The National Hockey League is expanding to Seattle.
The NHL Board of Governors unanimously approved adding Seattle as the league's 32nd franchise on Tuesday. Play will begin in 2021 to allow enough time for arena renovations. The as-yet unnamed franchise will be the Emerald City's first major winter sports team since the NBA's SuperSonics left town in 2008.
The decision was widely expected after the Seattle Hockey Partners group impressed the board's executive committee in October and had all the ingredients the NHL was looking for. Strong ownership led by billionaire David Bonderman and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, a downtown arena in a sports-crazed city and a season-ticket drive that drummed up 10,000 orders in 12 minutes all cleared the way for the NHL to add another team less than three years after approving a franchise in Las Vegas.
The owners will pay a $650 million expansion fee, up from the $500 million the Vegas Golden Knights paid.
Pittsburgh 7, Colorado 3: Patric Hornqvist's natural hat trick in the third period powered the host Penguins past the Avs.
Winnipeg 3, N.Y. Islanders 1: Jacob Trouba and Adam Lowry scored 22 seconds apart early in the third period, rallying the Jets over the host Islanders.
Vegas 5, Washington 3: Nate Schmidt scored the game-winner with 1:25 left in the game to help the host Golden Knights win the Stanley Cup rematch vs. the Capitals.
Calgary 9, Columbus 6: Johnny Gaudreau had two goals and two assists, and the visiting Flames scored five goals in the second period to rally past the Blue Jackets.
Toronto 4, Buffalo 3 (OT): Auston Matthews scored his second goal with three seconds left in OT, and the visiting Maple Leafs matched their best start in 84 years.
Tampa Bay 6, Detroit 5 (SO): Nikita Kucherov and defenseman Victor Hedman scored in a shootout to give the Lightning a comeback win over the host Red Wings.
Florida 5, Boston 0: Roberto Luongo made 33 saves in his 77th career shutout as the host Panthers beat the Bruins.