"The league has never been healthier", said Commissioner Gary Bettman.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says the franchise fee for the 32nd club has been set at $650 million United States, up significantly from the $500 million U.S. the Vegas Golden Knights paid to join the league this season. "We've agreed as a league to take and consider an expansion application and to let them run - at some point in the next few months - a season-ticket drive".
The City of Seattle, which earlier this week agreed to let the Tim Leiweke-led Oak View Group inject $660 million into renovations at KeyArena to bring up to National Hockey League and NBA standards, must wait until 2020 for the conclusion of construction.
Bettman said the process of setting up a team in Seattle would be similar to what happened for Las Vegas, according to K5.
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Before that process, the league opened an expansion-application process for any interested parties and received offers from groups for Las Vegas and Quebec City. "I think the geographic rivalry with Vancouver as potential will be nice. If, if, if Seattle submits an expansion application and is approved by the board, then you have your other team in the West and you've solved your balance issue". That news came on the heels of the announcement that Texas businessman Tom Dundon had signed an agreement to purchase a majority stake in the Carolina Hurricanes. "If I wanted to be positive, I'd say one of the things we kept harping on is that we need another team in the West before we consider expanding in the East".
"Obviously, there a lot of differences between Seattle and Quebec City, not the least of which is our conference alignment", Bettman said.
The league also has been eyeing Seattle as a solution to address the 16-to-15 team imbalance between its Eastern and Western conferences. Arizona, the home of the Coyotes, is not considered to be a candidate for relocation the commissioner says, citing the fact that the city is still working on an arena plan. "The rumours that it might be moving somewhere else are absolutely incorrect, made-up fabrications". There was some speculation earlier in the year that the Senators might be up for sale.
"It was very important, but it was never a real consideration", said the 74-year-old.