Seattle has long been considered one of the premier locations for an NHL team to relocate to…or possible expand into. Now, NHL legend Wayne Gretzky is part of a group actively trying to bring North America’s top hockey league to the Emerald City.
According to the New York Post, Gretzky has joined a group of investors who are trying to get an NHL team in Seattle. Standing in their way is the NHL’s recent statement that they’re not interested in expansion, as well as the fact that two of the teams most commonly linked to relocation rumors in the past, the New York Islanders and Arizona Coyotes, have both found either stable ownership or new arenas in their areas for the foreseeable future.
Still, the name Gretzky holds great sway in the hockey world, and perhaps we will see an NHL franchise in Seattle. This is certainly a situation that bears monitoring.
As of right now, the only significant hockey team in the Seattle area is the Seattle Thunderbirds, a junior squad that is a member of the Western Hockey League, one of the Canadian Hockey League’s three major junior leagues (Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League are the other two).
Before that, Seattle was home to the Seattle Totems (who also went by the names Ironmen, Bombers and Americans at different times in their history). Those Totems were part of a different Western Hockey League (also a junior league), that failed in 1974.
Seattle is a strong sports market, and would have almost a natural rivalry right out of the gate with the Vancouver Canucks, who play a couple hours north and across the border in Canada. The NHL moving to Seattle is pure speculation at this point, but with the Great One involved now….hey. You never know.