Things are going pretty well so far for the potential future expansion NHL franchise in Seattle... Last Thursday another step toward putting another NHL team in the Pacific Northwest after the group led by billionaire David Bonderman and filmmaker Jerry Bruckheimer submitted an expansion application to the league for a team in Seattle in February was underway. The Los Angeles-based Oak View Group revealed on Twitter that it reached its initial goal of 10,000 deposits in 12 minutes, and finally received more than 25,000 deposits for season tickets through a ticket drive.
It seems more and more certain that Seattle will get its hockey club, the 32nd team in the league. The Vegas Golden Knights, considered an expansion success story, needed two days to reach 5,000 tickets and a month to reach 9.000.
“There’s a buzz,” Seattle Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Marilyn Strickland said to US Today. “When you say, ‘25,000 season-ticket deposits (sold) in one hour,’ people talk about that. There’s a civic pride and an enthusiasm. ... People may not necessarily be hardcore fans of the sport, but they want to be caught up in the event."
The buzz is so grand that NHL insider Elliotte Friedman believes it will have a major impact on not only the market, but on players all across the National Hockey League. In this week's 31 Thoughts podcast, Friedman was very optimist about players being more open to waiving no-trade/no-movement clauses for Seattle expansion given Vegas’ success.
"I think there will be changes in the approach. First of all, I believe teams will fight against no-move clauses, even more now. Because some of them really backed themselves into a corner, or if they get a no-move clause, will some teams say that a no-move clause does not extend to the expansion draft? Something like that. I think we will see more battles over that."
Friedman also used the Golden Knights and the deals they made prior to the expansion draft last year, and how things could play out this time around when it comes to the 32nd team in the NHL.
"I think the other thing you're going to see is, teams were so concerned about players they could lose, that they made side deals. I don't think you're going to see that either. I think Seattle is going to have a more difficult time doing that - unless there are teams that get caught so badly in salary cap hell and they have no choice. But I think generally you're going to see teams say 'you know, if you can't we will just lose a player rather than lose another player by working on a deal."
"Don't make a side deal!" Friedman added his biggest things NHL teams have learned from the Vegas expansion draft, that they will not repeat with Seattle.
Some reporters had hinted that the Pittsburgh Penguins made a side deal with Vegas when it came to Marc-Andre Fleury. The star goalie is now on fire with his new team.
A few weeks ago, some hockey experts are having fun and predicting what the expansion draft would look like, and finally offering a sneak peek at the potential roster of the newest team in the NHL. Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News revealed last week his prediction for Seattle's expansion draft:
Anaheim – Andrew Cogliano, C.
Arizona – Josh Archibald, RW.
Boston – David Backes, RW.
Buffalo – Nick Baptiste, RW.
Calgary – Curtis Lazar, C.
Carolina – Scott Darling, G.
Chicago – Brent Seabrook, D.
Colorado – Nail Yakupov, LW.
Columbus – Sonny Milano, LW.
Dallas – Mattias Janmark, C.
Detroit – Justin Abdelkader, LW.
Edmonton – Adam Larsson, D.
Florida – Colton Sceviour, C.
Los Angeles – Alec Martinez, D.
Minnesota – Gustav Olofsson, D.
Montreal – Jacob De La Rose, LW.
Nashville – Nick Bonino, C.
New Jersey – Mirco Mueller, D
New York Islanders – Scott Mayfield, D.
New York Rangers – Kevin Shattenkirk, D.
Ottawa – Bobby Ryan, RW.
Philadelphia – Scott Laughton, C.
Pittsburgh – Riley Sheahan, C.
San Jose – Dylan DeMelo, D.
St. Louis – Jake Allen, G.
Tampa Bay – Andrej Sustr, D.
Toronto – Nikita Zaitsev, D.
Vancouver – Erik Gudbranson, D.
Vegas – Malcolm Subban, G.
Washington – Chandler Stephenson, C.
Winnipeg – Andrew Copp, C.