SEATTLE, WA; The year was 1917. A gallon of gas cost less than a dollar, America was fighting overseas in the great war, and Seattle was celebrating the United States’ first Stanley Cup win.
The Seattle Metropolitans were a forced to be reckoned with. Joining the NHL (National Hockey League) in 1915 as a part of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association, the team soon made their presence known. In their nine year span as a team, the Metropolitans won the PCHA league title five times as well as appearing in the NHL playoffs three times, eventually winning the Stanley Cup in 1917. They were the first American team to do so and it would be another 11 years until the New York Rangers brought the cup back to America.
Though the Metropolitans cemented their name in NHL history, many Seattle residents have yet to even hear the team’s name. After all, they only lasted from 1915 to 1924. Their stadium was demolished in 1963 and all of their fans are most likely dead. But, the name has resurfaced as talks of the NHL coming back to the Emerald City have made their way into a possible league expansion.
About two weeks ago, the Seattle City Council voted 7-1 to approve an over 600 million dollar renovation of the Key Arena. Though these renovations are not expected to finish until 2020, the city still hopes this will drawn attention to a potential extension.
If Seattle does gain a hockey team, it will most likely be a relocation. The Calgary Flames, Arizona Coyotes, and Ottawa Senators are all currently expressing issues over their venues. Though a relocation is likely, the team could simply be added. This would give the NHL an even 32 franchises. We’ve seen situations like this happen recently with the Las Vegas Golden Knights being added to the 2017-18 season.
However, a new hockey team does come with some downsides. An expansion fee of 650 million, 150 million more than Vegas paid, makes the city question whether or not the fans can compensate this fee as well as the renovation.
“We have agreed as a league to take and consider an expansion application and to let them run in the next few months a season ticket drive” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
The idea of the NHL returning to Seattle is exciting. It could even spark the idea of the NBA returning to Seattle. We’ll just have to wait until 2020 to see how things fill out.