NHL Approves Seattle’s Bid to Become Leagues 32nd Franchise

Seattle already has its place etched in ice hockey history. Once home to the erstwhile Metropolitans, the city was the first ever in the U.S. to hoist a Stanley Cup ¬†though, since that feat was achieved in 1917, it’s unlikely more than a few people living today if any were actually around to see it. Now, nearly a century after the Metropolitans folded, Seattle natives will finally get a chance to see a band of hometown heroes pursue Lord Stanley’s legendary trophy again. On Tuesday, the NHL’s Board of Governors announced that it had unanimously approved the city’s bid to become the league’s 32nd active franchise. The expansion team will get to take the ice for the first time in 2021. The announcement caps years of speculation that the Northwest city would be getting a team of its own speculation that only picked up steam around this time last year, when the league agreed to consider an application from a group headlined by Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer and investment banker David Bonderman. It appears that the group’s success will not come cheap, though. The new owners committed to a massive renovation of the arena proposed as the team’s home rink, a project costing on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars. The City Council approved the plans earlier this year, and builders expect to break ground on the project Wednesday. “The expansion fee for the Seattle franchise is $600 million, as has been widely reported,” Bettman said, “and when you include the cost of reimagining and building Seattle Center Arena, this is a transaction with a value of approximately $1.4 billion.” This seattle team is the 32nd team to join the franchise, they will be arriving in the 2021-2022 season. Oakland University, a public school in Rochester Hills, near Detroit, is distributing thousands of 94cent hockey pucks for just that reason. The distribution, which began earlier this month, stemmed from a March faculty active-shooter training session, which followed February’s shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school that left 17 dead. A participant at the training asked Oakland University Police Chief Mark Gordon what items people could use to defend themselves on the campus, which has a no weapons policy, A hockey puck was a “spur-of-the-moment idea that seemed to have some merit to it, and it kind of caught on,” Gordon said. The faculty union followed up on the idea, purchasing 2,500 hockey pucks: 800 for union members and 1,700 for students, the free press reports. The school conducts active-shooter training sessions multiple times a year, teaching them which emphasizes fleeing an active-shooter situation above all else, hiding if fleeing isn’t an option and fighting if hiding isn’t, either. Fighting, with a hockey puck or other means, should be “an absolute last strategy,” Gordon told the free press The police chief also stated the kids could shoot hockey pucks at an active shooter, in order to distract the shooter and have someone else’s hands on the shooter’s weapon to stop the threat.