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Off-Day Watch 12/5: Hello Seattle!

The NHL’s 32nd team is official. Let the endless fretting over the expansion draft begin.

Sarah Avampato

It’s been a long time coming, but the NHL is finally coming to Seattle. The NHL’s 32nd team was approved on Tuesday by the league’s Board of Governors, and an inaugural season of 2021-22 is projected. This gives Seattle sufficient time to complete renovations on KeyArena, as well as complete work on practice facilities in the city. In conjunction with Seattle’s arrival to the Pacific, the Arizona Coyotes will be relocated to the Central Division. Goodbye, five games a year against the Coyotes. We’ll maybe miss you.

Of course, a 2021-22 start date also gives the Seattle To-Be-Named-Laters a chance to skip over any lockout action that happens the year before. As SBN writer Doug Mellon stated, “Do we really want to rely on Gary Bettman to prevent a lockout?” It would be perhaps the most NHL thing ever to welcome an expansion team and then promptly have a lockout at the start of that season.

While it’s a little too early to start projecting what the expansion draft will look like, we do know that it will follow the same rules as the draft for Vegas. A brief recap: teams can protect either seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender, or eight skaters (forwards or defensemen) and a goalie. Anyone with no move clauses must be protected, unless they agree to waive the clause. Players with two or fewer years of NHL/AHL experience are exempt — so that hot prospect entering his first professional year won’t be able to be selected by Seattle. Exposed players cannot be on the LTIR list and teams must expose at least one defenseman and two forwards under contract for the 2021-22 season who have played at least 40 games played the prior season, or 70 the previous two. (Need a flowchart yet?)

The Kings have been fairly good about not handing out no move clauses like candy, so there’s only one name on the list who will need to be protected for that reason:

Kings Things

Last night, the Kings did the thing where they make a rookie goalie look really good. Michael’s got the running diary/recap of the game here. [Jewels from the Crown]

Drew Doughty: yes. Line construction and special teams: no. [LA Times]

Jon Rosen talks to Coyotes reporter Craig Morgan after the game. [Kings Insider]

At least Jonathan Quick is back to being Jonathan Quick again:

Oops:

Elsewhere in the World

The Seattle Times takes a look at the newest NHL franchise and the history of professional hockey in the region. [Seattle Times]

Alexander Radulov has some pretty interesting in-game snacking habits. [The Athletic]

Danièle Sauvageau joins the coaching staff of Les Canadiennes, making the first all-female coaching team in the CWHL. She joins Caroline Ouellette, Lisa-Marie Breton-Lebreux and Valerie Bois. [Eyes on the Prize]

A breakdown of the salary cap gymnastics the Leafs have undertaken to make William Nylander’s contract work. [Pension Plan Puppets]

If you have Things About Teeth that Freak You Out, a) we should be friends and b) maybe don’t read this. [The Athletic]

The Philadelphia Flyers have announced former Wild GM Chuck Fletcher as their new GM. [Broad Street Hockey]

South Florida hosted a hockey tournament that brought together teams from across Latin America. [The Athletic]

Three Wild players — Marcus Foligno, Eric Staal, and Mikael Granlund — have brothers playing on other NHL teams. [StarTribune]

How will the Seattle To Be Named Laters impact the regional WHL teams? [The Athletic]

Your Evening Entertainment

Only three games on the docket tonight. Our suggestion is to tune into the Sharks/Hurricanes matchup at 7:30 PM Pacific in order to indulge in some guilt-free watching of Justin Williams. You can root for him this time, now that he’s not playing the Kings! The game will be streaming on the NHL’s streaming service, and for in-market viewers airs on NBCSCA.