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Is Seattle right back in the race to get an NHL team?

Apr 5, 2012, 1:52 PM EDT

Seattle Getty Images

Trust us, there’s an NHL story in here somewhere. Just be patient because the first stuff is important.

Yesterday in Utah, NBA commissioner David Stern said he was “more hopeful than I am confident right now” that Sacramento can salvage its plan to build a new arena and keep the Kings in town. (If you want to know why the arena plan has moved onto thin ice, read this.)

Suffice to say Stern’s statement represented a downgrade from the optimism of late February after a handshake agreement with the city, the Kings’ owners, and the NBA was reached to build a new arena and keep the team in town.

That handshake agreement also appeared to hurt Seattle’s chances of landing an NBA team, as the Kings and the league-owned New Orleans Hornets were the two main relocation candidates. The Hornets still don’t have a new owner, but Stern has indicated a sale could be announced soon. Which sort of sounds familiar and appropriately leads us into the NHL stuff.

If Seattle can snag an NBA team – let’s say it’s the Kings (if they don’t go to Anaheim) – there are already plans in place to build a new arena. However, it’s possible that new arena will only be built should it be guaranteed a second tenant, that being an NHL team.

In other words, if Seattle can snag an NBA team, Seattle greatly improves it chances of getting an NHL team like, say – gee, I dunno – the Phoenix Coyotes.

Your head swimming yet?

PS — No truth to the rumor Quebec City has plans to build Sacramento a new arena.

PPS — Coyotes CEO Mike Nealy is confident the team will be staying in Glendale.

PPPS — Seattle Islanders?

  1. bcisleman - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    No to the PPPS…unless the NBA decides to rename its franchise the Islanders. Isles will not leave NY.

    • govtminion - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:16 PM

      I hope you’re right, but it looks increasingly likely that they’ll move.

      • bcisleman - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:54 PM

        They’ll likely move…just not out of NY. Wang isnt inclined to sell, he wont relocate the team and the NHL, the NYR & the NJD would fight it tooth and nail. Brooklyn and Queens are likely new sites.

      • govtminion - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:28 PM

        Ehhhh, I like the idea of the Brooklyn site, but it didn’t really sound (from what I see, a few hundred miles away) like the arena folks and the Nets were all that interested in having a roommate. I’d love to see the Isles stay in the NY area, but… if Brooklyn doesn’t work, then what?

    • Jason Brough - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:41 PM

      That was just a ploy to get you to comment. I don’t think they’ll leave the NY area either. Too many people there. Too much money.

      • eastcoastcynic - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:26 PM

        The thing is, as good as the NYC area demographics are, there are no forthcoming offers to build a new facility for Wang. Barclays may be an iffy deal because the limited seating in the facility probably won’t allow Wang to break even much less attain long term profitability. Everybody is talking a lot of hubris on why the Islanders will stay, but not providing real constructive solutions has to how they will.

      • bcisleman - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:57 PM

        Wang won’t relocate. If he gets frustrated enough, he might sell, but I doubt it. If he did, the NHL would resist it even more stoutly than with Phoenix.

      • bcisleman - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:00 PM

        And its not true taht there are no offers. Queens has already expressed serious interest. The only thing lacking is Wang’s expression of interest. Political and business leaders in Queens have been quite clear. They are ready if the Islanders are. And Brooklyn is available as a long or short term option. They will not leave.

  2. terminalcityhockey - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    It’s absurd that the NHL refused to sell the Coyotes when there was a willing buyer and then bought the team for less than others had offered.

    Second worst attendance in the league last year, worst the year before… & a playoff team both years.

    Move the team already. It’s hemorrhaging money, there are other cities that want it.

    • habsman - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:33 PM

      Not only that, you can buy a ticket in Glendale for the price of parking in Mtl and Toronto.

  3. nydaniel - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Islanders will move, to Brooklyn.

    NHL will fart around and the Coyotes will end up crippled in Quebec.

    Given a choice of markets between LA and Seattle, where would you go?

    Seattle will be on the sidelines, again, and will remain there until they build a world class arena FIRST. Which won’t happen unless they get a commitment from both the NHL and NBA. A classic Seattle sports circular firing squad.

    • kitshky - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:15 PM

      The only thing you’re probably right about is the Isle’s playing in Brooklyn…

  4. paledevil - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Go to 32 than everyones happy

  5. dbara43 - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Looking at the way the Islanders and the Devils are drawing at the gate (#31 and #24 respectively) it seems clear that NY will only support 2 NHL teams, not 3. If you move the Islanders out then likely Devils attendance goes up. Simple math.

    Seattle Islanders. I like that.

  6. adirondack77 - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Isles aren’t going anywhere. Brooklyn is a viable option short term but the arena is not ideal for hockey.

    Suffolk should be considered a viable long term solution -1.2 million people plus it’s not a long drive from Nassau. Create an entire entertainment destination that people want to come eat, drink and shop in.

  7. kitshky - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Please God, I don’t care where it comes (and if that makes me a bad Canadian then …meh) but please give the Pacific Northwest another hockey club.

  8. pavelfitzgerald - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    The Islanders will stay in that State but if Wang ever eanted to have things 100 percent his way with his safest chance at solid profit it would be in Quebec. He won’t move the team though because he loves New York & hopes to realize the profits of being the top team in the State

  9. chill1184 - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    Islanders can’t be moved out of NY, they have too proud of a history. I mean come on how bad would it sound for the league if one of their dynasty teams all of a sudden packs up and leaves NY? As others have mentioned, they can shack up with the Nets in the Barclay’s center which would help to Islanders fans who are not in NYC or Long Island or the tossed around Willets Point project.

  10. mclovinhockey - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    @ dbara43 the devils are not in new York any more… Moving one team will not make another’s attendance go up. Also it seems like you forgot the Sabres are from new York as well. Any way the islanders do not have a good enough fan base. Most likely in the next few years QC will have a team and then maybe seattle or a better market. QC is building an arena and they have an arena bigger than the jets now so they can support a team next year.

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