Seattle Officially Announced as NHL’s 32nd Team

Updated: December 4, 2018 at 12:16 pm by Dylan Berthiaume

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 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.

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.