When the NHL revealed the hockey world’s worst-kept secret and announced it would be expanding to Seattle, the only disappointment was the league’s 32nd team wouldn’t begin play until 2021 instead of hitting the ice in the fall of 2020. But when you’ve endured the longest expansion gestation period ever, what’s another year? The NHL and Seattle had been doing this dance for the better part of 50 years before finally deciding to get together.
As eminent hockey executive _ recalls, it goes back to the NHL’s original plan to expand from six to 12 teams in 1967. There were howls of outrage the league would double its size without including Vancouver. But the good people of Vancouver were told they would be taken care of, which they were when the Canucks were granted admission in time for 1970...
About the Author
Ken Campbell, The Hockey News' senior writer, is in his second tour with the brand after an eight-year stint as a beat reporter for the Maple Leafs for the Toronto Star. The Sudbury native once tried out for the Ontario League's Wolves as a 30-year-old. Needless to say, it didn't work out.