Blog Entry

Daly: Group interested in having NHL in Seattle

Posted on: May 26, 2011 1:10 am
Edited on: May 26, 2011 8:26 pm

Looks like there's another city trying to get its hands on an NHL franchise.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told a Seattle television station there is a group from the area that has contacted the league about getting a team in town.

“We’ve had discussions with a group in Seattle,” Daly said. “Certainly [there are] people who are interested in having NHL hockey in Seattle. I would rather not get into specifics to be fair to that group, or the process.”

Right now there are two organizations seeking new ownership. One appears to be spoken for already -- Atlanta, by a group from Winnipeg -- but the Coyotes are still on the market. They won't be vacating Arizona yet as the city of Glendale agreed to cover much of the operating costs to keep the team in place for another season while the ownership search continues.

Of course, as Daly admits, the biggest hurdle of all for a team in Seattle is the lack of a suitable arena. That fact is what led to the NBA's Supersonics moving to Oklahoma City. Key Arena, long the home for the Sonics, isn't suitable for enough seats for the NHL. It had a long-time tenant in the Western Hockey League's Seattle Thunderbirds -- who have a great logo, in my humble opinion -- but there are only 10,000 or so unobstructed views. Plus, the place is old, by arena standards.

For this reason alone, relocation to the Puget Sound area isn't feasible at the moment. To do so, the fight for a new arena in Seattle or the surrounding area -- neighboring city Bellevue has been thrown out as an option -- would have to resume. It did not go very well for Sonics ownership last time, finding the state unwilling to commit much in the way of public funds. There is also a group interested in bringing the NBA back to town, so possibly the two groups, assuming they aren't the same, could join together and try to secure a new building.

The other cities that have long been mentioned in grabbing NHL teams are Hamilton, Ontario (Jim Balsillie), Quebec City, whose fans have been seen at Islanders games in old Nordiques jerseys, and Kansas City, which has a brand new arena without a main tenant.

The NHL seems like it would be a good fit in the Seattle metro area -- the 13th largest television market in the United States. There would instantly be a natural rivalry with the Canucks as Vancouver is about two hours up I-5. It is a cold-weather city that has long shown support to minor league teams not only in Seattle, but in nearby Tacoma and Everett, too. Plus it's a sports market that has shown well, with the city's support of the MLS Sounders as Exhibit A.

The city has long had ties to hockey but has never made its way into the NHL. For an explanation of the history of hockey in Seattle and why the biggest league has never made it to town, take a read here.

Little known fact: Did you know the first team from the USA to win the Stanley Cup was the Seattle Metropolitans in 1917?

-- Brian Stubits

Category: NHL

Since: Jun 17, 2009
Posted on: May 31, 2011 8:58 pm

Daly: Group interested in having NHL in Seattle

If anything the should go back to beng the Seattle Totems
Yeah, because that makes sense naming all of our teams after a race of people who couldn't care less about sports.  Who identifies with Totems?
And I agree that the Thunderbirds' colors are great... but like I said before, they are the exact same as the Canucks.  Speaking of, we should just all put on our blue and greens and have a pow-wow in the closest long house. 
Might as well be the Seattle "humptulips".   BEST native name ever.  It means hard to pole.

Since: May 31, 2011
Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:22 am

Daly: Group interested in having NHL in Seattle

Hamilton and Quebec will be far ahead of Seattle as Seattle doesen't have a rink yet.When Phoenix fails the team will move to Hamilton and Toronto will get paid its territory slab of meat from Hamilton.Cool

Since: Jul 22, 2007
Posted on: May 30, 2011 10:56 pm

Daly: Group interested in having NHL in Seattle

If anything the should go back to beng the Seattle Totems.
None of this Sasquatcxh stuff with Brown & green either that's just too dumb and cartoony like the Mighty Ducks - *Vomit*
It should be reflective of the Northwest without the hokiness one may associate with this area.
I wouldn't mind using similar colors to what the 'Birds use, fantastic color scheme just don't use that gray blue the Seahawks have invading their jerseys these days.

Since: Apr 11, 2011
Posted on: May 29, 2011 7:01 pm

Daly: Group interested in having NHL in Seattle

So it looks as if the Senators are close to being in Seattle, Melnyk make the smart decision. Seattle Senators.

Since: Jun 17, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2011 6:12 pm

Daly: Group interested in having NHL in Seattle

We want a team in Seattle. Not Bellevue. Not Portland.   Portland is full of hippies. I don't see hockey being very successful there.   As for the logo, the Thunderbirds logo shares the same colors as the Canucks... and winged logos are played out.    It should be the Seattle Sasquatch. Colors Brown and Green.
I just re-watched Harry and the Hendersons.  There is so much old Seattle sports memorabilia in that movie, I love it!

Since: Jul 22, 2007
Posted on: May 28, 2011 6:12 pm

Daly: Group interested in having NHL in Seattle

You would be surprised, there are some on here who have posted in the past that the city and the people of Seattle didn't fight for the Sonics or didn't wnat them anymore.
I know it's obvious, I lived it, you know it's obvious and most logical, clear thinking fans know it but there are those who are under the delusion that somehow this city no longer wanted their NBA team.
Howard Schultz wanted a new arena so he could make more money, add in that he was getting calls from his limited partners on cash calls and wanting out for whatever reason they did.
So, instead of finding new limited partners and because he was angry the city wouldn't give him a new arena he decided to spite the city selling to a man he KNEW had no intention of keeping the team here.
He'll tell you that in the ownership agreement it stipulated that "every reasonable effort needs to be made to keep the team in Seattle" which was a bunch of bunk because one person't "reasonable effort" is not the same for another, it's very subjective and left open for interpretation and done so deliberately!
Mind you the taxpayers were 3 years away from paying off Safeco Field and we're still paying for Qwest Field it just didn't make financial sense to take on a THIRD stadium for the tax payers not to mention the fact that the vote for Qwest Field was rejected but they still went ahead with the project anyhow so you can see how it was just a bad environment/time to demand a new stadium especially one that had been renovated in 1995 making it basically 16 years old today!
Sure it could use some sprucing up here and there and it could have been done in increments just like the Red Sox do every year and some of those improvements could have been money makers with sponsorships attached to them, one example would be to build a food pavilion on the southeast corner of the stadium that just out into Seattle center, put a high end sports bar in there, team shop, food choices and call the pavilion "The Boeing Hangar at Key Arena" - Boeing being the big sponsor and with the team being the Supersonics it just makes sense!
Schultz could've done it but he got pissy (pardon the language) and threw a temper tantrum when he didn't get his way, said "Screw the fans & the city, i'm outta here oh and I'm going to sell the team to a duplicitous thief while i'm at it".

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2011 5:36 pm

Daly: Group interested in having NHL in Seattle

If you're going 200 miles an hour, Vancouver is about 40 minutes from Seattle.

Since: Jul 5, 2010
Posted on: May 28, 2011 3:59 pm

Daly: Group interested in having NHL in Seattle

Seattle 2 hours from Vancouver on the I-5? 

Thats true if ur going 200 mph, and another thing Brian the rivalry wouldnt be instant as we would crush them for the first 3-4 5 years of their existence.  

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2011 1:45 pm

Daly: Group interested in having NHL in Seattle

I have news for you, and this is coming from a Bostonian living in Seattle who worked on the morning show on the only sports station in Seattle at the time, Clay Bennett had NO intention of keeping the Sonics here at all.
The man tried to get the Spurs moved from San Antonio to Oklahoma City when he was a minority owner in the Spurs.
He was out to find a team he could bring to OKC plain and simple and the city/state could've given him the equivelent of the Staples Center free of charge and there was NO way he would've accepted because his plan from the get go was to move the team.
Sure Key Arena could've sued some cleaning up and the suites could've been made a little bigger or furnished better but really that building is perfectly viable as an NBA arena.
The whole "we need a new arena" line was garbage! They (The team owners) could've found other sources of income, you'd figure these guys who are such great businessmen must have some sharp people working for them who could find new revenue streams right? How about getting creative? How about doing what the Red Sox have done with Fenway each year they add some new seating are or impropvement to the ballpark which will soon celebrate it's 100th biorthday I might add!
But NO, Bennett threw the whole "New arena" thing out there knowing he wouldn't get it oh and i've seen that arena in OKC it's what you would expect, a dressed up CBA arena, newer and cleaner than Key Arena but nowhere as nice nor does it have the amenities in the neighborhood that Key Arena offers.
In other news, Homer Simpson likes beer. How anyone still needs it explained that Clay Bennett stole the Sonics is beyond me.

Since: Nov 7, 2010
Posted on: May 27, 2011 8:46 pm

Daly: Group interested in having NHL in Seattle

the Nhl has been tring for years to improve viewer ratings in  America however its not going to work with expansion....a dilluted talent pool for a team to struggle for years to then gain success will not work in new markets....that only leaves relocation and with some US teams struggling with attendance and a loyal fan base it only seems reasonable that those who can not maintain a franchise be moved. The NHL should look at new markets not ones that have failed in the past. can winnipeg have a good team and sell out every night? maybe for 2-3 seasons, then what? will quebec go nuts for a habs/nordiques match? you bet. but if the quebec city team is not successfull then what. Kansas city had a franchise once..didnt work well and i presume it will not again.. so try Hamilton and Seatle, cant do any worse that pheonix or atlanta.

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