The NHL Board of Governors unanimously voted in favour of awarding Seattle an NHL franchise on Tuesday, becoming the league’s 32nd team.
As part of the expansion, Seattle’s ownership group will be required to pay a $650-million expansion fee that will be divided equally amongst the league’s 31 teams, slightly higher than what Vegas paid for its expansion fee.
Seattle will pay a $650M expansion fee — that’s $20,967,741.19 for each of the 31 other teams.
When Vegas joined the league, the 30 other NHL teams each received $16,666,666.67.
— Cory Lavalette (@corylav) December 4, 2018
Seattle is expected to join the league for the 2021-2022 season. The NHL announced back in March that any potential expansion draft for Seattle would be conducted under the same rules that Vegas was given upon their entrance into the league, though Vegas will be exempt from the process. The other 30 teams will only be able to protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and a goalie, or eight total skaters, regardless of position, plus one goalie.
Seattle officially begins play for the 2021-22 season. That points to a June 2021 expansion draft under the same rules as the Vegas Golden Knights.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 4, 2018
As the 32nd team, the arrival of Seattle allows the NHL to finally balance out the league’s four divisions. In a geographically sensical move, the league announced Arizona will shift from the Pacific Division to the Central in order to make room for Seattle.
From the NHL, realignment once Seattle begins play. Welcome to the jungle, Arizona. pic.twitter.com/hDSEE5SIFZ
— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) December 4, 2018