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Is Seattle the new favorite to get the Coyotes?

Jan 31, 2012, 3:52 PM EDT

Seattle Getty Images

We always get a good response in the comments section when we write about the possibility of Seattle landing an NHL franchise. In the past, it’s always felt like a longshot, but that might be changing with the future of the Phoenix Coyotes still up in the air and many speculating it’s now or never for someone to buy the team and keep it in the desert.

After the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg, Quebec City appeared to be the favorite to get the Coyotes if the club was forced to leave Glendale. Kansas City, Las Vegas and Seattle were mentioned occasionally, but not as often as the former home of the Nordiques.

However, in yesterday’s Winnipeg Free Press, reporter Gary Lawless wrote, “Seattle is believed, at this point, to be the lead horse.”

Lawless isn’t the only reporter saying that. ESPN’s Scott Burnside made an appearance on Seattle radio yesterday and said, “You’ll hear a lot of cities come up over the next three or four months, but I think it’s interesting that Seattle, at least in my impression, has moved either to the top of that list or very near it.”

As we wrote back in December, there are lots of things Seattle’s got going for it:

—- Large metro population.

—- Plenty of rich people.

—- High-profile companies like Amazon.com, Starbucks and Microsoft.

—- Close enough to draw from Portland and Vancouver.

—- “Let’s do something indoors” weather during the winter.

What Seattle doesn’t have is an NHL-caliber arena. But then again, neither does Quebec City – not until 2015, and even that might be optimistic. In the meantime, KeyArena is arguably the more attractive venue for a temporary home compared to the old Colisee.

Burnside thinks playing games at KeyArena “would be entirely acceptable” while a new arena was being constructed.

Of course, that assumes the construction of a new arena in Seattle could be guaranteed before a Phoenix relocation occurs, as the NHL likely wouldn’t approve a move without that assurance. The city hired a consultant to explore a new arena in July, albeit with an eye mostly on the NBA. But surely adding an NHL team would make building an arena, whether via public or private money, a safer investment.

Related: Seattle is working hard to build an NBA/NHL arena (video)

  1. rob1986s - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    I would welcome a team in Seattle as it would give us another city that despises my hometown Vancouver Canucks.

    • blomfeld - Feb 1, 2012 at 12:21 AM

      I’m in “solidarity” with you friend …

  2. greatminnesotasportsmind - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    At least realignment wouldn’t be messed up because Phoenix and Seattle wouldn’t make a difference. Oh wait, Donald Fehr ruined that.

    I guess it couldn’t be worse than Phoenix.

    • blomfeld - Feb 1, 2012 at 12:22 AM

      Comrade Fehr “knows” what’s going on … and you don’t !

  3. yettyskills - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Seattle wouldn’t build an arena to save their NBA yet the NHL is going to go the Seattle and play where?

    Portland has a better shot than Seattle
    Every time I hear a “Seattle” rumor it ends the same.

    No money or desire to build an arena and therefore not happening
    And no it’s not comparable to QC because QC is willing/begging for a franchise to build an arena for them to play.
    When Seattle figures out that they need an arena for basketball and hockey and build the damn thing, great, sounds good.
    Until then it’s never happening.

  4. canucks18 - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    People from Vancouver sitting in the border line, driving 2 1/2 hours down to Seattle to watch a game ??? Not likely!!!

    • galuple - Jan 31, 2012 at 7:41 PM

      In Vancouver there’s not much to do in the winter. Why not go down to Seattle?

      • blomfeld - Feb 1, 2012 at 12:10 AM

        this is true …

    • whatswellydoing - Jan 31, 2012 at 9:46 PM

      You underestimate the city’s passion for hockey. Plus there are lots of Vancouverites living in Seattle.

      • blomfeld - Feb 1, 2012 at 12:08 AM

        I concur friend …

    • blomfeld - Feb 1, 2012 at 12:19 AM

      Canucks18 – you’re completely wrong ! … Vancouver Canuck fans would be drawn to Seattle like flies are drawn to shit ! … you know that and so what in the hell are you talking about ? … any “Nucks” fan living in Chilliwack for example, has essentially the same driving time to see a game in downtown Vancouver, as they would to Seattle, no ? …

  5. sjsharksfan11 - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Sounds good to me. Keep it West Coast. The feminine French population don’t deserve another team. Take for instance how the whole coach not speaking French bonanza went. Ridiculous. A team in Seattle makes sense.

    • blomfeld - Feb 1, 2012 at 12:07 AM

      Sharks Fan – you’re another one who doesn’t appreciate the fighting spirit (ie: “elan” in French) of those who you so vehemently oppose … I’m compelled to therefore offer you the following, which features a French “rear guard” unit repulsing a British infantry formation during the Seven Years War …

  6. pavelfitzgerald - Jan 31, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Have you ever driven from Canada to the US? Border patrol are ridiculous!! They held some old Canadian couple for 8 hours a few months back because they didn’t know which stores they were going to shop at. No way you’ll see any significant traffic from Canada to support the Seattle team on a regular basis.
    I totally agree with yetty, if Seattle didn’t build a new arena for basketball why would they do it for a hockey team with no history to the city?!?!
    This is a complete & utter mess that has only Bettman to blame. The Jets should’ve never left in the first place to a coty that has lost money EVERY year in Phoenix. I hope they continue to bleed money until Quebec builds their arena. Bettman is such a pompous ass

    • blomfeld - Feb 1, 2012 at 12:02 AM

      get a NEXUS pass man !

  7. haterzgonahate - Jan 31, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    if you think Vancouver fans are fickle.. go right ahead and put a team in Seattle. that city is like Vancouver on steroids.. tree hugging, latte sipping, prius driving, own fart sniffing, full of self worth socks n sandals wearing pretensious ME! first type people.

    other than that… its a great city! .. for MLB and NFL

    • blomfeld - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:59 PM

      hater – I would urge caution with what you say about Seattle, for such words may land you in a scenario “not” dissimilar to the following (ie: you’re a redcoat in this) …

  8. buffalomafia - Jan 31, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    I still think Quebec City! I agree with the rest of the guys. Seattle wouldn’t build a new arena for basketball why hockey?

  9. canuckinamerica - Jan 31, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Some real asinine comments here. Methinks concussions are not only rampant for NHL players. Eight hours because an old couple did not know the name of a store? C’mon…….get back to reality, please. Beam them up, Scotty.

    • blomfeld - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:51 PM

      canuckinamerica – it is “yours” which are comments of an asinine nature ! … yes, I believe that it is “you” who speaks with a forked tongue ! … that “old” couple were likely Al Qaeda commandos and so the CCRA were just doing their job with our collective safety in mind … :)

  10. canuckinamerica - Jan 31, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    Not much to do in Vancouver in the winter ? Really? Life’s a bitch when all you can do is ski (45 minutes away), sail, golf AND enjoy sun. Scotty…..we have another one for you.

    • blomfeld - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:37 PM

      Dilithium Crystals ?

      please be real friend ! … it’s actually not that great here in the winter and you know that … today was another grey, cold, rainy day, which is “par for the course” here in our part of the world during this time of year …

      – Golf is impossible due to quagmire-like conditions

      – Skiing is crap in wet and slushy conditions with “zero” visibility

      – even the “notion” of sailing on a day like today is idiotic

      – there was no sun today … in fact, we’ve barely seen it since early December

      • salmon90 - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:50 PM

        move then?

      • haterzgonahate - Feb 2, 2012 at 5:25 PM

        a real glass half full kinda guy aren’t you..

    • blomfeld - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:29 AM

      to where though ? … do you have any suggestions ? … I’d be grateful for your feedback …

      • haterzgonahate - Feb 2, 2012 at 5:26 PM

        how about Seattle?

        sounds like you’d fit right in with all the pessimistic free thinking

  11. ruffridin - Jan 31, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    This would be fantastic for the Pacific north west, the NHL, and the Super Sonics. Hope it happens

    • blomfeld - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:27 PM

      I believe that “most” of us here in the Pacific Northwest hope this happens … and it will, God willing …

  12. pastabelly - Jan 31, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    The NHL should get in before the NBA gets back there. Seattle is a good market and they have good sports fans.

    • blomfeld - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:25 PM

      friend … Seattle has “excellent” sports fans and I can tell you “firsthand” that they’re good people ! … I went to my first ever NFL game in December, featuring the Hawks and the “Vick-less” Eagles playing at the “Clink” … it was cold like shit, but what a wonderful night that was ! … I was really impressed with the Seattle fans and their classy behavior …

      • nhlbruins90 - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:54 PM

        Classy behavior isn’t really the hallmark of a great sports city. New York, Philly, Boston, Montreal, Toronto … classy? Maybe not. Great sports cities, yup. For me, you can keep Philly and those morons in Montreal, but great NHL cities.

  13. mogulboy - Jan 31, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Seattle won’t pay for an arena for a hockey team or a basketball team but they may build one for both. More than likely the arena will need to be heavily funded by private $ with some help from the city. They could also play in Everett or Kent while they build the other rink (new but small areans for Major Junior teams).

    • blomfeld - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:18 PM

      That’s true, but Kent or Everett wouldn’t be the same as in Seattle “downtown” proper …

    • eastcoastcynic - Feb 5, 2012 at 4:50 PM

      The Arenas in Kent and Everett are way too small to accommodate an NHL franchise. The Key will suffice in the short term till an arena is build, assuming a deal is consummated.

  14. vipod4ever - Jan 31, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    the Seattle Metropolitans, first US based team to won the Stanley Cup in 1917. A old tradition is there, and why not use the name.

    • blomfeld - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:16 PM

      Sorry friend, but we beat you ! … the Vancouver Millionaires won the Stanley Cup in 1915 ! Nonetheless, I’d love to see Seattle get an NHL team … and God willing it will happen. The Metropolitans isn’t a bad name, however I’d be leaning more towards something like the Boeings or the Microsofts … :)

      • rainyday56 - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:10 AM

        They should keeo the Coyote name. Those varmints live in every town. Seattle Coyotes, kind of flows along doesn’t it?

      • zach28 - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:22 AM

        vancouver isn’t in america. so yes the seattle mets were the first american team to win the cup

  15. blomfeld - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    SEATTLE ROCKS !

    As a Canadian man who loves Washington state and America in general, I say that a team in Seattle and/or Portland would be truly fantastic ! No doubt an NHL franchise in Seattle, would have to somehow be tied in with an NBA franchise, etc … but the possibility for to happen is very real. Hockey is indigenous to the Pacific Northwest, the region is relatively affluent and the people would definitely support such an effort long-term !

  16. AlohaMrHand - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Why not Las Vegas?Oh I know why,no arena,no plans to build an arena,no real interst in pro sports let alone hockey.I like the idea of Seattle or even Portland getting the Coyotes.If they move to Seattle can they legally use the Sonics name?

    • greynraney - Feb 1, 2012 at 4:28 PM

      Professional sports will never be in Vegas as long as there is gambling.

      • AlohaMrHand - Feb 1, 2012 at 5:13 PM

        What the leagues won’t say is the gambling aspect is only part of the issue.Las Vegas is a transient town and is more of an event town than anything.There has never been an outcry or any type of call for a pro franchise of any kind here,Oscar Goodman always talked of getting one but he was crying into the wind because there is no interest.Up until recently UNLV basketball wasn’t a big draw as it had been during the Tark years.Even now the games don’t sell out very often.If there was a real interest here we would of already had a team.There is no venue here that is NBA or NHL compatible and the times they proposed building one the measure didn’t even make it to a vote.The four leagues don’t want the embarrassment of an empty arena or stadium nightly and the franchise being a money pit.The only pro sport that might stand a chance here would be the NBA but the team better be playing the Lakers,Heat,Bulls,Celtics,or Clippers nightly or there’s will be no interest.

      • claysbar - Feb 4, 2012 at 4:41 PM

        Vegas had an IHL team from 93-99.

  17. greynraney - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    If there is a God, please let this happen. As a fan of the Stars and living in Portland, the thought of driving or taking a train to see a game would be priceless.

  18. AlohaMrHand - Feb 1, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    I’m thinking Winter Classic 2015 Seattle vs Vancouver at Safeco or Qwest Field.It gets cold enough to support the ice that time of year.

    • greynraney - Feb 1, 2012 at 6:31 PM

      The temperature isn’t the issue. They played an outdoor game in Vegas in 1991 with temps in the 80’s. And it’s not called Qwest any more, it’s CenturyLink Field.

      • AlohaMrHand - Feb 1, 2012 at 8:21 PM

        It is?My bad.I can’t keep up with these ever changing naming rights.Im going to sell the naming rights to my house.

  19. blomfeld - Feb 1, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    Grey Rain & Mister Aloha … the bottom line is that you guys are both “quality” life forms ! … your respective views are excellent and God willing, there will be NHL franchises in both Seattle and Portland before long ! … anyway, I’ve decided to issue the following fatwah upon your behalf … “may the excellent bloggers known as Grey Rain and Mister Aloha soon come to encounter armies of beautiful women and lakes of expensive wine … inshallah” :)

  20. AlohaMrHand - Feb 5, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    claybar,by 1998 the fans had lost interest and the stands were virtually empty.The Thomas and Mack which is not designed for a hockey rink to begin with started taking a loss and declined to renew their lease and the Thunder were gone.We have an ECHL team here and they do ok but they also play in a building that holds around 6000 and those stands aren’t half filled either.The problem is convincing people to shell out for expensive tickets in an economy thats pretty much dead here.And also the unwillingness of the city to even listen to arena proposals let alone get one built.

  21. admin - Feb 13, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Seattle needs the NHL!

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