It's now official. Seattle, Washington is going to become the newest city with an NHL franchise.
In the 2021-22 season the city will ice the 32nd team in the league. This three-year gap will give the city the time to complete renovations to its arena, build its practice facility, and make sure that they really hit the ground running. They also still need to name the team (more on that later).
The move to Seattle has long been expected. Though the city has major league baseball (Mariners), football (Seahawks), and soccer (Sounders) teams, it doesn't have a basketball team (the NBA's Seattle SuperSonics became the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008)—this means that they have a whole city of eager sports fans without a winter pro sports team to cheer for.
That passion for hockey became obvious this March, when the owners behind the Seattle bid held a season ticket drive to see how much support there was for a possible NHL team. This was the response...
That’s how long it took to hit our goal of 10,000 deposits.
We’re now at 25,000 and counting.
Thank you, Seattle.#NHLSeattle
— NHL Seattle (@NHLSeattle_) March 1, 2018
How could the NHL possibly ignore Seattle after that?
It's in their blood
After the Vegas Golden Knights made one of the most improbable debuts in the history pro sports—going to the Stanley Cup Final in their first season last year—expectations are high for this Seattle franchise. After all, they'll have the same kind of expansion draft that Vegas did, which means they should have a very good squad. But they're actually already one step ahead of the Golden Knights. How?
Seattle has already won the Stanley Cup.
We know, we know ... how? HOW?!?! Well, as it turns out, the first American team to ever win the Stanley Cup was the Seattle Metropolitans, who defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3 games to 1 in, wait for it ... 1917! The next year, the NHL was formed, only without Seattle (they played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association until 1924, when the team folded).
All of which means that the city of Seattle is already one up on the teams in Buffalo, Nashville, Florida, Arizona, St. Louis, Vancouver, San Jose, Winnipeg, Columbus, Minnesota, and, yes, Vegas. Sounds like a perfect place for a hockey team, right?
The Seattle ...????
Of course, one of the first things that fans want to know about any new sports team is what are they going to be called? The owners of the new team aren't rushing to announce that just yet. But news did leak about a bunch of possible candidates. Want to see them? Okay, they include...
Cougars, Eagles, Emeralds, Evergreens, Firebirds, Kraken, Rainiers,
Renegades, Sea Lions, Seals, Sockeyes, Totems, Whales
That a pretty good mix of local wildlife, alliteration, city nicknames (Seattle is known as The Emerald City), and, well, the just plain silly (we're looking at you, Seattle Kraken). Of course, it doesn't need to be any of those names. They could go back to the old Metropolitans name, for example.
What would call Seattle's NHL team? Are you excited to see a new team in the league?