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Report: Wayne Gretzky discusses bringing NHL to Seattle area

Jul 25, 2012, 8:29 PM EDT

Wayne Gretzky AP

Wayne Gretzky helped grow hockey in California, so why not spread the NHL to the Seattle area?

Radio host Dave “Softy” Mahler reports that Gretzky visited Bellevue, Wash., to discuss the possibility of bringing a team “to the area.”

My Northwest’s staff discusses how Gretzky’s talks with Bellevue officials might factor into – or represent competition for – Chris Hansen’s efforts to build an NBA-ready arena in Seattle.

Still, Hansen’s arena plan has been designed specifically for Seattle’s SoDo district. Some in Bellevue have pushed for the NBA/NHL facility to be located on the Eastside. Until now, investors haven’t appeared to seriously approach Bellevue.

The Seattle Times reports that voting for “an $80 million piece” of the proposal could take place on Monday in King County despite a perceived lack of information.

It’s unclear if Gretzky’s interest could be part of a Plan B for the area, part of that overall idea or merely a curious stirring of the pot at this point.

  1. scionofflame - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    I’m looking to move to Seattle…and I cannot tell you how happy I’d be if I had a local hockey team to support when I moved there. Needs to happen!

  2. pastabelly - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    This should be a no brainier. Make it happen Great One.

    • elrock7 - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:55 PM

      Yeah since he did so well in Phoenix…lol

      • grimlock410 - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:50 PM

        Seattle has a Cup. Admittedly it was it 1917 but it wouldn’t be like bringing hockey to Mars like it was in Phoenix.

  3. earlcpeacock - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    if this was lemieux, the deal would have been done by now.

    • 28giroux28 - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:33 AM

      Your right, the Pens SHOULD be in Kansas City.

      • rekrem - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:07 PM

        No attendance in KC. Tried and failed in the past
        Kansas City Scouts 1974-1976 Became
        The Denver Rockies 1977-1982 Became
        the NJ Devils 1982.

  4. aphoticapex - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Yotes to pack up for Seattle? or maybe Isles in a couple of years? Possibly.

    • msimmy360 - Jul 26, 2012 at 11:58 AM

      Won’t happen. Phoenix is too big of a market to move. And the Isles may have a new arena soon. I’d venture to say the Blue Jackets

  5. ron05342 - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Seattle Devils.

    That franchise is used to moving.

  6. proudliberal85392 - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    He’ll probably enjoy the same wild success he had here in Phoenix, which is why we’re in this current mess.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:14 PM

      Yes Gretzky is the reason the team has lost money every year since 96-97 (before he retired) and why they draw about 12,500 fans per game…..

    • theawesomersfranchise - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:08 PM

      Hockey isn’t new to Seattle, and they have had the Thunderbirds of the WHL for a while now. Spokane has had the Chiefs for 30 years or so. It’s nothing like trying to bring hockey to Phoenix.

  7. suepeacock - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Seattle Soupcans?

  8. earlcpeacock - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    sue, im not sure any one would have enough girth to play on the seattle soupcans. god forbid soup can sid got traded then the name would be fitting… his thoroughbred thighs make my ball bag quiver with excitement. @SoupCanArmy

    • handsofsweed - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:02 PM

      Nope. There it is. THAT’s your “H0m0erotic Masterpiece.” You’re like William Shakespeare. Only gay. And insane.

  9. rockthered1286 - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Sue don’t encourage the morons…

  10. atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    The fact that this DBag is having conversations with himself about the size of other men’s junk is disturbing, almost as disturbing as the fact that you sit there thinking of ways to talk about other men’s junk.

  11. earlcpeacock - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    hey mind your own business commie, your not important enough to talk to on pro crosby talk.

  12. kwells44 - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Perhaps he’s looking for another sucker (cough) owner to pay his close friends (cough) hockey management team.

  13. mogulboy - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    This is interesting and the reports are that he is meeting with Bellevue officials, not Seattle which is not the current arena plan the county is voting on Monday. I’ve got a pretty ghetto blog on it here:

    Could be a leverage scheme to get seattle to approve the current arena.

    • toewsingkaner - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:27 PM

      Living in the Seattle area, a privately-financed arena in Bellevue makes FAR more sense. The Seattle Sodo arena in getting involved in a bureaucratic mess which is what happens when you have to involve politicans. I was willing to piggy-back ride onto Hansen’s “Bring Back the Sonics” theme to get an NHL team here. However, if the Don Levin, Gretzky or whatever combination of investors can privately finance an arena AND bring a NHL team to the Seattle area, see’ya Hansen and Sodo. Personally I don’t think it’s leverage, but publicity of why they are doing this now.

      • mogulboy - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:20 AM

        There are no details of the Bellevue Arena so I highly doubt it is really privately financed. Levin says he has 100M to put toward an Arena..that won’t go very far. The Gretzky thing is weird. He actually doesn’t have a great relationship with the NHL right now cuz he kind of felt screwed in the Bankruptcy of the Coyotes. Either way, I just hope to get the NHL here one way or another and it seems to me that the SoDo arena is way ahead of the Bellevue proposal. Should be interesting.

  14. Stiller43 - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Is his daughter involved? Cause then i’d be interested

  15. hojo20 - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    How about going back to Hartford, so I can have my team back.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:20 PM

      And the best goal song ever

  16. greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    This is how I see things playing out.

    Option 1: Phoenix stays in Glendale. The current realignment plan (which the owners put together) had 2- 8 team divisions and 2- 7 teams divisions. Let’s be honest, the owners are in it for money. Expansion fees are crazy high (Minnesota, Columbus, Atlanta, and Nashville) each paid 80 million back in 1997. Now in 2012 it’s easily going to top 100 million if not more. No way each owner turns down a minimum of 6.5 million each. NHLPA would love it, because it adds 100 more jobs (each team can have a max of 50 contracts). Quebec and Kansas City gets those teams. Detroit would love it because they can then go to the east.

    Option 2: Phoenix moves to Quebec, Seattle, or Kansas City. If they do go to Seattle they can keep that current division (proposed realignment) together. Kansas City and Quebec get expansion teams. Detroit still gets to the east.

    • handsofsweed - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:11 AM

      Problem is, I’d think that every last vote owned by an Eastern team would go against Detroit moving east and FOR Columbus instead. (I didn’t see anything in your post about CBJ relocating, etc.). Who knows, though.

    • nyrangersnation - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:02 AM

      there is no way the league expands and if they do I think it’d be worse for the league. Especially going to Kansas City or Hartford. The Islanders need to move to Brooklyn (better transit making it easier for fans from LI and NYC to get to), Phoenix needs to move to Seattle, Columbus should move to Toronto (so many fans would be fed up with the way things are going with the Maple Leafs and would appreciate more of a chance to actually see hockey instead of getting blocked out) and New Jersey should move. Sorry, but if you have trouble selling out playoff games and Stanley Cups and are the most successful NY-are hockey team of the past two decades you have SERIOUS problems especially if you are most likely going to be under NHL control within two years. I would say move them to Quebec. Then get rid of the Florida Panthers

  17. blomfeld - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    “IT’S A GOAL !” …

    Notwithstanding the fact that Gretzky is starting to look a little weird ? … the point remains that the fine city of Seattle “should and must” have an NHL team asap ! … and if Wayno says it’s a go, then you just know things are a happening ! Yes, Gretzky was a “dud” down there in the land of scorpions and 115 degree temperatures. But what could you expect ? That would be like “ripping”: someone for not being successful by starting up a Dairy Queen franchise in Antarctica ! The bottom line is that the decent folk of Seattle have an “indigenous” claim to the game of hockey and the sooner they’re awarded a franchise, the sooner the world will be a better place !

    GO SEATTLE GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • gradyspop - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:52 PM

      Most people outside of Phoenix, you included, have the complete wrong idea about why the yotes are failing here. It is not that it is hockey in the desert. There are PLENTY of snowbirds in the area during the winter time from Canada and many other cold places. It is solely about where the arena is located. Because you are touting Seattle as the destination, I assume you know the Seattle area. Having the arena in Glendale, most specifically the part of Glendale it is in, would be like having the arena in Seattle built at the north end of Everett and then wondering why you can’t get people from Kent to show up regularly to week day games. If the yotes played downtown or in Tempe they would have 1/2 the problems they do now.

  18. letangusespertplus - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    gretzky modeled his game after crosby.

  19. desertfan - Jul 26, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Wonder if the old KEY is still serviceable for the interim-wasn’t all bad for say 10,000 fans??

  20. proudliberal85392 - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    I love these clowns who bad-mouth Phoenix temps and attendance. Talk to me after you’ve spent a few summers here, bro. Of course, you have no problem running when temps drop and there’s a half-inch of snow on the ground.

  21. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Even though I’m way out here in Tampa and have no connections with Seattle, I really hope this happens. Seattle has a great fanbase that has to put up with way too much crap. They deserve something good happening and I have no doubt that they would quickly become one of the better American fanbases. It would also be nice for teams like Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton geographically, and could also be an important step towards getting the NBA back in Seattle as well. This needs to happen.

  22. toewsingkaner - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    A privately financed NHL arena in Bellevue seems better then the bureaucratic mess that the Seattle arena is becoming. The greater Seattle area already supports 2 WHL teams and has the base of hockey fans to easily support an NHL team. Gretzky being a player in this makes it that much more credible.

  23. jbrunnels - Jul 26, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    Best Hockey Trivia Question Ever…

    Who was the first team from the United States to win the Stanley Cup?

    The 1917 Seattle Metropolitans

  24. anarchist9027 - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    If you live in an area that can not form natural ice in the winter, you don’t get a team. Problem solved

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