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NHL to Seattle

Discussion in 'Ice Hockey' started by Yoshou, Feb 16, 2012.

Moderators: crazypete13
  1. Yoshou

    Yoshou Moderator Staff Member

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    It sounds like Seattle is on the verge if building a new arena that could be used by a NBA and NHL teams. The arena is primarily being built for the NBA team, but according to the politicians, the public financing portion doesn't work unless there is a NHL franchise as well. Since the Sounders moved up to MLS I haven't been following NHL, so I figured I'd check with you to see what the likelihood of Seattle getting a franchise is.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017525119_arena17m.html

    I'm pretty sure expansion isn't an option, so I'll ask about moving a franchise. I know the Coyotes are in a fluid situation down in Phoenix, but I also know that the NHL has resisted moving them in the past. Are they more open to it now? Are there any other NHL franchises in a situation where they could be moved to Seattle?
     


  2. ottawasportsfan

    ottawasportsfan Member

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    As for Phoenix the league may have no choice but to let them move as for other teams the Islanders could very well move Columbus/Florida could move if things don't get better soon.
     
  3. crazypete13

    crazypete13 Moderator Staff Member

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    Phoenix to Seattle makes some sense actually, assuming the Coyotes give up the ghost in Phoenix, and the NHL goes for some sort of transition plan with the Metropolitans* playing out of the old Sonics arena until the new one gets built.

    Considering there are several teams that are likely to move, as OSF mentions, this story could have legs.

    *Seattle Metropolitans were Stanley cup champs in 1917, and competed in the old PCHA, though I doubt that name would be used for the new franchise.
     
  4. Yoshou

    Yoshou Moderator Staff Member

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    With the Metropolitans being defunct for almost 90 years, there seems to be more interest in the team being named the Totems than the Metropolitans. But that's just fan interest. Who knows if the new owners would go with either one of those options.
     


  5. Nacional Tijuana

    Nacional Tijuana BigSoccer Supporter

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    "Totems HC"? :D

    But really, Metropolitans is fine, but as a non-Seattleite, I ask you, how was that name truncated? Mets or Metros?

    I wish there were a way to transfer the Thunderbirds branding to the upcoming NHL team.
     
  6. Yoshou

    Yoshou Moderator Staff Member

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    They were the Mets.

    Thunderbirds would be pretty cool, but it would probably create brand confusion with the jr. hockey team and might require them to either rebrand or go out of business. I don't think either are desirable situations.
     
    Nacional Tijuana repped this.
  7. MasterShake29

    MasterShake29 Member+

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    The Islanders are getting a brand new building built on Long Island that the owner would be happy to let them play in. They have no reason to move to Seattle.

    Phoenix seems for sure the best bet.
     
  8. Matt in the Hat

    Matt in the Hat Moderator Staff Member

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    I just chubbed up a little. :D

    I seriously think they are going to become the Nordiques.

    And though it may sound a bit odd why not one more expansion to even out the conferences...

    Wales Conference

    Adams:
    Boston Bruins
    Buffalo Sabres
    Carolina Hurricanes (Just in case they return to Hartford)
    Columbus Blue Jackets
    Montreal Canadiens
    Ottawa Senators
    Quebec Nordiques
    Toronto Maple Leafs

    Patrick:
    Brooklyn Islanders
    Florida Panthers
    New Jersey Devils
    New York Rangers
    Philadelphia Flyers
    Pittsburgh Penguins
    Tampa Bay Lightning
    Washington Capitals

    Campbell Conference:

    Norris:
    Chicago Blackhawks
    Dallas Stars
    Detroit Red Wings
    Kansas City Scouts
    Minnesota Wild
    Nashville Predators
    St. Louis Blues
    Winnipeg Jets

    Smythe:
    Anaheim Ducks
    Calgary Flames
    Colorado Avalanche
    Edmonton Oilers
    Los Angeles Kings
    Seattle Pilots (If MLB can borrow from hockey then why not the other way around?)
    San Jose Sharks
    Vancouver Canucks
     
  9. Yoshou

    Yoshou Moderator Staff Member

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    Just in case anyone is interested, the new arena in Seattle has hit a bit of a bump in the road with the Port of Seattle and the Seattle Mariners both coming out to voice their opposition to the location of the arena.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017919797_arena06m.html

    In response to the opposition the city has commissioned a traffic study to determine the impact of the new arena on traffic in the area.

    It should be noted that the Mariners' opposition to the arena isn't being very well received. Particularly when you consider that if the new arena sells out and the M's continue their losing ways and their average attendance fails to improve, the total number of people coming down to events at Safeco and the new arena would be less than the total capacity at Safeco.

    Right now the focus is on getting a NBA team, but, unlike KeyArena, the new stadium is expected to be designed to accommodate a NHL team.
     
  10. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    Frankly as Mariners fan, the Mariners get go stuff themselves. :mad:
     
  11. RLennon

    RLennon New Member

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    I really think that some of these southern teams (Florida, etc) would be a better fit in Seattle. You would certainly find more passionate hockey in Seattle than Florida.
     
  12. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    Posting this from Washington state I question that. I went to a sports store
    Recently at southcenter and the amount of hockey gear on sale was zero.
     
  13. Yoshou

    Yoshou Moderator Staff Member

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    And yet the Silvertips, Thunderbirds, Chiefs, Americans, and Wild all pull in respectable numbers for junior hockey teams not in Canada. I'd agree that NHL isn't overly popular here, but hockey is well supported.
     
  14. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    That's great and all but I just base it off my own expierences here that hockey isn't a regularly talked about or played sport here. It certainly doesn't help that Vancouver has t had a real regional deal in the area which made it hard for me to watch hockey growing up. I think Seattle would do well and support an NHL team, but in terms of passion for the sport it's still very much sunbelt territory.
     
  15. Yoshou

    Yoshou Moderator Staff Member

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    It certainly isn't up to Canadian or cold belt standards, but comparing it to sunbelt territory is quite extreme. The Silvertips average over 5,000-6,000 per game and the Thunderbirds average 4,000-5,000. That's up to 11,000 people that attend junior hockey games on any given night within an hours drive of the proposed location for an arena that will have something like 17,000 seats for hockey games. That's also with very little to no media coverage outside of the WHL playoffs.
     
  16. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    Those are good points.

    Of course we don't quite have the comparisons to sunbelt teams because they don't have chl teams.

    Like I said I think a team would do relatively well.
     
  17. Yoshou

    Yoshou Moderator Staff Member

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    So, why did you respond to the poster the way you did? The lack of non-NHL teams in sunbelt states would seem to indicate that the Puget Sound area at least has a higher starting point than the sunbelt teams did when they were given teams. From a "willing to actually attend games" perspective, hockey is in a better position to attend then soccer was pre-MLS Sounders and I've seen more people excited about the prospect of a NHL team coming here than I did about MLS coming here (pre-announcement, of course).

    Seattle certainly isn't going to turn into Hockey Town, USA, but once a NHL team does come here, the popularity is going to explode, IMHO. The team certainly won't have any problems with attendance and business sponsorships beyond the normal expansion grace period. But, no promises for significantly after that if the team goes all Blue Jackets and sucks for protracted periods. Outside of the NFL, Seattle fans can be fickle about unsuccessful teams.
     
  18. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    Because I think sunbelt teams get more trash talked about them than thy really deserve. When I say Seattle is a sunbelt market that is to insult it. It just means exactly what you posted. They will come and sell out when the team is new or good. But when the team sucks for several years the team will struggle with attendence. A team like Tampa is actually doing quite well right now. So to say Seattle would be a better market is a fairly high bar to set.

    Keep in mind that NHL prices are sometimes 10x chl ticket prices. So not all of those fans are goin to transfer. Of course others will take their place.

    Certainly I've noticed that the level of hockey interest has risen significantly in the past few months since the downtown arena proposal took shape. People have started bringing it up to me, as I'm the hockey guy in the social circle when I visit here.
     
  19. Yoshou

    Yoshou Moderator Staff Member

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    Just to update on this story, the investor group for the arena was fleshed out a bit more and it has some serious money.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2018421214_arena14m.html

    Of course, that group is for the NBA team, but they won't build the arena without a NBA team, so the plan has always been to get the NBA team before a NHL team. I haven't heard anything about a potential ownership group for a NHL aside from a minor league hockey team owner from Chicago calling Hansen saying he'd be interested, but I'm not sure the name of the guy was ever released.
     
  20. mat r.

    mat r. Member

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    i think the following teams should move.

    phoenix to seattle (seattle thunderbirds)
    anaheim to portland (portland ducks)
    florida to quebec city (quebec nordiques)
    carolina to hamilton (hamilton tigers)
    nashville to milwaukee (milwaukee admirals)
    tampa bay to salt lake city (utah grizzlies)
    columbus to cleveland (cleveland barons)

    thus the divisions would be

    EASTERN CONFERENCE
    Northeast Division
    Hamilton
    Montreal
    Ottawa
    Quebec
    Toronto

    Atlantic Division
    Boston
    New Jersey
    New York Islanders
    New York Rangers
    Philadelphia

    Central Division
    Buffalo
    Cleveland
    Detroit
    Pittsburgh
    Washington

    WESTERN CONFERENCE
    Midwest Division
    Chicago
    Dallas
    Minnesota
    Milwaukee
    St. Louis

    Northwest Division
    Calgary
    Colorado
    Edmonton
    Utah
    Winnipeg

    Pacific Division
    Los Angeles
    Portland
    San Jose
    Seattle
    Vancouver
     
  21. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    The only team that's really in trouble is Phoenix. None of those other moves make much sense. Tampa and Nashville have strong local followings and are bigger markets than Salt Lake City or Milwaukee. Anaheim to Portland is moving from one of the largest markets with a solid fanbase to a tiny market with an unknown fanbase.
     
  22. Yoshou

    Yoshou Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm also not sure the Thunderbirds would be the name for the Seattle team.. The Thunderbirds are a fairly successful junior hockey team that I doubt is going anywhere once NHL arrives. I think it is more likely they'd go with either the Totems, Metropolitans, or another name entirely.
     
  23. crazypete13

    crazypete13 Moderator Staff Member

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    Bring back the Mets!
     
  24. mat r.

    mat r. Member

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    you need to get hockey out of the sun belt regions regardless how big the markets are and how much money are there, you need to come to grips that a. hockey is a cold weather sport and b. sun belt cities (not named dallas or los angeles) generally don't care about hockey. canada needs at least 2-3 more teams and cities like SLC, portland and milwaukee are hockey towns that would make a killing because the fans would always be there. bettman tries to make hockey a sport for the masses when in reality it will always be a cult/niche sport in america. that's the way i like it since i love hockey.
     
  25. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    Portland, Salt Lake City and Milwaukee are not hockey towns anymore than Raleigh, Anaheim or Phoenix. Yes, it snows in those cities, but just because a town is cold doesn't mean everybody likes hockey. Carolina, Nashville, Tampa etc all have a strong local following, probably stronger than they'd get in a place like Milwaukee, where the Bucks are one of the lowest draws in the NBA and has a tiny TV market.

    The Sun Belt expansion has been a boon to the sport of hockey and to USA hockey. The only ones who should hate the Sun Belt expansion are hardcore Canadian and European national teams, because the expanding popularity of hockey has made the US team better.
     
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