Each June, following the completion of the Stanley Cup Finals and only days before the entry draft, the hockey world gathers in Vegas for the annual NHL Awards. It is a week packed with festivities to close out the season in nostalgic style, but this year the Pacific Northwest will be on full alert for another reason. According to a source within the league, the NHL Board of Govoners — consisting of representatives from each organization — will also be meeting at the Hard Rock Hotel on June 20th to discuss the state of the league and, if all pans out, the expansion to Seattle.
It is unclear whether there will be an official announcement giving the ownership group a conditional green light, but we fully expect an update from commissioner Gary Bettman who will address the media following the conclusion of their meetings.
An initial timeline was laid out by owner David Bonderman during a press conference in which Tod Leiweke was announced as CEO and president of hockey operations.
”There is a board meeting of the NHL in June. We would expect to have a sort of conditional approval at that point,” he stated while sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with Tod Leiweke and investor Jerry Bruckheimer. “It might not be termed in those words but a go-ahead green light aiming toward a September board meeting of the Board of Govoners to make a final decision.”
It is likely that the conditional approval will be contingent on the renovation timeline of KeyArena, but that is pure speculation at this point. The league and its current members have shown their enthusiasm and desire to bring hockey to the Seattle market and we can expect the process to take a turn in the right direction on June 20th.