NHL grants Seattle expansion team for 2021-22 season, realigns divisions

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The NHL soon will be a 32-team league.

After the successful expansion into Las Vegas, the league's Board of Governors unanimously approved Seattle as the 32nd team Tuesday. This new team, which doesn't have a name yet, will begin play in the 2021-22 season.

Seattle's introduction will cause a divisional shakeup.

There also will be an expansion draft.

It's kind of crazy the NHL beat the NBA and MLB to 32 teams. That said, Seattle is a good area for the league to expand. There's a huge love for hockey in the northwest, particularly among minor league teams and the CHL. The Seattle Metropolitans, who folded in 1924, became the first United States team to win the Stanley Cup during the 1916-17 season.

The Boston Bruins never played in Seattle because the B's first ever season came the year after the Metropolitans disbanded. Boston might not get a warm reception in Seattle based on its history with the Vancouver Canucks, who have a lot of fans in the Pacific Northwest. The Bruins, of course, beat the Canucks in a heated seven-game Stanley Cup Final series in 2011.

Let's hope this development helps pave the way for the NBA to return to Seattle as well. SuperSonics fans deserve a team.

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