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Seattle notes Isles will be staying in New York

Oct 24, 2012, 5:20 PM EDT

Charles Wang Getty Images

Investor Chris Hansen has been given permission to build an NBA/NHL arena by the Seattle City and King County councils, but only if he can first attract an NBA franchise first, based on a King 5 report.

His arena agreement is under attack by two local lawsuits and his efforts to lure a basketball or hockey franchise haven’t been successful thus far.

Islanders owner Charles Wang had offers that would have moved his team out of state, but he never took them seriously, according to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

Wang ultimately decided to move the team from Nassau County to Brooklyn starting with the 2015-16 campaign. It’s a 25-year “ironclad” lease with Barclays Center that closes the door on any potential move to Seattle.

On top of that, Bettman has no plans to expand the NHL and he’d rather avoid relocation, so Seattle has an uphill battle ahead of them if they want an NHL franchise.

  1. spizzjr - Oct 24, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Give the replacement refs some skates

  2. eastcoastcynic - Oct 24, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    If the NHL decides to expand, Seattle is hopefully first up to the plate. But that may be a long time coming since Hansen has no intention of putting the shovels in the ground for the arena until he gets an NBA team. The NHL to him, unfortunately, is a secondary benefit that potentially pays off the arena quicker than the NBA by itself.

    I’d rather them get an established team, e.g., Phoenix, assuming that deal gets scuttled, but I believe Quebec will get the first crack if that happens since they’re farther along in their arena politics and plans.

    • desertfan - Oct 24, 2012 at 7:43 PM

      Not so sure.

      If Phoenix craters Bettman would really prefer the Pac Northwest Seattle Portland market, TV etc than Quebec.

      In addition the Key Arena or the Rose in Portland would be ideal short term solutions in anticipation of the new rink.

      No contest!!!

      • blomfeld - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:08 PM

        Desertfan – I concur 100% with you. Whether it’s right or wrong, I suspect that Bettman would be loathe to send the Coyotes back to Canada, especially Quebec. I also agree that both the Key & Rose arenas would make for more than adequate short-term venues.

      • eastcoastcynic - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:31 PM

        I hope you’re right, but its hard to get a read on Bettman with regards to the Phoenix situation if it craters. Plus, our contentious local politics and the lawsuits will probably draw this arena situation out a lot longer than we think.

      • badintent - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:18 AM

        Quebec is a narco-state ! Run by the Bloc, but controlled by drug cartels.Gary doesn’t want to send a team to a place(province) that has Riots all the time , over hockey, college tuition,etc and was the tax $$ dumping ground for 17 years under the Liberal party. It took those idiots 20 years to pay for a roof on Olympic Stadium, the roof, not the entire building, the roof.!Pathetic

    • blomfeld - Oct 24, 2012 at 10:02 PM

      I know, as there is that possibility that Bettman acts like a madman and let’s Phoenix become his Waterloo ? Hopefully not though. Despite the fact that he’s obviously “determined” on that score for whatever reason, surely he can’t be that stupid ?

  3. quizguy66 - Oct 24, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Why don’t you have a seat over there Seattle…

    -QG

  4. tmoore4075 - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    The guys on TSN were talking yesterday they think the Coyotes will move because of the ongoing situation with the Glendale City Council. They all assume Seattle, probably based on the gaping hole in that area of the country for an NHL franchise. However the news a while back about how they had no plans for just an NHL franchise leads me to wonder if the Coyotes were on the move would Quebec be much more likely? Hard for me to believe the city of Seattle would turn down a waiting NHL franchise but…we’ll see.

    • eastcoastcynic - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:15 PM

      It’s really dependent on how soon Hansen can land an NBA franchise since that’s when he’ll start building. I recall an interview with him where he said that the Key Arena was such a substandard place for hockey in terms of seating that any prospective Seattle NHL ownership should wait until he builds the arena then place the team in the new arena; He gave an approximate 3 year time frame for that. If the Maloof ownership decides to sell to the Hansen group in the near term since the Arena deal with Sacramento went kapoot, I could see the time frame happening; No other NBA teams are out there in the near term for the purchase. But if the Coyotes per chance were available to a Seattle ownership group if the Glendale deal falls apart, they’d probably have to use the Key or in all likelihood lose the shot at the Coyotes.

      • tmoore4075 - Oct 26, 2012 at 9:01 AM

        Yeah I’m sure they don’t want to play at Key but if the Coyotes are available for the 13/14 season would be tough to say no. The team would for sure land in Quebec and I don’t see any NHL teams being available for a while and I hope they wouldn’t think about expansion.

  5. redwingsfan999 - Oct 25, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    I hope they eventually get a team cuz they have a great sports fan base, but I would rather see Maine get a hockey team first

  6. dbara43 - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Some of you are forgetting there is another hockey group out there that Wayne Gretzky is involved in. That arena project would be in the rich suburbs of Bellevue and Redmond, and would probably be a hockey-only solution. If Hansen takes too long to get his project off the ground, don’t be surprised if the Eastside arena becomes a reality first if a team like the Coyotes becomes available.

    Besides the Isles and Coytotes you only have to look at the attendance in Columbus, New Jersey, Carolina, Florida, and even Dallas to see relocation for some (or all) of those teams might be a good idea.

    Would rather have SEA, KC, and QUE with teams than some of those proven loser markets.

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