All eyes were on the Vegas Golden Knights and their historic inaugural year this past season. Thus, expectations for the 32nd team of the NHL have never been higher, but we'll have to wait a little longer than expected to see them in action.
It was reported today from Emily Kaplan that the Seattle expansion team is likely to have their inaugural year during the 2021-2022 season, rather than the year prior.
Also on the NHL to Seattle front... Bill Daly tells me the league isn’t tethered to 2020-21 for an inaugural season. In fact, sounds like ownership group & league are open to 2021-22 instead.— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) September 6, 2018
It's a huge disappointment that we'll have to wait another year to see Seattle in action, but patience is virtue.
This recent development comes at the same time as the announcement of a meeting between the Seattle group and the NHL's board of governors, which will take place on Oct. 2. The Oak View Group will lead the charge for Seattle, hoping to renovate KeyArena into an NHL and possibly NBA stadium.
In today's Seattle to NHL news.. potential ownership group confirms an Oct. 2 pitch meeting w/ exec committee of NHL Board of Gov in NY.— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) September 5, 2018
Also add MLS Sounders owner, an Amazon CEO & sons of former Sonics owner to push: https://t.co/4XWAqkKVHd
Seattle is clearly all in on bringing the NHL and NBA back into their city limits.
As far as why the Seattle expansion was pushed back a year is yet to be known. There could be multiple reasons behind the league deciding on 2021-22, but perhaps the most obvious would be difficulties in the collective bargaining agreement in the league.
The current CBA deal is slated to expire in 2022, but the NHL and the NHLPA can begin negotiations as early as September 2019. Whether this is the reason for the delay is left to be known, but it's highly likely that it played a role in the NHL's decision.