seattle is passionate about an NHL expansion. The unavoidable union between the Pacific Northwest’s biggest active metropolis and the league is the worst kept secret in the history of NHL especially now. So as we await the announcement of the Seattle team’s nickname, the question is what name should it be called?
Nicknames to consider for the Seattle hockey team
Paying Homage to one of the tallest mountains in the history of the United States is a solid concept. Mount Rainer is one of the most important parts of the Seattle cityscape. It all sounds good except the fact that the NHL already has on its logo a franchise that incorporates mountainous snowcaps.
The totems are referred to as the second golden era in the history of Seattle Hockey Culture. They dominated the first iteration of the hockey league and won three championships from 1956 – 1968. Adopting a winning legacy like this is not a bad idea coupled with their cool logo that honors the Native American Heritage in the Pacific Northwest. It will be such a lovely name.
It’s a little longer, it’s not quite as sexy and it might take some getting used to thanks to an entire division being named the Metropolitan. It just seems to work, though, not only as another reference to the city but in the way it rolls off the tongue. Call them the Metros for short.
The Kraken is known for its awesome logo feature which is a home sweater with emerald green and an ink-black color scheme. The crest has a giant squid that engulfs 15th-century sails and ships. The shout of “Release the Kraken” will be such a great intro in the history of NHL.
The name is from the region’s vast swaths of foliage which has grown over the years from the rain. Seattle is green, Green is Seattle. The name Emerald is referred to as a special jewel which symbolizes healing and rebirthing.
Other nicknames to considered:
- Seattle Steelheads
- Seattle Cougars
- Seattle Evergreens
- Seattle Whales
- Seattle Sockeyes
- Seattle Eagles
- Seattle Sea Lions
- Seattle Seals
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